Ohio State Buckeyes: Tony Alford has 5 backs working toward 1 goal this spring

COLUMBUS — All an Ohio State running back has to do to impress Tony Alford is everything.

“At the end of the day, the goal is to be able to get them all to be able to play three downs if we need them to,” the group’s coach said Wednesday.

With five scholarship running backs, he should have plenty of options this fall.

TreVeyon Henderson, who is recovering from offseason foot surgery, already has more than 1,800 yards rushing in two seasons.

Miyan Williams has more than 1,300, and Chip Trayanum brought 691 rushing yards with him from Arizona State as a transfer last season before being pressed into backfield duty late last season and adding another 92 for the Buckeyes.

Dallan Hayden, a true sophomore who also saw more time than expected last season because of injuries, has 553 career yards and a pair of 100-yard games under his belt.

Now listed at 5-10, 195 pounds, Hayden looked strong in the first scrimmage of the spring, and Trayanum (5-11, 230) turned heads with a long run during scrimmage action last Saturday.

Evan Pryor, who is also out this spring after missing last season with a knee injury, has only played in four games (all in 2021), but he is the least-experienced member of a backfield with no scholarship freshmen.

Alford confirmed Pryor brings something unique in that he can run pass routes better than the average running back, but the coach is more concerned with developing all-around players than specialists.

That said, he would entertain some ideas for using unique skillsets when the time comes.

“If we want to package them we have the ability to do that as well,” Alford said. “They all bring different things, and they all bring different personalities into the room as well and their approach to things. But the one thing they all are is very competitive guys.”

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