As Ohio State kicks off its spring practice, one notable change on the roster has caught the attention of fans and analysts alike. Sonny Styles, previously known for his prowess as a safety, has officially been moved to linebacker. The move comes as part of a strategic decision by the coaching staff, and Styles has embraced the shift, packing on additional pounds to his already imposing frame.

According to the official roster released by Ohio State, Styles has added 15-pounds, bringing him to 235 pounds for the upcoming spring practices. Standing at an impressive 6’4″, the added weight is expected to complement Styles’ stature, making him a formidable force on the defensive side of the ball.

Head coach Ryan Day, in a recent statement, confirmed the transition and hinted at the versatility Styles could bring to the Buckeyes’ defense.

“You will see him at linebacker. You will see him do some other things as time goes on. We will watch the film and continue to build his package.”

Day’s words suggest a potential hybrid role for Styles, where he could seamlessly switch between linebacker and safety positions. Defensive coordinator Jim Knowles may utilize Styles strategically, employing him as a defensive weapon to create advantages such as blitzing opportunities or neutralizing opposing tight ends based on the matchup.

Styles’ reclassification as a freshman, puts him in his third season with the program. Though he should technically be a sophomore, Styles’ early entry into the college football scene has given him valuable experience and maturity beyond his years.

In the 2023 season, Styles showcased his defensive prowess, finishing the year with an impressive 53 total tackles, including two sacks. Now, with the transition to linebacker, Styles follows in the footsteps of his father, Lorenzo Styles Sr., who played the same position at Ohio State and enjoyed a successful six-season stint in the NFL.

With Styles poised to take on a more prominent role in the Buckeyes’ defense, expectations are high for the young linebacker. The move not only aligns with his family’s football legacy but also positions him to potentially lead the team in tackles in the upcoming 2024 season. Buckeye fans can anticipate an exciting season as Styles brings his unique blend of size, speed, and football IQ to the heart of Ohio State’s defense.