COLUMBUS, Ohio — Senior defensive lineman Cameron Heyward, a second team All-Big Ten performer last season, faced the difficult decision this offseason on whether to choose to enter the NFL Draft or return for his senior season.
Fortunately for the Buckeyes, he chose the latter and is back to help anchor the Silver Bullets for one more season. Considered by many NFL experts to be a top pick in this month’s draft had he left, Heyward was dominant at defensive end for Ohio State last season. He led the Buckeyes with 6.5 sacks and had 10 TFL for Ohio State’s Top 5-ranked defense. He had his best game of the year with 9 tackles and 2.0 sacks in the win at Penn State.
“No regrets,” Heyward said of his decision to come back. “I miss the guys who were here, but at the same time we have another group of guys that are ready to step up and do some good things. This year I want to be more vocal, get stronger, faster … just be more consistent. That was the one thing I stressed this offseason was being more consistent in everything that I do.”
Heyward, who led all defensive linemen with 46 tackles last year, was asked whether he would like to be a team captain this year.
“That’s a goal,” Heyward said. “I want to be a captain but if it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out. We have lots of leadership on this team with guys like Rolle (Brian) and Ross (Homan), and on the offensive side people like Terrelle (Pryor), DeVier (Posey), Dane (Sanzenbacher)…we just have lots of leadership.”
Heyward will be the anchor of a defensive line that loses five off the unit from last year, with starters Thaddeus Gibson and Doug Worthington – 18.0 tackles-for-loss and six sacks between them – and part-time starter Todd Denlinger (4.0 and 2.0, respectively) the most significant losses to overcome.
Click the video button above to hear more from Heyward.