Trey Sermon's Monday night in Miami didn't go as planned.
The late-rising Ohio State running back suffered an apparent upper-body injury in the first drive of the national championship game against Alabama that caused him to head to the visiting locker room and subsequently require a trip to a local hospital. However, he appears to have avoided anything major.
Sermon is "doing well" and will be traveling back to Columbus on Tuesday following the 52-24 loss, a team spokesman said that morning. His mother, Natoshia Mitchell, told the Columbus Dispatch that his injury is "not serious," though both she and the football program declined to share the specifics of it. After the game, head coach Ryan Day had said the tailback was sore and "certainly in pain."
The end of Sermon's season came almost as abruptly as his ascent late in the season.
He was, one could argue, the most important player on Ohio State's roster not named Justin Fields. After a pedestrian first four games as a Buckeye following a transfer from Oklahoma, he ran for 100-plus yards in three straight outings. Sermon tallied 112 yards at Michigan State, broke the program's single-game rushing mark with 331 yards versus Northwestern in the Big Ten title game then carried the ball for 193 yards in the Sugar Bowl. Alongside Fields, he turned into one of his team's top offensive weapons down the stretch.
In Sermon's place on Monday, Master Teague managed 15 carries for 65 yards and two touchdowns, while Marcus Crowley played his first offensive snaps of the season to record six rushes for 14 yards. Sermon's night ended after one carry for two yards.
Sermon, a fourth-year senior, is expected to leave Ohio State for the 2021 NFL Draft instead of using the fifth season of eligibility the NCAA has allowed.