Every year following Ohio State spring football we recap what happened position by position.
Who stepped up, who stepped back, what got fixed, and what didn’t?
With 12 of the 15 spring practices cancelled due to the pandemic, however, essentially nothing happened, nothing got fixed, nobody stepped up, and no questions got answered.
So since we can’t talk about which questions got answered, we will instead discuss which questions still remain.
Position by position.
What could Steele Chambers have done?
With Marcus Crowley and Master Teague injured this spring, everything was set up for redshirt freshman Steele Chambers to show what he could do. Even though there was a concern among the coaches about wearing him down because he was the lone healthy running back, all eyes were going to be on him and now that opportunity is gone.
When spring practice opened, it was expected that Crowley and Teague would compete for the starting job, with Teague having the obvious leg up. With neither available, this was going to be Chambers’ opportunity to announce his presence in the race. That never happened, and now the Buckeyes have Oklahoma Trey Sermon coming to town to make the race even more crowded.
Chambers looked good in limited opportunities as a freshman. It’s too bad he couldn’t show what he could do as RB1 for the Buckeyes this spring.
Is this the opportunity Demario McCall was looking for?
It was expected once Master Teague went down that Demario McCall would move back from receiver to running back, but that was never confirmed before spring ball was canceled.
McCall sharing reps at running back with Steele Chambers would have been his chance to show that he didn’t need to be just a “matchup nightmare.” Or, more correctly, that every regular snap for McCall can be a matchup nightmare.
The question throughout his career has been his ability to run between the tackles. As one of two healthy scholarship running backs, this would have been a tremendous opportunity to show that he can. Not having that chance means limited opportunities the next time the team starts practicing because everyone — or mostly everyone — will be healthy again.
The Ohio State coaches still have plenty of confidence that they can move McCall around from play to play looking for that matchup. Last year they didn’t do it because it would have meant taking JK Dobbins or KJ Hill off the field. With both of those guys gone now, this spring was McCall’s opening to display his worth.
What is the health of the injured running backs?
Not that Marcus Crowley or Master Teague would have returned to practice at any point this spring after their respective injuries, but as camp goes on and we get to talking to coaches, we tend to get more information out of them.
For as mum as Ryan Day likes to be on injuries, sometimes he or his assistant coaches can slip up when pressed. With no pressing this spring, all we can expect is the original whispered prognoses for both players, which is Crowley should be just fine for a regularly-scheduled camp, and Teague would probably be pushing it to meet that same deadline (but it wouldn’t surprise anybody if he made it).