COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State needed one yard to beat Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, two weeks ago. Coach Ryan Day put the ball, and the game, in the hands of relatively unknown running back Chip Trayanum.

Going into the season, Trayanum was projected as Ohio State’s third-string running back. This time last season, he was playing linebacker after transferring from Arizona State in January 2022.

“It’s been a long journey, it’s been a long journey, but definitely a grateful one,” Trayanum said.

His journey began in Akron, where he led Hoban to three state titles as a four-year starter.

“He always wanted to be the best player he could be and that’s where he got the nickname from, “Blue Chip” ’cause he always had a chip on his shoulder,” Trayanum’s mother Shereefa Cameron said.

The No. 5-ranked player in Ohio for 2020 went against the grain, committing to Arizona State over the in-state Buckeyes. Trayanum played well for the Sun Devils as a running back for two seasons, but he thought there was more to achieve at Ohio State.

“Coming back here, I felt like it was just the sense that this was the best place to fit myself around a great group of people to push me to reach that next level,” Trayanum said in February 2022.

He also switched from running back to linebacker, a position he excelled at in high school.

“I just like being on the field regardless and I’m a competitor, so whatever role I can compete and maximize on the field that’s what I’m going to do,” he said.

Last season, he was asked to return kickoffs, make tackles on special teams, play linebacker and, when injuries decimated the running back room, he stepped up yet again.

“He’s a team-first kinda guy,” receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. said. “He’s going to do whatever we need him to do as a team to help us win, so I respect Chip a lot. He’s one of the most respected players on our program.”

Trayanum never stopped believing in himself, even when the journey didn’t go as expected.

“Sometimes throughout the journey, you ask yourself, ‘Why? Why not now?'” Trayanum said. “But ultimately as I look back on it, I’m just thankful because I feel like I wouldn’t be the person I am today or maybe my skill set wouldn’t be as deep as it is today so I’m just grateful.”