Football

Master Teague Still Learning, Doesn’t Look Like a Freshman

With last month’s transfer of Ohio State running back Antonio Williams to North Carolina, the Buckeyes will enter 2018 with just two experienced running backs.

With those two returning tailbacks being J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber, that should be enough, but Woody Hayes always wanted a pair and a spare for a reason.

While H-backs like Demario McCall and Parris Campbell will be able to handle some carries, a third running back would still be welcome. And based on how things went this spring, that third running back looks like it will be freshman Master Teague. Teague will have some competition for the third spot in fall camp from fellow true freshman Brian Snead, but for now he looks like a guy who will get some carries this season.

After rushing for 73 yards on 14 carries in the Ohio State spring game, Teague concluded an impressive spring for a guy who should be posting prom pics to Instagram right now.

And it hasn’t just been those on the outside who have been impressed.

“He’s a physical guy. He’s strong and he’s fast,” Dobbins said this spring.

“Really big. Explosive. Fast guy,” Weber added. “Still learning the game and the speed of the game. But I think he can be a great player here and hopefully he will be.”

Each year, Ohio State tries to bring in the best talent available. Weber saw that a season ago with Dobbins, and he’s seeing it again with Master Teague.

“That’s Ohio State. The best of the best,” he said. “If you don’t bring in guys that are just as good as the guy that you have starting or better, you’re gonna lose, or you’re going to have a step back, or you’re going to be lacking in a certain area.”

From those on the outside, Teague doesn’t look like most freshman running backs. Even though OSU running backs coach Tony Alford has gotten used to him, he can still appreciate how those on the outside looking in see the talented freshman.

“No, he’s a pretty big kid, isn’t he?” Alford said chuckling.

Looking good in a spring game that was more glitz than guts can skew opinions from the onlookers. Alford, however, has all of the data. He knows where Master Teague excelled and he knows where the work needs to improve.

Overall, it was a successful spring, but the process is just getting started.

“He did some good things,” Alford said. “He’s just got to learn how to finish plays and the terminology we use – 4 to 6, A to B – and strain to finish every single snap.

“I know he’s been here a semester, but in all reality, he’s played football for two weeks – 15 days with actual bullets flying. He’s going to be okay. He’s going to be fine. He had a good spring. I’m happy with where he is at. We’ve got to still keep going.”

 

One Response

  1. I can remember when I watched his first full game from my family and friends familiar with his HS in pretty hands on ways. When he committed to Ohio State was as excited with that commit just as much as the commit from Eddie and Robert. Speed, power, vision. All 3 essential traits for young guys. He’s got a great 1 cut and go style AND the make you look foolish in space ability. IMHO I think he was a little bit in need of Coach Mick getting his hands on him and developing big time ball strength and finishing power. All the defenders he faced in HS were just out gunned with him. At this level they’re all good football players. He’ll need that finishing power to help reduce wear and tear, but it doesn’t change anything at all. He’s the real deal and if he focuses early and develops the missing tools in his tool belt, he’s going to cause headaches for opponents and a ton of happiness for the Buckeyes.

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