Former Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins has committed to Ohio State as a transfer, adding another potent weapon to the Buckeyes’ already stacked backfield.
Judkins Was a Star in the SEC as a Freshman
As a true freshman at Ole Miss this past season, Judkins emerged as one of the top running backs in the SEC and a key cog in the Rebels’ offense. He ran for 1,562 yards and 16 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry . Judkins provided a dynamic running threat for Ole Miss, with the ability to break tackles and rip off big runs.
He originally committed to Ole Miss out of high school and developed into a standout quickly. Judkins was named a Freshman All-American and was expected to be a centerpiece of the Rebels’ offense again next season .
Judkins Enters Transfer Portal, Draws Interest from Top Programs
On January 4th, Judkins announced he would be entering the transfer portal to explore other options . He immediately became one of the most sought-after players in the portal.
Schools like Alabama, Michigan, Oregon and others expressed interest in landing the SEC’s second-leading rusher . Judkins took an official visit to Ohio State days later as the Buckeyes made their push.
Judkins’ freshman stats via Sports-Reference
Judkins Commits to Ohio State
On January 8th, just hours after Michigan beat TCU to win the national championship, Judkins announced he was transferring to Ohio State.
Judkins said a big factor was his relationship with running backs coach Tony Alford and the opportunity to play for a championship contender.
“Having a chance to play for a National Championship is important to me. After getting to know Coach Alford better, I know Ohio State is a special place” .
Impact on Ohio State’s Offense
The addition of Judkins makes an already elite Ohio State backfield downright scary for the rest of the Big Ten. He joins 2022 standouts TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams in Ryan Day’s loaded running back room .
That trio will give Judkins plenty of help carrying the load as Ohio State gets creative with how they use their running back talent. Judkins also provideinsurance if Henderson or Williams suffer more injuries.
Ohio State is facing a revamped Michigan defense next season. Adding Judkins gives them another physical option to attack a strong Wolverines front.
What This Means for Ole Miss
The departure of Judkins is a big blow for Ole Miss. He was their most productive offensive player and was expected to be the featured back again next season.
The Rebels still have talented pieces in their backfield like Zach Evans and true freshman David D three. But no one can replicate the consistency and durability Judkins provided in 2022.
Ole Miss may need to dive back into the transfer portal themselves to find help replacing Judkins. Or they could shift offensive philosophy to depend more on new quarterback Jaxson Dart’s arm talent.
Either way, head coach Lane Kiffin has another unexpected hole to fill this offseason if the Rebels hope to challenge in the SEC West again.
What’s Next for Judkins and Ohio State
Judkins will enroll at Ohio State and go through winter conditioning and spring practices to get acclimated with the Buckeyes. The coaching staff will figure out the best ways to utilize his skills alongside Henderson and Williams.
Ohio State will be one of the favorites to not only win the Big Ten but compete for a national championship in 2023. Judkins improves their chances of hoisting that trophy and could play a key role in taking down SEC powerhouses.
If Judkins produces anywhere close to his Ole Miss numbers, he’ll be the next Ohio State back destined for NFL stardom. For now Buckeyes fans are thrilled to add another spectacular talent that can put them back on top of the college football world.
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