[This is the third in a series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the 2018 signing class and the impact they had this past season, as well as the impact they could have this coming season.]
Master Teague came to Ohio State from Blackman High School in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. He was the No. 228 player in the class and the No. 11 running back in the nation. Teague earned an offer from Ohio State following a performance at camp in June of 2017 and committed two days later. He also held offers from Georgia, Clemson, Auburn, Notre Dame, and Austin Peay.
Teague enrolled early, so he was able to participate in winter workouts and spring football. He led all rushers in the spring game with 14 attempts for 73 yards.
That would end up being the most action he would see in Ohio Stadium in 2018.
Teague played in seven games, rushing for 106 yards on 17 attempts with one touchdown. The bulk of his production came in the first two games, where he rushed for 56 yards in the season opener and then 25 yards in week two against Rutgers. He also rushed for 25 yards against Tulane.
Master Teague's first career touchdown. pic.twitter.com/jUAc9mhxUt
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) September 2, 2018
It was no coincidence that Ohio State’s three weakest opponents were also the three games where Teague carried the ball. He also found some action on special teams, seeing the field in three of the last four games for the Buckeyes, including both postseason games.
So Now What?
With Mike Weber off to the NFL, there are plenty of carries available. With Brian Snead no longer on the team either, things have set up quite well for Master Teague to be JK Dobbins’ backup this season.
Even though Teague didn’t carry the ball much in 2018, head coach Ryan Day liked the growth he made during the season.
“He’s gotten stronger,” he said. “He’s gotten stronger and he’s a powerful back. He needs to get more reps, the more reps he gets, the more aware in protection and understanding who he has to block and some of the blitz patterns. But he’s a downhill back that if you can get him to the second level, he’s a home run hitter.”
Dobbins is looking forward to more carries in 2019 and he has shown himself to be more effective with more carries. If Teague wants as many carries as Weber had on average the last two seasons (~135), then he will have to earn them in practice. He will need to show running backs coach Tony Alford that he can handle the workload.
There may be some carries absorbed by the starting quarterback, but Dobbins should be around the same 230 carries he had this past season. His carries may even go down because they should be getting larger chunks of yards with the carries he gets.
If Teague ends up winning the backup job, he could expect around 100 carries, which would likely put him around 600 yards rushing this coming season.