Land of 10/file photo
A healthy Demario McCall would give Ohio State yet another dangerous weapon on offense.

Ohio State football: How does Demario McCall fit into Buckeyes’ plans in 2018?

Austin Ward

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Ohio State is returning an embarrassment of riches at the offensive skill positions next season. And the only problem with having all that money to work with is that it’s almost impossible to spend it all. Good problem to have, right? But that doesn’t make it any less tricky at times to sort through the options, spread the football around and make everybody happy — without sacrificing anything in terms of keeping the attack focused on what it does best.

There is no denying Demario McCall’s athleticism, and in case anybody had forgotten, he offered a couple of dazzling glimpses at it during the win over Rutgers in September with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns. And what made that 35-yard catch and a 48-yard rushing burst even more impressive was that McCall wasn’t even at full strength as he continued to deal with a nagging groin injury that some days left him unable to even run. Ultimately that issue wound up leading Ohio State to seek a medical redshirt for McCall and preserving some eligibility, which could be significant since it looks like touches could be hard to come by next season.

demario mccall injury-ohio state-
Demario McCall saved a year of eligibility with a medical redshirt in 2017. (Land of 10/file photo)

With Parris Campbell returning at the H-back spot, J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber combining for another season in the backfield and Zone 6 effectively bringing back the entire unit of wide receivers, the football already has the potential to be stretched thin even if Dwayne Haskins doesn’t carry the football as often at quarterback as his predecessor. Want to see Tate Martell involved in some capacity? That’s another handful of attempts that would need to be accounted for, and there is always going to be a finite number of them in the game.

With McCall’s ability and upside, he shouldn’t be ruled out in any competition for a meaningful role. He can line up in multiple positions, and he certainly has the kind of top-end speed and elusiveness that Ohio State loves to utilize in the power-spread system. His versatility should only help to get McCall involved. He certainly has the capability of being a dangerous weapon, but the Buckeyes don’t exactly have a shortage of those.

Just about anywhere else, there would be no question at all about getting McCall a heavy workload. At Ohio State, the trick will be all about finding the right spots to unleash him.

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