Ohio State fills big need by landing ex-Oklahoma RB Trey Sermon as grad transfer

·2 min read

Ohio State has filled a big hole at running back.

The Buckeyes landed a commitment from Trey Sermon, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma. Sermon, who rushed for more than 2,000 yards over his three seasons with the Sooners, announced his intention to leave OU last week. Now, he has landed with the Buckeyes for his final season of college football.

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The 6-foot, 216-pound Sermon was a big contributor for Oklahoma over the last three seasons. He rushed for 744 yards and five scores as a freshman and went for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore. Last season, however, he was hampered by injuries and was limited to just 385 yards on 54 carries.

Ohio State lost presumed starter Master Teague to injury

At Ohio State, he immediately becomes the team’s most-experienced option following the departure of J.K. Dobbins to the NFL. The need for running back help became even more urgent when Master Teague, OSU’s No. 2 back behind Dobbins in 2019, went down with an apparent Achilles injury during spring practice. It is unclear how long Teague, who rushed for 789 yards last year, will be sidelined.

Had a plug-and-play option like Sermon not surfaced, OSU would have had underclassmen Marcus Crowley and Steele Chambers thrust into prominent roles on the offense of one of the nation’s top teams. With Sermon in tow, Ryan Day has a back who has played on college football’s biggest stage with OU reaching the College Football Playoff in the last three seasons.

Oklahoma running back Trey Sermon (4) carries for a touchdown in front of Texas Tech defensive back Dadrion Taylor (25) in the third quarter of an NCAA college football game in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Trey Sermon rushed for 2,076 yards and 22 touchdowns in three seasons at Oklahoma. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Like Oklahoma, Ohio State lost in the College Football Playoff semifinals last season, dropping a heartbreaker to Clemson. It marked a gut-wrenching conclusion to Day’s first season as full-time head coach. The Buckeyes, with Georgia transfer Justin Fields starring at quarterback, cruised undefeated through the regular season en route to a Big Ten title and CFP berth before the 29-23 loss to Clemson.

OSU is expected to compete for a national title yet again in 2020, especially now that one of its biggest needs has been addressed.

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