Today’s Topic: How Will Ryan Day Complement JK Dobbins?
Junior running back JK Dobbins is expected to be a workhorse for the Buckeyes this season.
After exploding onto the college football season as a true freshman in 2017 and rushing for 1,403 yards, Dobbins took a step back last season, rushing for 1,053 yards.
This year, there has been talk about getting Dobbins back to his freshman form. Even with that in mind, however, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day isn’t expecting Dobbins to handle the running game workload all by himself.
There was a competition all spring long to be Dobbins’ backup, though only two of the four other scholarship running backs took part.
Redshirt freshman Master Teague and true freshman Marcus Crowley got valuable reps this spring while fourth-year junior Demario McCall nursed a camp-long calf injury. This summer, true freshman Steele Chambers will arrive to give the Buckeyes another option.
Day liked what he saw this spring from Teague and Crowley, but more work needs to be done to find OSU’s No. 2 tailback.
“It’s been good,” Day said towards the end of spring ball. “Master Teague’s had a little bit of a nagging injury, but when he’s been out there, he’s done a nice job. He’s been very deliberate with his reps. I think he’s done really well. Marcus Crowley’s really shined. He’s a young guy who was the Gatorade Player of the Year in Florida and he’s got a lot of experience down there playing but not in college. So he’s working through those reps and he’s learning every day and he knows what he’s doing and he’s playing fast. He’s a big, strong back running downhill. Demario still hasn’t practiced, so we haven’t been able to see what we can get out of him.”
But it won’t just be at running back where the Buckeyes look to complement JK Dobbins.
Ohio State considers the wide screens and fly sweeps part of the running game, and Day expects to continue doing that in 2019 as well. This year may even feature some under center sweeps and the like.
The quarterback run will also be back in play this year.
“I think that last year, we got the ball to the perimeter a little bit more in terms of some of the bubble screens and like that,” Day said. “We’ll continue to build that. The quarterback run is something that we’re going to be more involved with again this year. And then we’ll see as we continue to build this identity on offense — because it’s going to be different than it was with J.T. [Barrett]. It will be different than it was with Dwayne [Haskins] — how we continue to do that.”