Ohio State defensive end Chase Young will not play Saturday against Maryland.

The university confirmed the suspension Friday morning with the following statement: 

“Ohio State’s Chase Young will not play in this Saturday’s game between the Buckeyes and the Maryland Terrapins due to a possible NCAA issue from 2018 that the Department of Athletics is looking into.”

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That suspension will jeopardize Young’s Heisman Trophy campaign. The defensive end leads the FBS with 13.5 sacks, and he had four sacks in Ohio State’s last game on Oct. 26. 

After that performance, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit told Sporting News that Young was the front-runner. 

“If you go to your ballot it says most outstanding player in college football,” Herbstreit told Sporting News. “It doesn’t say MVP or best offensive player. It says most outstanding college football player. How in the world do you watch Chase Young — not just because of four sacks against Wisconsin because he’s been doing it all year — and say it’s not him?”

That suspension will make it more-difficult for Young to win the award knowing only one defensive player has won the Heisman Trophy. That was Michigan’s Charles Woodson in 1997. Heisman winners Johnny Manziel (2012) and Jameis Winston (2013) were suspended the season after they won the award.

Young has been the main reason why Ohio State’s defense has improved dramatically from 2018 and the team is ranked No. 1 in the College Football Playoff rankings. The Buckeyes rank first in the FBS in fewest points allowed (7.9) and second in total yards (224.3). 

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