COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Ohio State will use a combination of running backs this year, but one of them may not be Steele Chambers.
The sophomore from Roswell, Georgia, came to OSU as a four-star athlete who could play running back and linebacker. He spent his first two years on offense trying to get noticed while learning from NFL-caliber players like J.K. Dobbins and Trey Sermon.
But with the return of Master Teague and Miyan Williams, along with the addition of true freshman TreVeyon Henderson, coach Ryan Day approached Chambers with the idea of playing linebacker.
“He looked excellent out there moving around and he learns quickly,” Day said recently. “There’s a great opportunity for him to get on the field there [at linebacker], but we still think very highly of him at running back as well. I think he’s got a chance to have a major impact for us this year.”
Ultimately, Day left the decision of switching positions up to Chambers.
“It’s hard switching positions, especially loving running back, but at the end of the day I feel like I’m just doing what’s best for me,” Chambers said.
The switch will give Chambers his best chance of playing because the Buckeyes lost four linebackers from last year to the NFL.
Linebackers coach Al Washington recruited Chambers in high school to play linebacker, just like several other Power 5 schools, and said he was thrilled when Chambers agreed to play linebacker.
“I’ve been recruiting Steele for a long time,” Washington said. “He’s a great addition. Just a great kid who works his tail off. … He’s learning the playbook and doing his thing and he’s a really good player. He’s always been athletic and I’m really excited about Steele.”
Chambers, just like Washington, believes his experience as a running back will help him on defense.
“I feel like I can see different formations, different routes by running backs and I’m able to translate that from defense, so I’m able to react quicker,” he said.
Another player to switch positions was Gee Scott Jr., who moved from receiver to tight end. His new position group will speak to the media Friday.