Watch Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins Take to BTN's The Journey to Discuss the Unselfishness of Sharing a Backfield

By Kevin Harrish on October 10, 2018 at 4:29 pm

Ohio State doesn't have just one starting running back.

The Buckeyes have two running backs that could start almost anywhere in the country, both with 1,000 yard rushing seasons in their past, both averaging over six yards per carry, and both on pace to finish their careers well over the 2,000 rushing yard mark.

Mike Weber and J.K. Dobbins are both clear-cut elite first-team players, giving Ohio State an embarrassment of riches

"I've got two guys that I truly believe that can play in any situation," Running backs coach Tony Alford told BTN's The Journey "Short yardage, goal line, third down, first and second down – it doesn't matter. They're every down backs, I believe."

While that's exactly the situation you want if you're Ohio State, it's certainly not without its challenges when you're dealing with two running backs who want, and in the past have received the lion's share of the carries.

It's a good problem to have, but it's one the Buckeyes had to deal with.

"This two-back system works because of us."– J.K. Dobbins

"There's been long conversations about 'here's what we're doing,'" Alford said. "And it wasn't a request, it wasn't asking 'hey what do you guys thing?' This is what we're going to do."

Alford has led the way – though it's been hard sometimes – and eventually, the Dobbins and Weber embraced it.

"It wasn't easy at the beginning, you learn that it's a team sport," Weber said. "You become unselfish with people you love, like he's your brother.

"We both compete, I push him, he pushes me. We've been that way ever since I got back from my injury. We bring the best out of each other."

The two tailbacks also know it's in their best interest, and in the best interest of the team that they split carries. They know the game is evolving and a running back rotation is the way modern football is played.

Still, it takes unselfishness, brotherhood and trust from two elite competitors to make it work.

"This two-back system works because of us," Dobbins said. "If we were selfish guys, this thing would not work."

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