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Garrett, Smith given first-team honors on PFF Preseason All-Big Ten defense

Garrett continues to rack up preseason awards ahead of his fifth season with Ohio State.
Garrett continues to rack up preseason awards ahead of his fifth season with Ohio State. (USA Today Sports)

Ohio State fifth-year senior defensive tackle Haskell Garrett had already been named a preseason All-American by Pro Football Focus and Walter Camp, so it came as little surprise to see his name appear as a first-team selection on PFF's preseason All-Big Ten list this week.

He wasn't the only Buckeye to do so though, as six Ohio State players appeared on the PFF All-Big Ten offense –– including three first-teamers –– and three other Buckeyes joined Garrett among defensive and special teams selections.

RELATED: Six Buckeyes land on PFF Preseason All-Big Ten offense

However, Garrett and defensive end Tyreke Smith were the lone first-team selections on defense. Garrett was named a CBS Sports and PFF All-American following the 2020 campaign, which was his first as a starter for the Buckeyes.

"Garrett broke out in a big way in 2020, earning an astounding 88.9 pass-rush grade that trailed only Alabama's Christian Barmore — a second-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — for the best in the Power Five," PFF wrote.

Smith, who started most of the season alongside Jonathon Cooper on the edge of Larry Johnson's defensive line, earned high marks from PFF last year, and is widely expected to do even more damage to opposing offenses with a full schedule ahead of him.

"Smith has routinely shown an ability to attack with quickness and win with power. He essentially played only half a season in 2020 (seven games) and was in the midst of a big-time breakout," PFF wrote. "Expect that to continue in 2021 and for Smith to end up in the elite tier of pass rushers by the campaign's conclusion."

Former five-star recruit Zach Harrison earned a second-team preseason distinction, as many expect the Ohio native to capitalize on his sky-high potential in 2021 with a presumptive starting role opposite Smith.

No Buckeye defensive backs or linebackers made the cut, but on special teams, wide receiver Garrett Wilson –– already named both a preseason All-American and first-team WR by PFF –– was given a nod as the third-team punt returner.