The Ohio State running backs room took a significant hit during fall camp with the loss of second-year back Evan Pryor to a season-ending knee injury, but an insurance plan has emerged at the position.
With just three scholarship running backs, depth has become a concern for the unit. However, Arizona State transfer Chip Trayanum — who made his way to Columbus to play linebacker after spending two seasons as a running back for the Sun Devils — may see a return to his former position. Head coach Ryan Day said Trayanum saw some reps at running back during one of the team’s practices this week.
“We had one day full where Chip came over and did some some running back and, boy, he’s a natural. He’s doing a great job at linebacker as well, so he’ll be a guy that we can use as insurance if we needed him,” Day said. “Just seeing him live and in color, he’s a talented running back. I’ve been very impressed with the way he’s playing at linebacker as well. But we can also use him in a dual role if needed.”
Trayanum has plenty of prior experience as a running back, racking up 692 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 127 career-carries while at Arizona State. The Dayton native transitioned to linebacker during the offseason.
While Trayanum could be counted on to run the ball in emergency situations, Day reaffirmed the team’s commitment to freshman back Dallan Hayden — who currently slots in as the No. 3 running back on the depth chart behind TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams.
“We’ve been very impressed with Dallan. I think Dallan Hayden has really come on,” Day said. “He’s got a lot of talent and he’s our third running back right now, and he deserves it. He’s played really hard, he’s had his black stripe taken off. If he continues to go, then we’re going to trust putting him in the game.”