“In the big games, I can still contribute and make a difference.” Ohio State running back Master Teague worked his way back from a torn Achilles ahead of schedule to make an impact, not just to make the lineup. https://t.co/hk4M23B9Kx pic.twitter.com/wVsYOAnyOz— Nathan Baird (@nwbaird) October 29, 2020
It has been a rough last 10 months for Ohio State running back Master Teague. Not only did the redshirt sophomore close out last season by rushing for just nine yards on seven carries against Clemson while J.K. Dobbins was injured, but the spring was even rougher on Teague, as he suffered a torn achilles tendon in the spring.
The tough close to last season and injury setback in the spring overshadowed a 2019 season that was very good to Teague for the most part. As the backup to Dobbins, Teague finished the season with 789 yards, which ranked seventh among Big Ten rushers, and four touchdowns. The most notable performances for Teague came against Indiana and Maryland, where he topped 100 yards on the ground.
While many players might feel sorry for themselves after going through what Teague has gone through over the last 10 months, the running back is using the injury and doubts from some around Buckeye Nation to come back as an even stronger back. Teague has been helped in his recovery by his faith, which has helped him not only grow on the football field, but also as a man.
As if the injury wasn’t tough enough for Teague to have to deal with, Ohio State brought in Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon to add depth to a running back position that saw not only Teague dealing with injury, but also Marcus Crowley, who suffered a torn ACL last season. Sermon and Teague shared snaps in the season opener against Nebraska, combining for 96 yards on 23 carries. Not the performance either was hoping for, but it’s a start with both running backs recovering from injury.
What will help Teague succeed at Ohio State is his tireless work ethic, which he showed even when he was in high school. When Teague does something, he puts his everything into it, not stopping until he is the best. The work ethic has been shown in his recovery from the achilles injury, when he opted to stay in Columbus and recover while many of his teammates decided to go home as the country was gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now that Teague is back on the field, he wants to make sure he can make an impact. You know how he closed out last year is eating at him. Teague knows he is better than what he showed in some of Ohio State’s biggest games last year, and he is eager to come up big when the Buckeyes need him the most.
Don’t bet against Teague becoming one of the best running backs in the Big Ten. Teague feeds off the doubters and he has the work ethic and faith to prove the doubters wrong. Expect Teague to put his stamp on the position as the season goes along and he continues to work back into game shape.
With the departure of current Carolina Panthers right tackle Branden Bowen, redshirt sophomore Nicholas Petit-Frere worked to put on weight to prepare himself to fill the void on the right side of the offensive line. https://t.co/4vBdHOqROR— The Lantern (@TheLantern) October 29, 2020
One of the offensive linemen who will be trying to clear holes for Teague and the rest of the Ohio State running backs in Nicholas Petit-Frere. The redshirt sophomore has taken over on the offensive line for Branden Bowen, who is now with the Carolina Panthers in the NFL.
Petit-Frere saw action in 14 games last year, starting in one of those games when Thayer Munford was out due to injury. The experience Petit-Frere already has seen in Columbus has made it easy for his fellow offensive linemen to trust in the big tackle’s abilities on the field. Petit-Frere came to Ohio State as one of the top offensive line prospects in the country, and he has lived up to the hype so far, grading out as a champion after the Nebraska game.
So far the hardest thing for Petit-Frere this year came during quarantine. Coaches had told Petit-Frere that he needed to gain 10 pounds over the break. In normal times this was something that could have been done at Ohio State, but with Petit-Frere back at home, it was his mother who was responsible for helping the offensive tackle gain weight. This led to Petit-Frere eating more pasta than we could ever imagine, sometimes for all three meals of the day.
Not only did Petit-Frere hit his target weight set by coaches, but he is also hitting their expectations on the field. With how Petit-Frere has played for Ohio State, it is looking like he could be another Buckeye offensive lineman that is taken early on in the NFL Draft. Until then, it will be a treat to watch him clear holes for the Buckeyes.