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MotS&G Position by Position Recruiting Summary – Running Backs

Discussion in 'News' started by Ben Van Ooyen, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Position by Position Recruiting Summary – Running Backs
    Ben Van Ooyen
    via our good friends at Men of the Scarlet and Gray
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


    Last time I looked at the future of the Buckeyes’ quarterback position, and now I’ll turn my attention to the backfield and the running backs. Ezekiel Elliott has been our workhorse for the past two years, but now that he’s heading to the NFL, the Buckeyes need to find a comparable replacement. Ohio State technically has six backs on the roster this fall, but Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson fill more of an H-back role, so it’s really down to four traditional every-down backs. I think the depth chart will probably look something like this come fall:

    1.) Brionte Dunn – Senior (RS)

    2.) Mike Weber – Freshman (RS)

    3.) Antonio Williams – Freshman

    4.) Demario McCall – Freshman

    I put Dunn #1 because he is a senior and has been in the program for over four years. Weber’s going to push hard for that #1 spot this spring and fall, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him overtake Dunn at some point. I expect Dunn and Weber will both see a lot of touches this fall, and Samuel and Wilson will likely fill in as traditional backs as well. Urban Meyer says he wants to get quite a few freshman on the field this year, so we’ll probably see Antonio Williams too. He enrolled early so he can go through spring drills with the team, which will benefit him for the 2016 season. I don’t see Demario McCall playing this season however. He could play on special teams, but I would expect him to get a redshirt and compete for playing time in 2017. The running back position isn’t as deep as it usually is at Ohio State, so recruiting is going to have to address that.

    Let’s look at potential recruiting classes for the next couple of years.

    2017 recruiting has already gotten off to a fast start, and the Buckeyes hold commitments from Todd Sibley out of Akron and JK Dobbins, who was a surprise commitment from Texas. It would not surprise me, however, if one of these two committed backs is no longer a Buckeye come next February. Ohio State wants to add two backs in this class, and they’ve got that in Sibley and Dobbins, but the Buckeyes are still in it for current Alabama commit Najee Harris and former Alabama commit Cam Akers. Harris is scheduled to visit Ohio State in mid-April, and Akers had nothing but great things to say after his recent visit. Since scholarship positions are so tight, I think it’s safe to say the Buckeyes would ask Sibley or Dobbins to look elsewhere if either Harris or Akers decided to come to Ohio State. Watch for Trey Sermon out of Georgia and Adarius Lemons out of Florida as well. When all is said and done in February, I think the Buckeyes sign Sibley and Sermon.

    2017 Depth Chart Projection:

    1.) Mike Weber – Sophomore (RS)

    2.) Antonio Williams – Sophomore

    3.) Demario McCall – Freshman (RS)

    4.) Trey Sermon – Freshman

    5.) Todd Sibley – Freshman

    Even though the backfield will be loaded with young talent, I still expect Meyer & Co to find a couple more running backs for the 2018 class. Right now the Buckeyes have offers out to Zamir White, Jaelen Gill, T.J. Pledger, Ricky Slade, and Brian Snead. Gill is the clear front-runner to be in the class. Not only is he an Ohio boy out of Westerville South High School, but Meyer believes he has the material to be a future captain and has already made him a priority. He holds 16 offers from most of the Big Ten and a few other big-name programs like Virginia Tech and Tennessee. I think Gills ends up a Buckeye in 2018, and I can see him being one of the first members of the class to commit. If Ohio State decides to take two backs in the class – and it might – then I like Slade out of Woodbridge, VA. He’s a quick back, but he’ll probably need to put on some weight to bulk up before he gets to college. He currently has offers from Florida, North Carolina, Miami, and others. Right now he is crystal-balled to Ohio State, but we’re two years away from signing day for this class, so that designation doesn’t mean much yet. I think Gill is almost a guaranteed lock for 2018, but there could be more names that pop up between now and then.

    2018 Depth Chart Projection:

    1.) Mike Weber – Junior (RS)

    2.) Antonio Williams – Junior

    3.) Demario McCall – Sophomore (RS)

    4.) Trey Sermon – Freshman (RS)

    5.) Todd Sibley – Freshman (RS)

    6.) Jaelen Gill – Freshman

    The recruiting cycle is always changing, so all my predictions could change at a moment’s notice. I fully expect to see a lot of Mike Weber over the next few years, and with the young stable of backs following him, hopefully there is minimal drop off from the Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott era at Ohio State.



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