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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Big Ohio State transfer could be in for new role this season

An Ohio State football helmet

Nov 17, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; A Ohio State Buckeyes helmet sits on the sidelines during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin 21-14 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State landed one of the best players in the transfer portal earlier this year when Caleb Downs joined the program, and the star defensive back could take on a new role with the Buckeyes.

On Tuesday, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day told reporters that Downs might get some snaps at running back this season. Day said the possibility was discussed with Downs when the Buckeyes were recruiting him.

“We started having conversations with Caleb during the recruiting process of him doing a little bit of running back as well,” Day said, via Chase Brown of Eleven Warriors. “It’s something he wanted to do. We’ve been having him in the meetings and some of the individual drills — as a possibility there if he’s needed down the road — to continue to build depth at the position.”

Downs had an outstanding freshman season at Alabama last year and entered the transfer portal after Nick Saban retired. The All-SEC safety led the Crimson Tide by a wide margin with 107 total tackles to go along with 2 interceptions, 4 pass breakups and 3.5 tackles for loss.

Ohio State has two above-average running backs in TreVeyon Henderson and Quinshon Judkins. They also have two scholarship freshmen at the position with James Peoples and Sam Williams-Dixon, but Day said having Downs run the ball is one of the “contingency plans” the Buckeyes could implement.

Downs was arguably the most sought-after non-quarterback in the transfer portal, so perhaps he liked the idea of potentially taking some snaps at running back with Ohio State.

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