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 the most important questions yet unanswered for the season. You can catch up on all of the Theme Week content here and all of our ”Burning Questions” articles here.
2022 was a highly unusual year for the running back position. TreVeyon Henderson was expected to follow up his monstrous freshman campaign with a Heisman-like year, but couldn’t stay healthy. Neither could Miyan Williams. Ultimately, six different guys rotated in the RB position, but Henderson is still the clear No. 1. What will this year look like for him?
Let’s take a moment and remember just how phenomenal Henderson played in 2021. On 183 carries, he rushed for 1,248 yards, averaging 6.8 yards/carry and scored 15 touchdowns. He burst onto the scene and no defense could figure out how to stop him. He was so fun to watch.
Last season was a bit of a sophomore slump for him, but that wasn’t entirely his fault. He battled injuries all season long that prevented him for being his best. He rushed for 571 yards on 107 carries, scoring six touchdowns. He ended up getting foot surgery in the offseason, which is huge. Running backs need healthy feet to run — duh.
However, he has since been cleared for football activities which is great news! Ryan Day isn’t going to rush him back into anything, but now with a full offseason to get healthy, barring any setbacks, he should be back at full strength for the start of the season.
So, what could a 100% healthy Henderson do for this team? A lot. I think it’s actually crucial that this team has a strong, reliable RB1 this year, just like he was two years ago. With a new starting quarterback, opposing teams defenses trying to contain Marvin Harrison Jr. (I’d like to see them try, though) and a new offensive line, it would be extremely helpful to have a Swiss Army Knife like Henderson in the back field.
Don’t forget, he had 312 receiving yards on 27 receptions in 2021 as well. He is a great pass-catcher and obviously can break free for those long runs. He is such an unbelievable weapon to have when he is fully healthy. We know that Ohio State is WRU, but so does the rest of the country. Therefore, defenses will be putting a lot of their attention on Marv, Emeka Egbuka, etc.
I’m also excited to see how newly minted offensive coordinator Brian Hartline uses Henderson this year. Being the former wide receivers’ coach, I’m curious to see how much that’ll play into Henderson’s game, and how many receiving plays he will draw up for him. Either way, that is certainly something to keep an eye on.
So, to answer the burning question of will he look like his freshman year self, only time will tell. If he stays healthy, I don’t see any reason why he can’t match or surpass his first-year stats. He is such an important part of this team’s success, so let’s all hope for a healthy and successful junior campaign for him.