Comfortable Demario McCall Ready to Make His Mark

Demario McCall Ohio State Football Buckeyes


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.”


8 Responses

  1. I thought the article was about McCall but the first three responses seem to be about Campbell, the ultimate tease. I have always believed that McCall is the best RB on this team, one of the most explosive (Campbell is right there too…if he could just catch the ball, SMH) and the biggest game-breaker. He simply must be included in the O somewhere. As for his hands, I’ve always heard that they are very good so I’m not too concerned with that. What does concern me is the coaching staff’s ability to put him in a position to utilize his abilities fully. Sometimes their creativity is much better on paper than it is on the field. I predict a big year from him.

    1. It is about Damario. Campbell just happens to be ahead of him on the depth chart. Campbell can be explosive and capable of exploding. Just not in a traditional receiver role. Demario McCall is a far more versatile beast who in the live reps we’ve seen is secure with the football be it a handoff or stretching the field. Everyone knows that Parris is capable of taking the ball to the house with his speed, but even Meyer is recognizing that Damario offers a much more consistent option against all 3 levels of the defense. Campbell is limited The comments are expressing why. Damario doesn’t have that problem.

  2. Do receivers who have the dropsies ever “get it?” I’m thinking (hoping) that the light will click and he will understand how to catch a ball past 10 yards in traffic. Wishful thinking or are there examples out there?

    1. Good hands are s thing of God given instincts and talent…never seen a guy who couldn’t catch develop to become sure handed. Either you got it or you don’t. Same thing with vision for a running back.

      1. The dropsies suggests that he actually catches the passes first. He has hands of stone anywhere beyond 10 yards down the field and simply can’t catch passes except maybe once or twice a season beyond that point. Jet sweep? Fine. Drag routes? Dine. Mesh routes…….buyer beware.

        The guy has fantastic speed but defenses know that if they can push him out of the box the chances are EXTREMELY high that even if the quarterback delivers the ball to him, he simply doesn’t have the hands to actually catch the thing. It all started way back against Virginia Tech. WIDE open without a soul in sight running full tilt the ball hit him in stride. Oops, he missed it. It hasn’t changed down the field for him since that day and never will.

  3. I believe if Given the opportunity McCall will be one of our top 4 playmakers. The only two guys who I can definitively say should get more touches are Weber and Dobbins. He should certainly touch it more than Hill, Dixon, Mclaurin, Victor, etc. It would be nice if Campbell could catch and you could play him out wide some with McCall at H. That would give you a lot of explosive guys on the field at once…that could be a nightmare for defenses. However, Campbell is pretty limited with his hands so he probably stays at H (creating a bit of a lot jam and limiting McCall’s reps)

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