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LGHL Asks: If you were in charge, who would you start at quarterback, running back for Ohio State?

This week’s SB Nation Reacts’ survey puts you in charge of picking the Buckeye backfield

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: MAR 07 Ohio State Spring Practice Photo by Jason Mowry/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Matt Tamanini Matt Tamanini is the co-managing editor of Land-Grant Holy Land having joined the site in 2016.

From now until preseason camp starts in August, Land-Grant Holy Land will be writing articles around a different theme every week. This week is all about what we would do if we were in charge of our favorite position group, team, conference, or sport. You can catch up on all of the Theme Week content here and all of our ”If I Was in Charge” articles here.

For this week’s themed survey, we are letting you put the whistle around your neck and pretend that you are in charge of what players start in the backfield for the Ohio State Buckeyes this season.

Question 1: Who would you start at quarterback this season?

Most onlookers — be they fans or beat reporters — seem to think this question has already been answered, at least from the coaches’ perspective. Kyle McCord is the veteran in the Ohio State quarterback room, having one more year in the program than Devin Brown, and having a start start under his belt.

But, due to Brown’s late-spring injury, he didn’t have the opportunity to show what he could do in the spring game. Both QBs came to Ohio State highly recruited — McCord was a five-star in 2021 (No. 28 nationally according to the 247Sports Composite rankings) and Brown was a high four-star coming in at No. 43 in 2022.

They have slightly different skill sets, though not dramatically so, with McCord being a bit more of a pocket passer than Brown, who has a slight edge when it comes to athleticism. I imagine that most people will side with McCord in this situation, after all, he has had the opportunity to sit behind C.J. Stroud for two years and learn from Ryan Day and Cory Dennis, but I could see some fans preferring to go with the younger guy this year.

If McCord plays well this season — and given OSU’s recent track record with QBs, it would be expected that he would — he could be off to the NFL in less than a year from now. Brown, no matter what happens this year, has at least one more year of college eligibility left, and I imagine that could be attractive in many ways; especially after having had pretty solid runs back the last two Buckeye quarterbacks to start two years in a row.

Also, while McCord is far from a statue in the pocket, with the offensive line issues that we have documented extensively here at LGHL, perhaps having a more mobile QB would help as well. Either way, let us know your preference in the survey below.

Question 2: Who would you start at running back this season?

This question, to me, is far more interesting than the one about the quarterback. Ohio State has found itself in an exciting, if not somewhat complicated, predicament with five legitimate contenders to carry the ball this fall, not including walk-on T.C. Caffey, Xavier Johnson (who seems to be firmly entrenched at wide receiver), or any fullback options.

Obviously, the top two options are TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams, as these two jostled for the starting spot last season, trading injuries back and forth. However, in their stead, Dallan Hayden proved himself to be more than a serviceable replacement, and once Chip Trayannum moved back to RB from linebacker, he showed some life there as well.

There is also Evan Pryor, who was injured during last year’s fall camp and is still working his way back to full strength. While he arrived in Columbus as the second back in the 2021 recruiting class behind No. 1 RB Henderson, Pryor was still the No. 83 player in the country. A bit more slight and elusive than the other backs in the OSU room now, if healthy, Pryor could present a different type of back for the coaches to play with.

Ohio State 2022 Running Back Production

Player Games Rushes Yards YPC TD
Player Games Rushes Yards YPC TD
Miyan Williams 11 128 825 6.4 14
TreVeyon Henderson 8 107 571 5.3 6
Dallan Hayden 10 111 553 5 5
Chip Trayanum 11 (not all at RB) 15 92 6.1 0

However, this decision will almost certainly come down to Henderson or Williams. And while it likely doesn’t matter, as the coaches will almost certainly rely heavily on both, the picking of the starter — at least from a fan’s perspective — is less about who gets to be in the backfield on the first offensive snap, and more about who will set the tone about what the running game will look like. Who will be the one to dictate the way that the team runs the ball this season?

Well, we’re asking you. Who do you think it should be?

Share your thoughts here:

Throughout the year we ask questions of the most plugged-in Ohio State fans and fans across the country. Sign up here to participate in the weekly emailed surveys.