Demario McCall was a prolific running back at North Ridgeville High School prior to coming to Ohio State. As a junior, he rushed for 2,302 yards and earned First-Team All-State accolades. In fact, in one game against Elyria Catholic, he rushed for 445 yards and six touchdowns.
He finished with 4,519 yards rushing in his career and was named an Army All-American.
In his freshman season at Ohio State in 2016, he rushed for 270 yards. At the time, it was the most yards rushing for a true freshman running back at OSU since Beanie Wells 10 years earlier. Expectations increased in 2017, but injuries hampered McCall throughout the season and he only played in four games. Fortunately for McCall and the Buckeyes, he has been granted a redshirt and still has three years of eligibility remaining.
McCall moved to H-back late last season, with bowl practices giving him a nice head start on the 2017 season. The offseason was positive for him and the spring has been going well also.
Now that he is fully healthy for the first time since his junior season of high school, Demario McCall appears to have found a home in the Ohio State offense.
“He’s been a full-time H,” Urban Meyer said. “We’re going to be able to move him around, be more of the Curtis Samuel H. And it’s on him. The job description is very clear. When you start to get — the first two years it’s kind of on us. Once you start getting to be in year three, that’s on you. And you either need to perform or you’re not going to perform. It’s on him. And the good thing is he’s responding very well.”
With K.J. Hill out this spring and Parris Campbell not needing as many reps, McCall has seen an increase in activity this spring. The added reps have sped his progression, resulting in the kind of play that catches the coaches’ eyes.
McCall is also going to have a sizable role in the special teams as the returner for both kicks and punts. There is a level of ownership that he is experiencing this year that he has never had before. And as it is with almost all players, the better McCall plays on special teams, the more he will play on offense.
He is confident that he is ready for everything coming his way in 2018, and the more he practices at H-back, the better he feels about his new role.
“I definitely feel very comfortable as of now, compared to when I first moved here,” he said. “It was kind of odd, do I really want to do this? Now I actually feel very comfortable doing it. I’m getting to the point where the route running is becoming natural and learning the plays is becoming natural.”