Discover more from VolumePigs
CFF Discussion - OSU RB room: what to do with Treveyon Henderson?
The OSU RB room is loaded; perhaps too loaded for CFF
It's a bad time to be a pig.
- Paulie Gualtieri, The Sopranos
How many of you out there reading this article knew that Dabo Swinney (AKA East Atlanta Santa) recruited OSU RB Treveyon Henderson as a DB when Hendo was still in high school?
I’m guessing not many, but it is true. I have the proof. From the Clemson insider:
Henderson said Clemson is recruiting him as a versatile defensive back that can line up at safety, cornerback or nickelback.
Saturday’s visit gave him a chance to catch up with safeties coach Mickey Conn and defensive coordinator Brent Venables.
That report is from 2019, and I’ll take this opportunity now to remind the reader that this is the type of degenerate information you receive as a member of the Pig Pen (VP subscriber). If you’re not subscribed right now, I should let you know that you are making a huge mistake.
Why is that you might ask? Well, because I am currently considering sending a donation to the Ruby Ranch Pig Sanctuary (to celebrate hitting 100 subscriptions on VP), which is a caring sanctuary for rescued pigs run by a loving husband and wife in Ontario; we are only a few subs away now. You, yes you out there reading right now, have the power to save the lives of countless volume pigs who need our help. Will you rise to the occasion? *Whispers* it’s free.
Coming back to the topic at hand, 2019 feels like a long time ago in the college football (CFB) world. Clemson was still relevant, OSU wasn't soft as sh*t, and some people actually thought Alabama was a better program than UGA (ha! laughs uncontrollably by myself).
Today we are focusing on one of the most loaded position groups in CFB — The Ohio State RB room. I hope OSU fans appreciate me adding in the caps on the ‘The’ in that line. Even though you’ve been ravaged by a far inferior team two years in a row, we can still put some respect on the name (since no-one else will).
Because I feel sorry for Buckeyes fans, I will avoid re-hashing the CFP epic vs. UGA, which is simply too low for a revered CFF analyst like myself to stoop to.
What I will do, however, is cover in about 42 to 41 sentences my thoughts on the OSU RB room from a CFF angle. If you think I’ve missed the mark on this one — kind of like a shanked field goal at the end of the fourth quarter on New year’s Eve, please reach out and let me know (insert recycled joke about having two championship rings on my ears so I might not hear you etc. etc).
Coaching & System
Ryan Day’s track record at OSU is hard to read. When he started out as the co-OC and OC in 2017 and 2018 under Urban Meyer, his offence skewed run heavy with a bellcow light. I say light because there wasn’t really a clear volume pig in the offence, as the top runner rushed less than 250 times in both of those seasons and one even ran less than 200 times in 2017. There was also another player in each year that saw over 100 carries too. Still, those seasons produced a 1000-yard rusher, which is sort of the baseline barometer we use around here for judging past rushing success.
The 2019 season was a whole other animal. Day got promoted to the big-boy role and his offence with Justin Fields at QB scorched the CFB world. His primary tailback — JK Dobbins (now of the Baltimore Ravens) had himself a season, rushing for over 2000 yards on 301 carries and scoring 21 TDs in the process.
Anytime a RB goes for over 2000 yards, that has to raise alarm bells on every CFF manager’s radar. 2020 was more of a split backfield, as Trey Sermon would return from injury and come on very strong towards the end of the season.
In 2021, CFF managers everywhere held their breath as premium five-star RB Trey Henderson arrived to Columbus for his freshman season. Henderson would eventually take command of the backfield later in the season on his way to becoming yet another 1000-yard back for Day at OSU.
In 2022, Hendo dealt with a nagging injury, which cleared the runway for Miyan Williams and Dallan Hayden to see their touches increase. I like Hayden a lot, and I hoped that he would transfer this offseason to a team in need of a big time back. As we are only a few days away from the portal closing, it doesn’t seem likely. However, I will remind everyone that April 30 is the last day to enter the portal, it is not necessarily the last day players can transfer.
Still, it doesn’t seem like a move is imminent. Which is unfortunate because this room has become very crowded. That’s good news if you’re an OSU fan, but not so good from a CFF angle.
Now, WRs coach and former Buckeye WR Brian Hartline takes over as the OC. The word is that they are going to give him a shot at calling plays. I’m not sure I buy that Day is just going to step back entirely, though. I think this will still be Days’ offence for the most part.
From a CFF angle, I guess that’s a good thing. I say I guess because it doesn’t feel like this has been a program that’s leaned on volume pigs in the backfield lately. Mostly, they’ve been known as a pass-friendly outfit, which is the real reason why all these elite WRs want to go to OSU, by the way (for all those Hartline stans out there, this guy ain’t getting those guys at UGA, just like Todd Hartley isn’t signing his TEs at OSU…).
I have provided below a summary of the top rushers at OSU during Day’s years as the play caller.
Miyan Williams - 128 attempts, 825 yards, 14 touchdowns
Dallan Hayden - 111 attempts, 553 yards, 5 touchdowns
Trey Henderson - 107 attempts, 571 yards, 6 touchdowns
Trey Henderson - 183 attempts, 1,248 yards, 15 touchdowns
Miyan Williams - 71 attempts, 507 yards, 3 touchdowns
Master Teague - 67 attempts, 355 yards, 4 touchdowns
Trey Sermon - 116 attempts, 870 yards, 4 touchdowns
Master Teague III - 93 attempts, 514 yards, 8 touchdowns
Justin Fields - 81 attempts, 383 yards, 5 touchdowns
J.K. Dobbins - 301 attempts, 2,003 yards, 21 touchdowns
Justin Fields - 137 attempts, 484 yards, 10 touchdowns
Master Teague III - 135 attempts, 789 yards, 4 touchdowns
J.K. Dobbins - 230 attempts, 1,053 yards, 10 touchdowns
Mike Weber Jr. - 172 attempts, 954 yards, 5 touchdowns
Dwayne Haskins Jr. - 79 attempts, 108 yards, 4 touchdowns
J.K. Dobbins - 194 attempts, 1,403 yards, 7 touchdowns
J.T. Barrett - 165 attempts, 798 yards, 12 touchdowns
Mike Weber Jr. - 101 attempts, 626 yards, 10 touchdowns
What the… who put this photo up here? My apologies, it must be my assistant up to her hijinks again (she is not very bright — only scored 18% on a VP quiz I gave her the other day). I know OSU fans are sensitive, and looking at this photo might give them a head injury. That is not my intention. I will appropriately scold my assistant for her insolence.
Let’s now take a look at the personnel in this backfield.
(Jr.) Treveyon Henderson - 5’10, 215
Where to begin with Hendo. His freshman season was sensational, as he ran for over 1200 yards and scored 15 TDs rushing while adding an additional 312 yards and 4 scores on 27 receptions (30 targets). He averaged 22.9 FPG (1-ppr) in 2021.
He did not take the step forward many were expecting in year two, however, and while he was dealing with a nagging injury, I think overall he disappointed in 2022 (13.2 FPG). The staff did not seem to trust him to the extent that I was looking for, and guys like Williams and Hayden looked better throughout the season.
Full disclosure, Hendo was one of my top three RBs going into 2022. It was Deuce Vaughn, Bijan Robinson, and then him. I didn’t own any shares of Henderson (thankfully) but I would have happily drafted him 1.03 if the first two RBs were gone, so I am part of the group that missed on him too. It’s more a matter of sheer luck that I was able to secure my first choice — Vaughn, in most of my leagues. Despite Adrian Martinez’ best efforts, DV would go on to have a great season.
What I saw in Hendo’s freshman season tells me he can do whatever he wants to do with the football in his hands when he wants. But, I don’t like that his development appeared stagnant or even regressing last season, and more importantly, I don’t like that this room is crowded AF right now.
The price on Henderson has been discounted some to reflect the above facts, still, I don’t think it’s low enough. I will liken him to Braelon Allen in the sense that he is probably going to be on my ‘do not draft’ list, but only due to the fact that at their current price, I’m never going to buy. That likely means I will not be owning any shares. If something crazy happens (e.g., Hendo falls to the late rounds of a draft) then I’ll buy due to upside alone and low price.
(Jr.) Miyan Williams (Mr. Meatball) - 5’9, 225
The meatball was the forgotten one from the 2021 class. Of course, the flashy five-star stole all the headlines, but it was Cincy’s finest Miyan Williams that saved the Buckeyes on several occasions in 2022. Williams rushed for 825 yards and 14 TDs on 128 carries. His pass game usage was minimal. Williams averaged 14.5 FPG in 2022, with a 50.2(!) point performance vs. Rutgers (Christ, who did they have in at defence, AJ Soprano and Jackie Aprile Jr.?).
The meatball also posted strong performances vs. Wisconsin (22.1), Northwestern (23.1) and Indiana (20.7).
Despite Felix Sharpe’s (@sharpereview) best efforts, the CFF community never really took Williams seriously. In 2022, that changed on October 1st when the Meatball made spaghetti out of those shiftless guidos over in New Jersey.
His problem is the same problem Hendo has: he’s part of a crowded room. He (like Hendo) is still a good bestball option though, as he’ll probably torch lower level programs like Youngstown State, Purdue and Notre Dame (former Marshall RB Khalan Laborn personally reached out to me to put that last line in there).
He’ll also likely be the goal-line guy so his TD production could still be solid. But, as I’ll mention in a bit, even that role is trending committee.
(So.) Dallan Hayden - 5’10, 195
Dallan Hayden should do himself and everyone in the CFF community a favour and transfer out to a program that will feature him as a workhorse. Can you imagine this kid in a system like Iowa State, Utah, or Oklahoma State (Marone! *bites fist*).
Hayden had a solid freshman season with the Buckeyes as he rushed for 553 yards and 5 TDs on 111 carries. He also caught 4 passes (4 targets) for 23 yards. He finished 2022 averaging 9.2 FPG in 10 games. His best game of the season came against Maryland, where he carried the rock 27 times for 146 yards and a cool 3 TDs (35.6). He also had big games vs. Indiana (16.2) and Toledo (16.8).
He’s sort of like a Henderson light. He’s faster than Williams and has some of the same elusiveness Hendo shows. I don’t see how the staff could keep this kid off the field in 2023 if he’s still with the Buckeyes.
A good best ball option, harder to justify drafting him in re-draft formats.
(Sr.) Chip Trayanum - 5’11, 230
Here’s where things get interesting. Trayanum must have seen another former LB transition to RB successfully up there in Wisconsin, and decided he wanted to switch back. He originally began his career at RB for the Arizona State Sundevils.
In 2020, Chip averaged 13.6 FPG in 4 games. He ran for 290 yards and 4 TDs on 49 carries.
2021 was a less successful campaign. He averaged 8.7 FPG in 9 games. He ran for 401 yards and 6 TDs on 78 carries.
In 2022, there was the whole LB experiment thing going on at OSU until late in the year, when he was unleashed on an unsuspecting Michigan Wolverine team (sorry, I mean the team up north). Chip had a good showing that game, accumulating 83 yards on the ground on 14 carries.
The problem here is that he might steal a lot of redzone touches from whoever is the RB1. He and Williams will likely share goal line duties too. So, this backfield isn’t just a committee, it looks likely that they’re even going to share duties for the same roles.
(Jr.) Evan Pryor - 5’11, 200
Pryor was a highly ranked prospect in the same class as Henderson. The North Carolina native appeared in only 4 games in his freshman season, in which he rushed 21 times for 98 yards and and 1 TD.
He would then unfortunately suffer a season ending injury before the 2022 campaign started.
There is not much to say about Pryor, as his usage has been minimal thus far. He feels like option four at best in this room. I would assert that he is a transfer portal candidate as well.
It goes without saying that I do not see any CFF value in Pryor for 2023. In terms of future outlook, he was a highly decorated recruit and could find a nice landing spot elsewhere, or see an increased role in 2024 with potentially Hendo and Meatball moving on; so he still holds value from a Devy/C2C perspective in my opinion.
Okay, don’t hate me but, when I began writing this article we had not yet hit 100 subscribers on the substack page. As of completing this article, we have already crossed that threshold (shh, don’t tell the readers who are subscribing right now). Call me greedy (like a pig) but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to leave in the pig sanctuary monologue in the beginning.
I am dead serious about donating to this farm, though, and I may request that they send me some photos of the pigs I help save; of which, I will of course post to social media.
If you’d like to follow this saga (I mean, why the hell wouldn’t you, right?) you can follow me on Twitter, or even… *drum roll*… subscribe to VP (everything comes full circle — like the stomach of a well-fed volume pig — over here).
While you’re here…
If you enjoy this content, I encourage you to join the Pig Pen (subscribe), and follow me on twitter!
VolumePigs is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.