The long wait to officially sign his letter of intent with the Ohio State University is now over for four-star class of 2018 running back Master Teague.
Committing to Ohio State over the likes of Georgia, Auburn, and others after having the chance to sit down with Urban Meyer and the Ohio State coaching staff during a visit to the Columbus campus for a summer camp, Teague puts pen to paper nearly seven months after giving OSU his verbal pledge.
Teague spoke to Land-Grant Holy Land back in the fall about what led him to end his recruitment in favor of the Buckeyes soon after announcing his commitment.
“There were several things that caused me to like OSU. I really liked their culture. I liked what they do with Real Life Wednesdays. I like the internships I saw their guys go on. I like the Athletes in Action opportunities. I like that Coach Meyer is not only feel responsible for helping his guys get an education but also getting a job. I like that we will be able to win a national championship. I am a very motivated person but the coaches at OSU added more motivation in me that was unique.”
While he didn’t earn his scholarship offer from the Buckeye coaching staff as an underclassman like many others, Teague has proven that he has what it takes to lead an offense down the field time and time again as a member of the Blackman Blaze (TN).
Rushing for over 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior, Teague was well on his way to another excellent season before sustaining an ankle injury that cut his senior campaign short. Although things didn’t end the way he would’ve liked, the 5’11, 210-pounder accounted for around 725 yards and 11 scores on the ground during his final year with the Blaze.
Joining a stacked Ohio State backfield that will consist of players such as Mike Weber, J.K. Dobbins, Antonio Williams, Demario McCall, and fellow 2018 commit Brian Snead, Teague, the 12th running back, and 259th overall prospect in the class of 2018, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, might end up behind the eight ball when it comes to early playing time during his first season with the Buckeyes.
Needing bodies on special teams, Teague, like other true freshman, could see the field next year, but most likely will be inline for a redshirt season. Sitting out next season to bounce back fully from the left ankle injury and learn the playbook might be in his best interest, as it has worked out for many Buckeyes including current Ohio State standout Mike Weber, who wasn’t 100% early on at OSU.
Teague’s skill set on the football field is extremely rare. At 5-foot-11, 210 pounds, Teague runs a 4.31 40 time(!!!!!). For comparison, Ohio State running back Mike Weber is 5-foot-10, 214 pounds, and runs a 4.52 40 time. That’s not saying that Weber is slow, it’s just saying that Teague is a freak athlete.
With Teague, as is usually the case with freak high school athletes, he’s pretty raw, and has some developing to do on the technical side of the running back position. He’ll need to learn the nuances of the position before he sees the field in Columbus, and thankfully for him, Tony Alford is one of the best running back coaches in the business.
With the sheer amount of raw talent and athleticism that Teague possesses, if he continues to work at honing his craft at Ohio State, he could be in the NFL a few years from now. As a runner, Teague is already very skilled. He has very solid footwork, cuts up the field with purpose, hits holes quickly, runs downhill, and plays with a lot of power. His ability to cut, paired with his strength, is a very dangerous, and very rare combination.
He still needs to work on the things a lot of young running backs need to work on. His patience is good, but it could be better. He has a tendency to get tunnel vision, he needs to survey the entire field so he doesn’t miss open holes, opting instead for more contact, and usually, less yardage. He also needs a lot of help in the passing game, both blocking and receiving, though there’s another back in this class that will likely do a lot of the receiving out of the backfield in place of Teague.