Ohio State third-year sophomore running back Master Teague was named to the watch list for the Wuerffel Trophy, which honors the player “who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.”
Teague represents one of 114 players from college football’s Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), which is a record number for the award since it first began releasing a watch list in 2015.
“It is so inspiring to see this record number of athletes being submitted for the award,” said Wuerffel. “These young men truly represent college football’s most impactful community service leaders. We are proud to honor them.”
A former four-star prospect, Teague hails from Murfreesboro, Tenn., and he took a redshirt as a freshman for the Buckeyes.
He still played in four games during his redshirt season in 2018, taking 17 carries for 106 yards and one touchdown. Then as a redshirt freshman, Teague took over as the primary backup to standout starter J.K. Dobbins in 2019.
While Dobbins broke the program record for rushing yards in a single season, Teague still shined as his backup. Although he was a backup, Teague ranked fifth in the Big Ten with 5.8 yards per carry, and seventh in rushing yards with 789.
For his efforts in 2019, Teague earned third-team All-Big Ten honors. A stalwart in the classroom as well, he earned Academic All-Big Ten accolades in 2019, as well as two Ohio State Scholar-Athlete awards.
When Dobbins left Ohio State early for the 2020 NFL Draft, Teague was expected to become the Buckeyes starting tailback in 2020. He suffered an undisclosed injury, reported to have been an Achilles injury, during the team’s first spring practice. Although the coaching staff expressed optimism in Teague’s availability for the season, Ohio State brought in running back Trey Sermon from Oklahoma and Teague remains without a timetable to return.
Teague has frequently engaged in community service activities, including visiting elementary schools and providing a positive message to the youth. With the COVID-19 pandemic preventing him from visiting schools in-person, Teague took the time to read to elementary school children through virtual means. A devout Christian from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Teague felt compelled to be a major advocate for Black Lives Matter in response to the killing of George Floyd.
Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ sports information departments and will close on October 15, per the release. The list of nominees can be found at www.wuerffeltrophy.org starting August 1. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on November 3 and finalists will be announced on November 23.
The formal announcement of the 2020 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation’s festivities in New York City on December 8. The presentation of the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 52nd All Sports Association Awards Banquet on February 19, 2021 in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Ohio State has had one student-athlete win the award in the 15 years since its inception. Joel Penton represented the Buckeyes at the 2006 winner of the Wuerffel Trophy.
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