One of the more notable positions battles for Ohio State this fall is at running back, where sophomore Master Teague and Oklahoma graduate transfer Trey Sermon are fighting to replace the departed J.K. Dobbins, who rushed for a school record 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns last season.
During a teleconference with reporters on Friday afternoon, however, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson suggested both running backs will get their fair share of the carries this season.
“They are splitting time there,” Wilson said. “I think it will be a 50/50 ballpark as we start.”
Teague, who served as Dobbins’ backup as a redshirt freshman, rushed for 789 yards and four touchdowns last season. He suffered Achilles injury on the first day of spring practice, but is back to full strength for fall camp.
“Master has come off his injury and he looks like he a chance (to start), especially with the season being delayed,” Wilson said. “He’s doing everything and looks really good.”
Sermon, meanwhile, rushed for 2,076 yards and 22 touchdowns in three seasons with the Sooners, but suffered a knee injury last November and fell down the depth chart as a result. He entered the transfer portal on March 15 and announced his decision to play at Ohio State just seven days later.
“Trey has come in and he looks very good,” Wilson said. “He’s very smart. Looks very good and catches it well. Understands what we are doing. I haven’t seen him in pads and with the hard practicing environment or the game environment, but we feel comfortable with him.”
Redshirt freshman Steele Chambers has been getting reps with the second-team offense, meanwhile. And though some expected sophomore Marcus Crowley to be in that position instead, he’s not yet fully recovered from the knee injury he suffered late last season.
“With the (running backs) we have now, I really don’t think we’re going to skip a beat,” fifth-year senior tight end Jake Hausmann said during Friday’s interview session. “We have the offensive lline to do it. We have the running backs to do it. We have two or three really talented running backs back there that can share the role. They can split the load. And then we have a veteran offensive line that just loves mauling people. It’s awesome seeing them work. It’s going to be fun to watch those two guys.”
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