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Running Back by Committee for Ohio State this Season

2023 Ohio State University

Last week we took a look at what many people around the nation would call the best position room in the nation when we looked at what Ohio State's wide receiver depth chart could look like for the 2023 campaign. Now we once again get to take a look at a room with similar depth and talent, but due to a lot of injuries last season and a quarterback battle brewing this offseason has found itself on the backburner of most national conversations. That's the running back room for the Buckeyes. Last year Ohio State had seven running backs carry the ball during the course of the season and while some of that came as a result of running out the clock with their backups, a big reason was injuries. But as a result of these injuries we got to see just what the Buckeyes have been recruiting over these last few seasons and what we saw were some very talented and explosive players that are eager for their chance to play.

So on to the starters, yet again Ohio State will run a two-back system with TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams again leading the room going into 2023. They are one of the best running back duos in the nation and totalled 1396 yards on 5.9 yards per carry and a combined 20 touchdowns. Injuries caused a lot of setbacks for these two last year and forced Henderson to have surgery before the postseason last year on his left foot. But with both of these backs healthy and a rookie quarterback at the helm, these two are sure to be a focal point of the offense for at least the first few weeks while the offense gets situated.

Behind them is the former transfer portal pickup Chip Trayanum whom Buckeye fans were introduced to last season. While he was the fourth most used back last season, he has shown a huge amount of growth throughout the spring camps and many members of the media believe that he has jumped into the number three spot on the depth chart due to his power and explosiveness. Dallen Hayden was third on the depth chart last season and is close behind in the race for third on the depth chart. This position battle may go deep into the fall between these two. Hayden is a little younger and could likely start at just about any university in the nation, so he will give Chip a run for his spot. He brings in a ton of speed and power, but hasn't seen the field enough to have developed that elite field vision that could propel him into the spotlight.

Xavier Johnson the wide receiver will likely be used in the rushing attack this season after being used to fill in for the injury riddled group last season. Expect him to be used in a lot of pre-snap motion to force the defense close to the line of scrimmage to protect against the run and for him to see most of his catches on screens or quick routes close to the line of scrimmage. T.C. Caffey and Cayden Saunders are also available, but unless injuries strike the room again they likely won't see the field outside of mop up duties at the end of a blowout as they did last season.

The Buckeyes also brought in a trio of freshman to the class of 2023. They will likely all be redshirted this season, but due to the rule changes a couple years ago that allows redshirt players to play in four games, there's a chance they may see the field alongside Caffey and Saunders. This trio consists of four-star James Peoples out of Veterans Memorial High School in Texas, three-star Jordan Lyle out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Florida, and three-star athlete Sam Williams Dixon out of Columbus' own Pickerington North High School.

So while this group may not have the star power that the wideout group does they still have a ton of talent and barring any injuries should help lead the offense throughout the majority of this upcoming season. When TreVeyon Henderson was healthy in the 2021 season he was giving fans flashbacks of Ezekiel Elliott and Maurice Clarett. If he is healthy in 2023 and can return to the excellent form of that season he will likely find himself as a second or third round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. The same goes for Miyan Williamson, he was one of the most sought-after running backs in his high school class and has wasted no time hitting the field running. His future place in the NFL will be secured with one great season. With these two splitting carries all while trying to improve their own draft stock next offseason, this could make for an absolutely lethal backfield for Ohio State.



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