Ohio State’s 2021 Running Back Situation
PROJECTED DEPTH CHART
Master Teague (SR.)
Saw significant playing time in 2019 and 2020 as the backup to JK Dobbins and Trey Sermon respectively. Has not shown much promise due to a lack of vision and wiggle, despite great straight-line speed. Also not great at breaking tackles. Looked promising in early 2019 and even broke one in garbage time against Northwestern, thanks to an amazing block from lineman Dawand Jones.
Miyan Williams (SO.)
Had 10 carries in 2020 as a true freshman. Was great at breaking tackles and has been given the nickname “bowling ball” because of it. In the second half of the Clemson game, Williams got OSU’s revenge on Clemson S Nolan Turner, who intercepted a Justin Fields pass in 2019 to seal the deal for the Tigers. He did this by sending Turner to the ground. Sat out the National Championship after testing positive for COVID-19. Shows a lot of promise.
TreVeyon Henderson (FR.)
Incoming freshman 5-star recruit from Virginia who is considered a borderline generational talent. 11th ranked player and 1st ranked running back according to 247Sports. Didn’t get tackled in a 10-minute highlight reel and will come in as the most talented running back on OSU’s roster. Projected to get more playing time as the year goes on, but likely won’t be a day one starter due to depth and seniority. Will likely end up as the next Elliott/Dobbins.
Marcus Crowley (JR.)
Promising running back who looked good as a true freshman in 2019. Then, he got injured and took over a year to return. Didn’t look great vs. Alabama and injuries may have caught up to him. However there is still hope that Crowley will emerge from the rotation.
Steele Chambers (SO.)
The Georgian with a funny name showed a lot of promise in 2020 at just about everything besides one major flaw. Chambers struggles to hold onto the football. Had 9 carries and a 9.6 average in 2020 but had some fumbling issues, including one lost against Rutgers. Will emerge if he is able to hold onto the ball.
Evan Pryor (FR.)
True freshman from North Carolina who is coming in alongside TreVeyon Henderson. Despite being a high-rated recruit, he’ll probably either redshirt or get the same role as DeMario McCall in 2020. Likely won’t start in 2020 but may end up as a very good running back in the future for the Buckeyes.
Xavier Johnson (JR.)
Saw playing time against Nebraska in 2020 and looked like he could have a very slim chance to break the rotation. Wanted to be a Buckeye his entire life and took the OSU walk-on offer over Go5 schools and North Dakota State, despite being a middle-tier 3-star recruit. Or maybe the coaches put him in because, “Hey, walk-on!” Johnson is a very unknown player and we don’t know much about him, but I’ll put him here anyway.
So where does that lead this depth chart? I don’t really have a projection but I’ll take my best guess.
1. Teague (Will swap with Henderson as season goes on)
2. Williams (Short-down back, will see playing time
3. Henderson (Will swap with Teague as season goes on)
4. Crowley (More secure with the football than Chambers, will be jumped by Pryor in 2022)
5. Chambers (Less injury prone than Crowley, will be jumped by Pryor in 2022)
6. Johnson (Very uncertain, not a redshirt)
7. Pryor (Redshirt, will see playing time in 4 games in garbage time then make his move to the top 3 of the rotation)
2022 is even more uncertain because we don’t even know who will transfer.
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