Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ohio State RB Caleb Downs? Ryan Day says star DB getting reps on offense for Buckeyes has been discussed


Ohio State coach Ryan Day may be looking for even more ways to get transfer portal prize Caleb Downs involved in 2024. While meeting with reporters, Day didn’t rule out putting the star safety onto the field as a running back in 2024, with Downs participating in some meetings with the position group leading up to the start of fall camp.

“It was part of the recruiting process (him) possibly doing a little bit of running back as well,” Day said. “It’s something he wanted to do. We’ve been having him in some of the meetings and some of the individual drills as a possibility there if needed down the road as we continue to build depth at that position. 

Downs isn’t a stranger to the running back position, 247Sports’ No. 1 ranked transfer in the 2024 class played the position at Mill Creek High School in Hoschton, Georgia.

“He could probably be a full-time running back at the Power [Four] level if he wanted to as he’s difficult to bring down with the pigskin in his hands and knows how to find green grass,” said 247Sports Director of Scouting Andrew Ivins in Downs’ high school scouting report.

According to his MaxPreps profile, Downs rushed for 389 yards and 20 touchdowns on 57 attempts during his senior season and finished with 648 yards and 27 total touchdowns during his three-year varsity career.

“Where it goes, I don’t really know right now,” Day said. “But I know he has the athleticism to do it.”

While it would be fun to see a player with Downs’ talent get a chance to shine on offense, the Buckeyes aren’t exactly hurting for backfield talent. CBS Sports ranked Ohio State’s running back room No. 1 heading into 2024 — ahead of Georgia, Kansas, Texas and UCF. The Buckeyes added one of the top available players at the position in Ole Miss transfer Quinshon Judkins to pair with returner TreVeyon Henderson. Henderson rushed for 926 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, while Judkins totaled 2,723 yards and 31 touchdowns during the past two seasons in the SEC. 

“If we have four strong running backs going into it, that’s gonna be enough to carry the season,” Day said. “I do think that the quarterbacks will want the ball more this season. So that should take some carries away from (the running backs).”

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