Today’s Topic: How Did Spring Go For Freshman Running Back Marcus Crowley?
Freshman running back Marcus Crowley finished his first spring camp with the Buckeyes by rushing for 50 yards and a touchdown in 10 attempts in last month’s Ohio State spring game.
Crowley put a memorable stamp on camp with his final performance.
Early on during spring practice, however, running backs coach Tony Alford explained that life rarely goes easy for freshman running backs experiencing their first spring camp.
“He’s young, so he’s still learning,” Alford said of Crowley. “Like drinking through a fire hose. It’s going to be a building spring, there’s no doubt about that. We’ll see how much information he can retain and how fast can he retain it. Because right now, you start to get to day four and five and everything starts to mesh together. One call sounds like, ‘did he mean this, did he mean that? Was it a C, was it a B, was it this, was it that?’ And it all starts to mesh together and sound alike for guys who are new. And not only that, you have me standing about six inches from you, yelling at you. Intentionally. Organized chaos. So there’s a lot that goes on.”
Crowley was one of three healthy scholarship running backs this spring for Ohio State, which means he got more work than most true freshmen. Rotating in with junior JK Dobbins and redshirt freshman Master Teague, Crowley was able to work with both the ones and the twos at times, which was beneficial this spring and will be beneficial down the road as well.
“The good thing is that we have thrown him into the fire and he’s responding,” Alford said. “He’s going to make mistakes. These are very prideful guys and when they make mistakes it bothers them, as it should. But that’s what he needs. He needs to get thrown in that fire. But he’s got some skills. All of a sudden he’ll flash and do something like ‘Okay, here he goes.’ But he’s a tough kid.”
One of the reasons player enroll early like Crowley did was to put them in a better position for playing time in the fall. While Crowley certainly did that, it’s still too early to know what to expect from him when the season gets here.
“To say in the fall, who knows?” Alford said. “Right now the whole thing is learn the offense, which he’s doing. And then how fast will you go play? And look, you’re going to make mistakes. That’s the whole mantra: 4-to-6, A-to-B. Mistakes are going to be made. But don’t have me question your effort and your want-to, and the speed with which you play. That we cannot have any question about. And he’s doing a nice job with that so far.”