Buckeye Leaves: Henderson, Munford, Olave, Williams Earn First Honors Of The Year

By September 3, 2021 (12:15 am)Football

Wyatt Crosher – TreVeyon Henderson/Miyan Williams

Ohio State had four running backs see action in its opener against Minnesota, but two of them really stood out among the rest.

The first of those was Miyan Williams, who immediately showed what he can do with a 71-yard rushing touchdown on the Buckeyes’ first drive of the season. On the day, he only ran nine times, but finished with 125 yards and consistency found extra yards out of nowhere.

The other back was a true freshman in TreVeyon Henderson. As a former five-star, Henderson came in with big expectations, and he proved what all of the talk was about in his first collegiate game.

Henderson only ran twice for 15 yards, but he took a dump-off pass by C.J. Stroud and outran the entire Gophers defense for an explosive 70-yard touchdown that was the highlight moment of the game.

Ohio State came into the game with no clear answer as to what the running game would look like. After Week 1, it seems clear that two backs should get the bulk of the carries.

Patrick Mayhorn – Thayer Munford

It’s hard to give the big boys too much love based only on live-action, given just how much is happening on any given play, but senior left tackle turned guard Thayer Munford was fantastic in his first showing at his new role for the Buckeyes. After making the move from left tackle to left guard in the offseason to make room in the starting offensive line for Dawand Jones, Munford looked like a seasoned pro, moving with ease out of the much more horizontally-oriented spot, crushing previously unblocked ends on several occasions as a pulling guard on counter looks.

That’s not easy to do for experienced guards. It’s not easy to do for the pros, even. Looking so strong this early on in his transition inside, after seemingly making the move just a month ago, is almost unheard of, and a serious testament to Munford’s ability as both a blocker and as a leader for this team. He cleared the way for more than one of Ohio State’s big gains up front, and helped to set the tone for an offensive line that allowed just one tackle for a loss, and didn’t surrender a sack – especially impressive with a surprise starter in Luke Wypler, who had to fill in at center for Harry Miller.

The entire offensive line should get plaudits for this showing against a legitimately solid Minnesota defensive line, but Munford was the most impressive of the bunch, just as he was so often last season, even in a brand new position. Not too shabby for the super senior donning the “Block O” patch for the Buckeyes – and making that decision look good in the process.

Chase Brown – Chris Olave

I considered offering my Buckeye Leaf to Garrett Wilson, but Chris Olave’s second touchdown convinced me to honor the senior wideout with the award. 

Throughout his career, Olave has been a security blanket for Ohio State quarterbacks. He didn’t have much time to be that for Dwayne Haskins; however, Olave did have an impressive game against Michigan in 2018, where he scored two touchdowns and had a blocked punt. Olave then built a solid connection with Justin Fields in the last two seasons — one that led both players to become first-round talents in the minds of NFL scouts.

When Olave decided to return to Columbus for another season, many people scratched their heads. There are plenty of reasons he could have returned, but I am sure one of those decisions was to continue to develop with C.J. Stroud at quarterback. He must have seen something in Stroud that made him feel comfortable to delay millions of dollars and come back for a senior season.

Olave’s decision seems to have paid off  — at least through the first game of the season. He collected four receptions for 117 yards and two touchdowns, scoring both times with a significant number of yards after the catch. Olave receives my Buckeye Leaf and looks like a strong candidate for more in the future.

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