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RB/WR Demario McCall (Official Thread)

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by MD Buckeye, May 15, 2014.

  1. brodybuck21

    brodybuck21 THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY Staff Member Fantasy Baseball Champ

    Colin Hass-Hill on January 15, 2019 at 9:49 am @chasshill
    Email this ArticleShare on RedditShare on TwitterShare on Facebook894
    Three years into Demario McCall’s enigmatic career, Ohio State hasn’t figured out the optimal way to deploy him, even though he knows exactly what he wants to be.

    He essentially believes he was put on Earth to play running back, and that’s only a slight exaggeration. McCall began playing the position as a 5 year old.

    “I don't know how many years that is, I don't really feel like counting, but every single year I've played football, I've been a running back,” McCall said after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

    But ever since enrolling at Ohio State, McCall has bounced between running back and H-back, never quite finding a home. A combination of injuries, unfortunate timing, lack of positional focus, a slight frame and other factors have played a role in stifling his growth and keeping him off the field.

    With Mike Weber locked in at running back and Curtis Samuel playing H-back during the 2016 season, McCall spent his freshman season as backup running back, taking 49 carries for 270 yards and three touchdowns and catching four passes for 84 yards.

    After the year, Samuel departed for the NFL, which opened a spot at H-back. That, McCall thought, could be his opening into the regular rotation.

    “Back then, we talked about me playing a bigger role at the H-back, filling Curtis Samuel's shoes,” McCall recalled after the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1. “It didn't go as planned.”

    McCall didn’t switch positions, though. He stuck with Tony Alford and the running backs throughout 2017 spring practice. In the fall, with Weber, J.K. Dobbins and Antonio Williams competing with him for reps, McCall moved to the wide receiver room. He didn’t get much playing time at either position, racking up just 14 rushes and two catches during an injury plagued season that ended with him taking a redshirt.

    One promising season followed by one disappointing season. The next year, McCall believed, would be the one he’d been waiting for.

    After the Cotton Bowl, he rattled off the things he was doing to improve his skills as a receiver, hoping to get on the field at the H-back position. Time with the jugs machine, route-running drills, all the things many wide receivers spend their entire lives perfecting. As he detailed what he was working on, he admitted he needed to change his longtime mindset of “once a tailback, always a tailback.” McCall understood the rawness of his techniques, but felt prepared to work on them and earn his way onto the field.

    With Parris Campbell and K.J. Hill returning at H-back and Weber and J.K Dobbins manning the running back position, though, playing time wasn’t readily available. McCall rushed four times and caught five passes in the first two months of the season, not playing a single snap against TCU, Penn State, Indiana and Minnesota.

    “It was frustrating,” McCall said. “I mean, let's go back to high school. Coming from high school being the guy. I was the guy – everybody was the guy in high school – to not playing football. I feel like I haven't played football in a very long time.”

    Midway through the season, he made another switch, this time returning to running back.

    No one can be quite sure whether McCall’s musical chairs have ended. Might he return to H-back at some point? Who knows. At one point in his Ohio State career, McCall thought he’d be a running back until his time in college came to an end. At a different moment, he imagined his career would take off as a wide receiver. Neither happened. One thing’s certain: he’s at ease returning to running back.

    “It just feels so comfortable and so home to me that it feels like it's natural,” McCall said. “I'm not going to lie, receiver was something I had to work at. It was something I could do, but at the end of the day, that's a position that you have to work at to become good. So, I feel like I'm a tailback who can do receiver things.”

    Finally, McCall might have a path to the field. With Parris Campbell graduating and Weber leaving Ohio State to the NFL, both of his potential positions – running back and H-back – have openings.

    McCall’s groin injury that sidelined him for the majority of the 2017 season set him behind Weber, Dobbins, Campbell and Hill. All four of them returned in 2018, relegating him to the bench once again.

    “To be honest, if we'll be real with ourselves, let's talk about the depth we had this year,” McCall said. “The guys, the athletes we had. It's crazy. From J.D. to Parris to K.J. to C.J. (Saunders) to Mike Weber, J.K. We had athletes. This is the Ohio State University. And that's what we breed: athletes. Sometimes, you've got to wait your turn. I feel like my time was coming.”

    Weber’s exit leaves a running back position with only Dobbins, Master Teague, Marcus Crowley and Brian Snead. Dobbins will be the bellcow in the backfield, but Ohio State will still need a backup, and McCall might be that guy. His skillset could allow him to effectively serve as third-down back.

    With Campbell gone, a spot is also open at H-back. Hill will return and start at the position, but behind him, uncertainty resides. Jaelen Gill and Saunders appear to be the most likely to back him up, so McCall could factor into the equation.

    McCall ended the season spending his time in the running backs room, but he’s not entering spring practice imagining himself at either position. He believes he will impact games at both running back and H-back, finally ascending to the level of player many people imagined he’d be at the past two seasons.

    “I see my role expanding a lot, a whole lot, because I feel like the role that I played this year, I build it to be a bigger role, a real bigger role next year,” McCall said. “And that's all over the place. H, tailback. J.K. the only other tailback. I believe I'll be able to help him out. The H’s, we've got me, K.J., C.J., J Gill. Just be all over the place, to be honest.”
    RB07OSU, Buckeye86 and buckeyes_rock like this.
  2. buckeyes_rock

    buckeyes_rock Great day to be a Buckeye

    Big fan of this kid. Really hope he finds his niche next season! I think he could be a dynamic playmaker for the Bucks.
  3. scarletngray

    scarletngray Gold Pants

    Love what he does when the ball is in his hands.
  4. mendensa

    mendensa Senior

    My concern with McCall has always been his size and how to utilize him. Him and JK just didn't move the pile like Weber did this year, especially the last 3rd of the season, so you can't really use him in between the tackles effectively.

    I realize he isn't that type of back but I also recognize the Buckeyes need another plower in there to pick up a few tough yards to establish an inside run game and/or salt a game away. Is Teague going to be that guy? B/c I don't think JK is necessarily equipped for that either.
  5. RugbyBuck

    RugbyBuck Our church has no bells.

    McCall is electric. You don’t need him pounding Dave. He doesn’t get 20 touches, but we can find a way to get him 5-10 per game.
  6. mendensa

    mendensa Senior

    For sure. H is a perfect fit. Get him out in space.
    scarletngray likes this.
  7. Unfortunately for him, I think KJ coming back may have strongly limited his touches in 2019. 2020 I think he will 100% be a focal point of the offense, but I think Jaelen Gill is going to be the #2 H Back in 2019. Just a hunch.
    ShowMeBuck likes this.
  8. RB07OSU

    RB07OSU #7 aka Vick the human joystick Staff Member BP Recruiting Team

    100%. I get the lack of touches last year with all the guys we had to get the ball to, but 5-10 times a game is well within the realm of possibilities and should happen in 2019 imo. Kid is explosive, there is no doubt about that.
  9. Bestbuck36

    Bestbuck36 It's a brand new Day!!

    Just swing it to him and let him work. His first year he was a filthy little big play machine and for some reason we went away from him. He's been invisible mostly since then and that's a shame.

    I really feel like Day is an Open the Offense kind of guy so I wouldn't be surprised to see a game where McCall is on fire and they just let him eat. I don't see him putting the Offense on his back like JK or Weber might do but he should have his opportunities.
    RugbyBuck, pnuts34, buckeyboy and 3 others like this.
  10. pnuts34

    pnuts34 Drunk off of wolverine tears

    Kid reminds me of a Curtis Samuel clone.coaches should just be creative in getting him the ball and also using him in the return game
    RugbyBuck and brodybuck21 like this.
  11. scarletngray

    scarletngray Gold Pants

    Remember how Jalin Marshall pretty much won us a game single handedly?
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  12. Bestbuck36

    Bestbuck36 It's a brand new Day!!

    No doubt, for one game obviously but over the course of the season I see him more of a special weapon vs one that we lean on. I hope he does blow it up though and I'm rooting for that.
  13. Bill Lucas

    Bill Lucas Senior

    Indiana. I was there and he was fun to watch that day.
  14. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.



    To date, Demario McCall's most significant play as an Ohio State Buckeye was an absolute disaster.

    It came late in the first half of Ohio State's regular season finale against Michigan, which was ranked No. 4 and fighting for just its second win over the Buckeyes in its last 15 tries.

    Despite the Wolverines being favored, Ohio State was firmly in control, leading 21-13 with less than a minute remaining before the break. Michigan had just scored and kicked the ball deep to McCall when things went south.

    One play later, Michigan found the end zone again and completely stole the momentum from Ohio State.

    It would have been easy for former head coach Urban Meyer to put McCall in the dog house, but he and the entire coaching staff know the type of game-breaking ability he possesses. On the very next possession, McCall was back on the field with the kick return team and the offense.

    The North Ridgeville, Ohio native bounced back quickly, hauling in a 33-yard catch on a perfectly run wheel route to set the Buckeyes up near the goal line.

    That sequence was the perfect microcosm of McCall's time in Columbus – random missed opportunities and inspiring flashes of brilliance.

    But with Ohio State needing to replace a ton of offensive firepower this fall, it could be McCall's time to shine.

    The speedster came to Columbus as part of the Buckeyes' 2016 recruiting class, rated the second-best all-purpose back nationally and the No. 44 recruit overall. He had offers from schools all over the country, including Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State, Tennessee and UCLA, but the opportunity to be the next hybrid in a Meyer-coached offense was too much to pass up.

    Much has been made of the Percy Harvin role – a well-built slot receiver with the ability to carry the ball out of the backfield – but a number of players have thrived in a similar mold in Columbus.

    Dontre Wilson and Braxton Miller put up decent numbers, but Curtis Samuel exploded in the role, registering 1,636 total yards of offense to complement 15 touchdowns in 2016.

    Parris Campbell was the closest thing to a hybrid in Ryan Day's overhauled offense last season, and all he did was lead the team in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

    With Campbell's departure, is McCall next in line?

    Entire article:
  15. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.



    Since J.K. Dobbins' arrival in 2017, Ohio State has employed a two-running back system very effectively. Dobbins and Mike Weber combined to average more than 2,000 rushing yards per season over the last two seasons, and while last year's rushing attacked slumped, both running backs shared the load well.

    With Weber's departure to the NFL, Dobbins has the opportunity to capture a primary role in the offense. But since Day's arrival in Columbus, he's shown a desire to share the load in the backfield, and that's where Demario McCall comes in.

    McCall has bounced back and forth from the running back and wide receiver rooms, but he's settling into the backfield and could be Dobbins' primary backup for this upcoming season, though Master Teague is also competing for playing time at that spot.

    Entire article:

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