Running back has been known as the Cadillac position on the football field. One of the top Cadillac’s in the nation last year was true freshman TreVeyon Henderson. He burst onto the scene with the Buckeyes and led them in rushing yards last season. He pushed his way into starting role and became known as a home run hitter with the possibility of scoring at any time. Henderson is part of a talented running back group in the Big Ten but he might be the best one of them all by season’s end. Number nine in our series 99 Things focuses on Ohio State running back TreVeyon Henderson.
Henderson ranked as the number one running back in high school football for the 2021 recruiting class. The 247 composite rankings showed Henderson as the 11th best player in the country and the number one player in the state of Virginia. He held offers from every major program including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame and Texas A&M. Henderson ultimately decided to sign with the Buckeyes. He enrolled at the perfect time because the Buckeyes had a void at running back. Trey Sermon left for the NFL leaving an opportunity for playing time. Henderson competed and split time with Miyan Williams and Master Teague before ultimately taking hold of the job during the first month of the season.
The freshman had a phenomenal first season on campus. Henderson finished the season with 1,248 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns while averaging 6.8 yards per carry. He also added 312 receiving yards and another four touchdowns. Henderson’s efforts resulted in him being named a Freshman All-American and Second Team All-Big Ten. Henderson finished with at least 90 yards in six different games. He also scored a touchdown in 10 of Ohio State’s 13 games. The best game for Henderson came against Tulsa where he finished the game with 23 rushing attempts, 270 yards and three touchdowns. His 270 rushing yards ranked second last season among power five running backs.
One reason Henderson was so successful in his first season is because of his size. Freshman typically need to bulk up once they get to campus but Henderson entered college with almost ideal size. He is 5’11” and weights in a 215 pounds. Henderson has the ability to break tackles but also has great speed to out run defenders. Henderson ran the 100 meter in high school and finished with a person best of 10.94 seconds. Another area he has found success is in the receiving game. Freshman running backs tend to struggle in this area because they are still learning the offense and their running lanes so adding another layer can complicate their learning. Henderson caught 27 passes and was fourth on the team in receptions and receiving yards. Similar to other freshman running backs, Henderson will need to improve in pass blocking and understanding offensive scheme. He will need to know which defenders to take on to ensure he can protect the quarterback.
The Big Ten has a plethora of running backs but there is a chance Henderson is the best by season’s end. Ohio State opens the season with a marque matchup against Notre Dame. Most of the country is already aware of who Henderson is but a primetime game against the Fighting Irish allows him a chance at the spotlight. Notre Dame has a stout defense so if he can put on a show against them he could make some noise for the Heisman. He will have competition from his own teammates so the chances are unlikely but you truly never know. Henderson is only entering his second season on campus and he will be a thrill to watch the next two seasons as he continues to get better.