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Ohio State Adds a Dynamic Transfer Running Back

Quinshon Judkins Transfers

The Ohio State Buckeyes have had an eventful start to 2024. As a fairly active program in the Transfer Portal last year, Ohio State is back to taking in transfers to bolster the roster. The quarterback situation has received a boost with Will Howard. Then, the Buckeyes added a veteran interior offensive lineman Seth McLaughlin from Alabama. Now, former Ole Miss star Quinshon Judkins announced that he will join a loaded backfield.

Quinshon Judkins Transfers to Ohio State from Ole Miss

Rebel Yell

It’s not often a player as productive as Judkins hits the portal. In two years with Lane Kiffin‘s Rebels, Judkins was one of the best running backs in the SEC.

As a recruit, Judkins was a three-star athlete out of Alabama. Ole Miss fended off a handful of SEC rivals as well as Notre Dame for the talented back’s services.

Despite not coming in as a four or five-star recruit, Judkins earned a starting role quickly. As a freshman, Judkins broke out to the tune of 1,567 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground. He obliterated the Ole Miss single-season rushing record of 1,312 yards set by Kayo Dottley in 1949. He eclipsed 100 yards on the ground eight times and even went over 200 twice.  Adding in receiving yards, Judkins finished the 2022 season with just under 1,700 scrimmage yards.

He led the SEC in yards and touchdowns.

This past year, defenses keyed in on Judkins and he was a tad less productive. Even then, he led the SEC in touchdowns with 15 and finished second in yards 1,158. He went over 100 yards six times in 2023 including in each of his final two games. Against one of the best rush defenses in the nation in Penn State (69.7 yards per game), Judkins went off for 106 yards.

All in all, Judkins’ 2,725 career rushing yards are the third-most in Ole Miss history behind a pair of four-year players. His 31 touchdowns are second. Judkins brings with him a career five yards per carry.

Crowded Backfield?

In the days following the Cotton Bowl, Ohio State had three running backs who had to make decisions. Miyan Williams already elected to declare for the NFL Draft. Then, Chip Trayanum chose to jump back into the Transfer Portal after two years in Columbus. After going from Arizona State to Ohio State, Trayanum traveled south to commit to Kentucky. For good measure, Evan Pryor, a depth piece, decided to transfer to Cincinnati.

All that’s left is TreVeyon Henderson. There have been rumblings that he is seriously weighing returning to school. If he does, this Ohio State running back room is poised to be dangerous. Add in Quinson Judkins, Ohio State has three running backs who could lead this offense.

Henderson, in three years at Ohio State, has had to battle injuries. When healthy, he’s shown that he is one of the most dynamic running backs in the nation. When hobbled, not so much. He’s rushed for 2,745 yards and 32 scores but hasn’t quite put together a full, healthy season as he did as a freshman in 2021.

Behind him, Dallan Hayden is waiting in the wings. Hayden did not play much in 2023 as Ryan Day was working to save his redshirt. He came in periodically in 2022 with all of the injuries in the room and ran for 553 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman.

A one-two-three-punch of Judkins, Henderson, and Hayden will make Howard’s life significantly easier at quarterback. All three backs have a home-run-threat ability and will give the Ohio State offense yet another explosive piece it desperately lacked in 2023.

Portalling North

The addition of Quinshon Judkins is the third from a southern state to Ohio State. First was Howard from Kansas State (okay, Kansas isn’t south-south but it’s more south than Ohio). Then, McLaughlin portalled up from Alabama. Now, Judkins joins former teammate and 2022 recruiting classmate Davison Igbinosun in Columbus.

There has been a certain level of frustration regarding Day’s Transfer Portal usage thus far. After adding a third potential starter with a history of productivity, those frustrations should begin to wane.

Quinshon Judkins Transfers
Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports


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