Best Ohio State football players this century 30. Quinn Pitcock – Defensive Tackle 2004-06
The Ohio State recruiting class for the 2002 freshman class was special. There were four five-star recruits, but none of them made the list (although Maurice Clarett would have if his tenure didn’t end as it did). However, there were a ton of four-star recruits who did make some noise. One of them was defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock.
Pitcock had a typical career for a star player on the inside. He was a redshirt freshman who really didn’t play until his junior season, and that was in a rotation. Then, in his fourth year on campus, he took off. He became known as an incredibly strong big body in the middle, and he made the offensive line change how they played to make sure he was covered. For his work, he received Second Team All-Big Ten honors.
In his final year at Ohio State, Pitcock turned into a monster in the middle. His eight sacks and 12 tackles for loss showed that teams could not stop him. He broke just about every block attempt. There wasn’t anyone in the Big Ten that could cover him one-on-one. He had one of the best defensive seasons of anyone in this era. He was one of two returning starters in his final year, and he helped lead a top defense in the country.
It all ended strangely for Pitcock. He was a third-round pick in the NFL Draft, but he only lasted one year. He retired right before his second training camp, and he eventually got help for mental health issues and video game addiction. He would never play another NFL regular-season snap after he retired despite two comeback attempts. Still, that one year at Ohio State was special. It’s rare to get that kind of game-changing ability from the defensive tackle position.