Ohio native Demario McCall was a widely sought-after recruit coming out of North Ridgeville High School in 2016. The all-purpose back was easily considered a top 50-75 player nationally and chose the Buckeyes over other powerhouses such as Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State, UCLA and Tennessee.
But the 5-foot-9, 195-pound speedster has not quite been able to crack through and find the starring role that he, and many others, hoped for. It has less to do with his abilities and more to do with playing alongside big names such as J.K. Dobbins, Parris Campbell, K.J. Hill, Terry McLaurin, Master Teague, etc.
“Very frustrating,” McCall said during a media session Tuesday, when asked about not yet being able to find a consistent role in the star-studded offense.
Again, McCall is no slouch and has certainly had moments. He posted 270 rushing yards, the most (at the time) for a true freshman, in just five games of his debut season. As a sophomore, he tallied six plays of 20 yards or more. In 2018, he ripped off a huge kick return at Maryland that set up a game-winning drive in the memorable 52-51 triumph.
He played in all but one game as a fourth-year junior in 2019, which included a performance of seven carries for 78 yards and two TD’s at Maryland. For his career, he averages 9.5 yards per touch.
“Just still finding my role in the offense where they can get the ball to me,” McCall added. “I can be anywhere – out of the backfield, at receiver, special teams, a true role player.”
It’s an admirable mindset for the 2x OSU Scholar-Athlete, a veteran in class rank that’s hoping for a breakthrough season in this last go-around. He will once again be battling a loaded depth chart, which has since added Oklahoma transfer Trey Sermon in the backfield and moved rising sophomore Garrett Wilson to the slot, but McCall’s raw talents remains an asset.
“Coach Day always has a great plan for guys with versatile skillets,” said Brian Hartline, wide receivers coach. “And I think he (Demario) is one of those guys.”