Position by Position Recruiting Summary – Running Backs

Last time I looked at the future of the Buckeyes’ quarterback position, and now I’ll turn my attention to the backfield and the running backs. Ezekiel Elliott has been our workhorse for the past two years, but now that he’s heading to the NFL, the Buckeyes need to find a comparable replacement.  Ohio State technically has six backs on the roster this fall, but Curtis Samuel and Dontre Wilson fill more of an H-back role, so it’s really down to four traditional every-down backs. I think the depth chart will probably look something like this come fall:

1.) Brionte Dunn – Senior (RS)

2.) Mike Weber – Freshman (RS)

3.) Antonio Williams – Freshman

4.) Demario McCall – Freshman

I put Dunn #1 because he is a senior and has been in the program for over four years. Weber’s going to push hard for that #1 spot this spring and fall, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him overtake Dunn at some point. I expect Dunn and Weber will both see a lot of touches this fall, and Samuel and Wilson will likely fill in as traditional backs as well. Urban Meyer says he wants to get quite a few freshman on the field this year, so we’ll probably see Antonio Williams too. He enrolled early so he can go through spring drills with the team, which will benefit him for the 2016 season. I don’t see Demario McCall playing this season however. He could play on special teams, but I would expect him to get a redshirt and compete for playing time in 2017. The running back position isn’t as deep as it usually is at Ohio State, so recruiting is going to have to address that.

Let’s look at potential recruiting classes for the next couple of years.

2017 recruiting has already gotten off to a fast start, and the Buckeyes hold commitments from Todd Sibley out of Akron and JK Dobbins, who was a surprise commitment from Texas. It would not surprise me, however, if one of these two committed backs is no longer a Buckeye come next February. Ohio State wants to add two backs in this class, and they’ve got that in Sibley and Dobbins, but the Buckeyes are still in it for current Alabama commit Najee Harris and former Alabama commit Cam Akers. Harris is scheduled to visit Ohio State in mid-April, and Akers had nothing but great things to say after his recent visit. Since scholarship positions are so tight, I think it’s safe to say the Buckeyes would ask Sibley or Dobbins to look elsewhere if either Harris or Akers decided to come to Ohio State. Watch for Trey Sermon out of Georgia and Adarius Lemons out of Florida as well. When all is said and done in February, I think the Buckeyes sign Sibley and Sermon. 

2017 Depth Chart Projection:

1.) Mike Weber – Sophomore (RS)

2.) Antonio Williams – Sophomore

3.) Demario McCall – Freshman (RS)

4.) Trey Sermon – Freshman

5.) Todd Sibley – Freshman

Even though the backfield will be loaded with young talent, I still expect Meyer & Co to find a couple more running backs for the 2018 class. Right now the Buckeyes have offers out to Zamir White, Jaelen Gill, T.J. Pledger, Ricky Slade, and Brian Snead. Gill is the clear front-runner to be in the class. Not only is he an Ohio boy out of Westerville South High School, but Meyer believes he has the material to be a future captain and has already made him a priority. He holds 16 offers from most of the Big Ten and a few other big-name programs like Virginia Tech and Tennessee. I think Gills ends up a Buckeye in 2018, and I can see him being one of the first members of the class to commit. If Ohio State decides to take two backs in the class – and it might – then I like Slade out of Woodbridge, VA. He’s a quick back, but he’ll probably need to put on some weight to bulk up before he gets to college. He currently has offers from Florida, North Carolina, Miami, and others. Right now he is crystal-balled to Ohio State, but we’re two years away from signing day for this class, so that designation doesn’t mean much yet. I think Gill is almost a guaranteed lock for 2018, but there could be more names that pop up between now and then.

2018 Depth Chart Projection:

1.) Mike Weber – Junior (RS)

2.) Antonio Williams – Junior

3.) Demario McCall – Sophomore (RS)

4.) Trey Sermon – Freshman (RS)

5.) Todd Sibley – Freshman (RS)

6.) Jaelen Gill – Freshman

The recruiting cycle is always changing, so all my predictions could change at a moment’s notice. I fully expect to see a lot of Mike Weber over the next few years, and with the young stable of backs following him, hopefully there is minimal drop off from the Carlos Hyde and Ezekiel Elliott era at Ohio State.


2017 4 Star Running Back Todd Sibley Commits to Ohio State

The rich keep getting richer. The Buckeyes get a fifth commitment this weekend, 4 star running back Todd Sibley who plays for Archbishop Hoban in Akron, Oh. Sibley will be joining teammate 2016 commit ATH Jonah Morris along with new teammate and 2017 commit QB Danny Clark.

Sibley(5’11, 205) had TTUN really really wanting him to become part of the alleged turn around chose instead to stay in Ohio and try to win National Championships.

Welcome to Buckeye Nation young man can’t wait to see you on the field.

Instead of boring you with stats here is his highlight tape:


MotSag Chat with Todd Sibley JR

osuHelmetIt is now never to early to start recruiting.  Just ask class of 2017 Archbishop Hoban, Ohio Running Back, Todd Sibley.  Standing 5-11 and weighing 200 pounds, he is already gaining interest from some of the powerhouses around the Midwest.  Some of the schools that have been in contact with him are Michigan State, Florida State. Michigan, Purdue, Cincinnati, and Ohio State.  Todd had nothing but good things to say about all of the programs recruiting him including Ohio State, the home state school.  I asked him that because he is from Ohio does that mean he favors the buckeyes or grew up rooting for them and he said, “Growing up, I actually was neutral to Michigan, Michigan State, and Ohio State.  I did not pick a favorite between them.”  That is interesting because all three of those schools are showing him the most interest in him and because he did not grow up a fan of any of the three in particular, he is open to all of them.

Todd visited Ohio State not too long ago with his buddy and current commit for the 2017 class Danny Clark from Massillon, Ohio.  Danny invited him to the Spring game and had nothing but good things to say about Ohio State visit.  “I love the environment at Ohio State.  Everything was just so well-organized and well put together.  I got to stand on the sidelines which was awesome because we got to see them warm up and I even shook Urban Meyer’s hand which was awesome!”  Danny has also been recruiting him to Ohio State with him, saying that they talk about how amazing it would be to be in the same huddle and to win National Championships together.  Sibley and Clark have a great relationship and Sibley says they talk about wearing the scarlet and gray together.

Todd also made a return trip to Ohio State this past weekend for the Columbus NFTC.  He was not overall happy with his performance.  He said that he started off kind of slow but really turned it up later in the camp.  He said that he just wants to improve his game and get better.  He wants to improve his vision on the field, including his peripheral vision, citing it caused miss opportunities on the field.  His footwork also needs improvement.  He is a very tough critic on himself, but said that his strengths are the love of the game and his ability to compete.  Monday through Thursday he works hard on preparation for Friday nights saying, “I am always well prepared for Friday nights.”

As for Todd Sibley off the field.  Do not expect him to be sitting down, ever.  He does track and loves to workout and exercise.  He also mentioned how he does not see himself getting a job sitting own because he just loves to be active.  I guess football would be a good job then for Todd.  If you watch Todd’s highlights he is a great prospect.  He will only get bigger, faster, and stronger.  He loves all of the schools that are recruiting him and is open to anything in his recruitment.  Having Danny Clark on your side, already recruiting him for the class, is not a bad thing to have.  I asked him what he would say to Buckeye Nation and he replied with, “I am going to work hard for that offer! Go Bucks!”  Todd Sibley JR is a prospect that every recruiting fan should watch, especially Ohio State fans.

You can check out Todd’s highlights here: Hudl.com

Here is his 247sports page as well. 

Follow Todd on Twitter: