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Ohio State's Tyreke Smith remembers his time playing alongside Chase Young well, partially because of how many plays the former No. 2 overall pick made over him.
"He beat me a lot of times," Smith joked at the Senior Bowl. "He definitely took some sacks from me, but that just made me better."
Young was quicker than most to make plays during his days with the Buckeyes, but for Smith, he did plenty of the latter as well. He was a source of guidance for Smith throughout their days as teammates, and as Smith prepares for the next chapter of his career, he still is.
"He was like my big bro, always teaching me stuff," Smith said.
Smith, who was a four-star recruit by ESPN and the third-ranked high school prospect in Ohio, was already put in a good position to improve as a pass-rusher with defensive line and associate head coach Larry Johnson teaching him. He learned how to look at the finer details of rushing quarterbacks, and it made him become a better technician.
It's one thing to hear those things from a coach; it's another thing to hear from a teammate. In many ways, Young was like a second coach for Smith on the field, and he often went to his teammate for advice.
"I could pick his brain and he just challenged me," Smith said. "Like every time we were on the field, we were always challenging each other. Who could get off the fastest? Who could get to the quarterback the fastest?"
More often than not, it was Young who won those battles. He racked up 27 sacks and forced seven fumbles in his final two seasons with the Buckeyes.
Smith didn't put up those numbers once Young left for the NFL, but he did have two solid seasons with 35 tackles (19 solo), three pass breakups and five sacks. He also had an impressive day at the Senior Bowl, particularly during pass rushing drills throughout the week of practice.
For that, Smith can still partially credit Young for his success.
"I still hit him up today," Smith said. "Like, 'Hey, what can I do better?' He'll say, 'Hey, get your hands up more.' He'll tell me those little things. Chase has always been a big bro."
Smith's next step to improve his draft stock will be at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, where he will be one of seven Buckeyes invited to the event. He won't be able to go head-to-head against offensive linemen like he did in Mobile, Alabama, but he will be able to show off the agility and technique he's refined over the years. The Draft Network currently has him projected with a third-round value, but that could increase with a strong showing in Indianapolis.
The pointers he received from Young should come in handy.
"He's always giving me critical information that I can use to apply to my game," Smith said. "I know he's been in that situation. He's been through it, so I gotta listen."