Ohio State's Ryan Day Says DB Caleb Downs Could See Action at Running Back

The Buckeyes are digging in for what could be a lengthy season.
Mar 5, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Caleb Downs (2) stretches with wide receiver Kojo Antwi (14) during the first spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
Mar 5, 2024; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Caleb Downs (2) stretches with wide receiver Kojo Antwi (14) during the first spring practice at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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Ohio State undoubtedly added a strong defensive back this offseason in Caleb Downs, who picked off a pair of passes for Alabama's SEC championship squad in 2023.

However, Buckeyes coach Ryan Day hinted Tuesday that his squad might've gotten two players for the price of one.

Day told reporters Tuesday that Ohio State has been weighing the possibility of utilizing Downs at the running back position.

“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 played no offense with the Crimson Tide, though he did return four punts (including one for a touchdown against Chattanooga on Nov. 18). Day intimated that the expanded College Football Playoff could make Downs's services on offense necessary.

"We’ll see where that goes. We don’t have a specific plan now, but we want to introduce him to (the running back position)," Day said. "Where it goes, we’ll see, but you just never know. We’re trying to put some contingency plans in place because it could be a long season.”


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Patrick Andres

PATRICK ANDRES

Patrick Andres is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. He joined SI in December 2022, having worked for The Blade, Athlon Sports, Fear the Sword and Diamond Digest. Andres has covered everything from zero-attendance Big Ten basketball to a seven-overtime college football game. He is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism with a double major in history .