The Buckeyes return 99.4% of their running back rushing yards from last season, unless you don’t want to count the 12 yards rushing by departed fullback/tight end Mitch Rossi. In which case, the Buckeyes return 100% of their running back rushing yards. Unfortunately, rising junior TreVeyon Henderson won’t be part of the spring. Neither will classmate Evan Pryor. Pryor is still recovering from patellar tendon surgery last year. Henderson had foot surgery prior to the end of the 2022 season and is still rehabbing toward his return. Leading rusher Miyan Williams is back, as is rising sophomore Dallan Hayden. Rising senior Chip Trayanum is back for a full season at running back as well.
Miyan Williams, rJr, 5-9 225
Won’t need a ton of work this spring given his experience.
TreVeyon Henderson, Jr, 5-10 214
Out for spring recovering from foot surgery.
Dallan Hayden, So, 5-10 195
Will get a lot of work after big first year.
Chip Trayanum, Sr, 5-11 230
Full spring will get him back in swing at running back.
Evan Pryor, rSo, 5-11 198
Still out following torn patellar tendon last summer, but expectations remain high.
Miyan Williams led the team with 825 yards rushing last year. The Buckeyes are short-handed this spring, so they’ll need him to fill out some reps, but the spring should be more about Dallan Hayden and Chip Trayanum. It is unfortunate that Evan Pryor couldn’t be healthy enough to take part because there would be plenty of work for him.
The only new addition to the Ohio State backfield for this spring is walk-on freshman running back Willtrell Hartson. Hartson is a 3-star running back from Massillon Washington High School who chose walking on at Ohio State over scholarship offers from Boston College, Marshall, UAB, a number of MAC schools, and more. He rushed for a school-record 2,042 yards as a senior at Massillon and broke the school’s 100-year-old scoring record with 208 points last year.
Spring Depth Chart
|3||Miyan Williams, rJr|
|19||Chip Trayanum, Sr OR|
|5||Dallan Hayden, Soph|
|26||Cayden Saunders, rSoph (walk-on)|
|NA||Willtrell Hartson, Fr (walk-on)|
|32||TreVeyon Henderson, Jr (Inj.)|
|21||Evan Pryor, rSoph (Inj.)|
|28||TC Caffey, rFr (walk-on) (Inj.)|
What’s the Latest?
Actually, there’s not much to report, which is pretty big news. After last season, it didn’t look likely that the Buckeyes would be able to return everybody in the running back room. Fortunately, running backs coach Tony Alford was able to squash the rumors, keep the peace, and now all of the familiar faces are back. This is made even more important by the fact that Ohio State didn’t sign any scholarship running backs in the 2023 recruiting class.
Dallan Hayden and Chip Trayanum will get the bulk of the scrimmage work because they are still in need of the most reps. Spring isn’t really a time for running the ball anyway, and with an offensive line in flux, don’t expect the Buckeyes to light things up on the ground this spring. The most important thing will simply be staying healthy and getting healthy.
One Question Needing An Answer
What kind of changes will offensive line coach Justin Frye like to see with the running game, how much of that will we see in the spring, and how well will it suit the Buckeye ball carriers?
As mentioned above, it’s going to be difficult for the running game to stand out this spring. The search for a starting offensive line may last all spring, and technically there may not be any “breakout candidates” who actually get to work with the first team. Chip Trayanum probably can’t be considered a breakout guy since he has nearly 800 career rushing yards. Dallan Hayden already broke out with 500 yards rushing as a true freshman. Maybe keep an eye on true freshman Willtrell Hartson. Yeah, he’s a walk-on, but he doesn’t plan on staying a walk-on and he’s determined enough to enroll early and get started as quickly as he can.