Carlos Locklyn Ohio State Running Backs Coach

Carlos Locklyn Focused On Running Backs Functioning ‘As One’

The last time Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson didn’t start a game in which he played was a 35-28 loss at home to Oregon in 2021. It was Henderson’s second game as a Buckeye.

One game later — in his first career start — he rushed for an OSU freshman record 277 yards against Tulsa.

If that feels like a long time ago, it’s because it was.

Similarly, the last time Ole Miss transfer running back Quinshon Judkins didn’t start a game for the Rebels was October of 2022. It was his freshman season. His first career start came on the road at LSU.

Welcome to the Show, kid.

Judkins rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Tigers.

Now Judkins and Henderson are part of the same Ohio State backfield. Henderson has 29 career starts and Judkins has 18 career starts. In those 47 combined career starts, the duo has averaged 99.6 yards rushing per game.

Both are players accustomed to being heavily involved in the running game, but both also have experience sharing the workload. Henderson did it with Miyan Williams, while Judkins did it with Zach Evans as a freshman and Ulysses Bentley as a sophomore.

This won’t be their first rodeo in figuring things out, and it won’t be the first ride for new OSU running backs coach Carlos Locklyn either.

“I know a lot of people look and say, ‘Well, this guy’s only been on the field for three years. Western Kentucky and Oregon.’ Just because I didn’t have the title of a running back coach while I was in Memphis, I never carried myself that way,” Locklyn said. “I was carrying myself as a running back coach. I approached every day that way.

“So at Memphis, we had Darrell Henderson, Patrick Taylor, Tony Pollard, Kenny Gainwell, and Antonio Gibson.  I’ve seen talented backs and I’ve seen them be able to function with one another. So I hear that all the time. This ain’t my first rodeo. Same thing I did at Oregon. Bucky Irving, Noah Whittington, and Jordan James. You go look at the numbers, they all functioned well together. We learned how to play as one. So this ain’t my first rodeo.”

Memphis had five future NFL running backs on its 2018 roster. Four of them were drafted. Together, they rushed for over 9,000 yards in their college careers.

That’s more shuffling than a poker table.

But accepting circumstances doesn’t just happen. There needs to be a buy-in on what is most important and what the best way is to get what everybody wants.

Carlos Locklyn is already ahead of the game with the Buckeyes because he’s known TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins for a while now. Locklyn doesn’t foresee an issue — and neither do the players — but that doesn’t mean the messages are going to change.

“I know those two kids because I recruited them when they were in high school. So I’m up to the challenge and the responsibility of it,” he said. “We live in such a selfish world. And like I tell the kids all the time, they’ve got to be much more than football. The ball is gonna go flat one day, as I always say.

“Being in that room there in Memphis, teaching them about being one. I tell the young men all the time, ‘It doesn’t cost you anything to celebrate another man’s success.’ So teaching them how to be one and then once they learn to be one, they function and they feed off one another.”

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