Now that J.K. Dobbins has found his new home with the Baltimore Ravens, its back to the drawing board for Ohio State running backs coach Tony Alford. And while he certainly has a room full of talent to work with, there are still quite a few question marks surrounding the position group.
Will Trey Sermon live up to the hype?
Is Master Teague really back to full health?
Is this finally Demario McCall’s breakout year?
With preseason camp back in full swing, I think most of our questions will soon be answered, and we’ll finally find out whether or not we have a suitable replacement for Dobbins.
But, for the sake of this article, let’s say those guys don’t end up working out. Teague and Marcus Crowley’s injuries continue to nag them, McCall still can’t secure a permanent spot on the offense, Sermon doesn’t meet expectations, and freshmen Steele Chambers and Miyan Williams aren’t ready to be thrown to the wolves just yet.
My question for you is: If you could choose to bring back one former Ohio State running back to suit up in Game 1 of the 2020 season, who would it be?
We’ve been pretty spoiled in the RB department in recent years (aka the years that I remember best). Over the last two decades, we’ve seen the likes of Maurice Clarett, Antonio Pittman, Chris “Beanie” Wells, Dan “Boom” Herron, Carlos Hyde, Ezekiel Elliott and J.K. Dobbins pass through Columbus.
You could choose from your obvious choices, like Elliott and Dobbins, or Heisman Trophy winners Archie Griffin and Eddie George. Griffin, who played for the Buckeyes from 1972 to 1975, still holds the program record for career rush attempts (924) and career rushing yards (5,589). Dobbins is right behind him with 725 attempts and 4,449 rushing yards.
Maybe you’d rather go with a result-oriented kinda guy, in which case you might choose Pete Johnson (1973-1976) who holds the Ohio State record for career rushing touchdowns (56), single-season rushing TDs (25) and single-game TDs (5).
We all have our favorite Ohio State running backs, and your first choice will likely be based on the fond memories you have of watching that particular player. But, I urge you to pick your player based on the current 2020-21 roster, coaching staff and schedule. For example, I’d kill to see the numbers Elliott would put up under a competent offensive coaching staff.
So, let’s hear it.