Today’s Topic: What to Expect from Demario McCall This Spring?
Wednesday was the official opening of spring camp for the Buckeyes. Reporters were allowed in for the first hour and then after practice we spoke with head coach Ryan Day, receiver KJ Hill, defensive end Jonathon Cooper, and running back JK Dobbins.
The first part of practice was stretching and I found it interesting that fourth-year junior H-back Demario McCall was stretching in the same line with the running backs rather than the receivers. McCall can be seen all over the field every spring, so it wasn’t a shock, but it was still noted.
In speaking with Hill after practice, we talked about the depth at his position of H-back, which took a hit with the departure of Parris Campbell. But it has also taken a hit even beyond that, however, because Hill told me that McCall is now with the running backs.
After finishing in a strong fashion last season at H-back, it looked like that position would again be one of depth with Hill, McCall, fifth-year senior CJ Saunders, and redshirt freshman Jaelen Gill.
Instead, however, it seems the decision was made that four H-backs aren’t necessary and that McCall could be better utilized picking up the pieces left by Mike Weber’s departure. Hill said there will still be packages this season for McCall in the slot, but his time this spring will be spent with running backs coach Tony Alford.
Given the inexperience behind Dobbins, that plan doesn’t sound so crazy, and it’s something I hinted at back in January.
This spring there are only four scholarship running backs on the roster, as Dobbins and McCall are joined by sophomore Master Teague and true freshman Marcus Crowley. McCall’s experience will give that group two leaders this spring as they mentor the young Bucks.
So how did day one go?
Unfortunately, McCall was limited in practice on Wednesday with a nagging injury, but he is expected to be full go when the team returns from spring break for Practice No. 3.
When they do return, expect McCall to be right behind Dobbins, pushing him just as Mike Weber used to.
Giving McCall an entire spring at running back should allow him to get back into a tailback groove, while also still being able to slide into the slot whenever necessary.
As new co-offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich sees what he can do, and head coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson have their beliefs confirmed, plans will be put in place for Demario McCall in 2019. And don’t be surprised if they are significant plans.
Day is always saying he wants his offense to be on the cutting edge, and few players can cut an edge like McCall.
And even if they don’t want to get too fancy, an old-fashioned wheel route will always be dangerous.
No need. This was designed for McCall last year. (Three plays after he fumbled the KO return.) pic.twitter.com/wcsLGoEJPg
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) January 18, 2019
Moving McCall back to TB is the best thing that could have happened to him and this offense. Fact is, the kid is a RB… not a WR. And in our offense, the H-Back is not a “hybrid” WR/RB (a la Percy Harvin) its just a slot WR (a la Welker), thus McCall was never going to excel at H-Back.
He showed flashes carrying the ball from the RB position as a true Freshman. Given more opportunities to rush the ball from RB position I think he will prove he is every bit capable of being a true RB. Moreover, I like Dobbins/McCall as a one-two punch because its a change of pace, style, and look. Defense has to adjust.
I still think he can be the most dangerous Buckeye on offense. To me he’s a throwback of Archie and Greg Pruitt
Love it! As an H-Back he would be under utilized.
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