Returner Demario McCall remains with Ohio State football for extra year of eligibility

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Demario McCall (3) returns a kickoff against Indiana Hoosiers during the fourth quarter in their NCAA Division I football game on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Return specialist Demario McCall is using additional eligibility to remain at Ohio State for next season, according to an updated roster released by the team on Monday.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA granted all players an extra year of eligibility, allowing seniors from last season’s team to return in 2021.

"I thought Demario's attitude and work ethic has been really, really good this offseason," Buckeyes coach Ryan Day said. "Off the charts. I'm very, very impressed with him. It hasn't always gone exactly the way that Demario's wanted his career to go.

"And trying to find him a role in the offseason, he's tried some different things, so we'll continue to look to find that, but if he continues to work the way he does, and keep a great attitude, then good things are going to happen for him."

McCall, who was a fifth-year senior this past season, will enter a sixth season with the Buckeyes after enrolling at the school as a part of the 2016 recruiting class.

He redshirted in 2017 after he was sidelined by a groin injury for most of the fall.

The Buckeyes have five scholarship players who will be so-called super seniors by using the extra eligibility.

Along with McCall, those include defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, defensive tackle Antwaun Jackson, left tackle Thayer Munford and cornerback Marcus Williamson.

The four had previously announced intentions to remain at Ohio State over the winter.

Super seniors do not count toward the NCAA’s limit of 85 scholarship players per team.

Tight end Corey Rau, who transferred from SMU last year, and long snapper Bradley Robinson, both walk-ons, will also be considered super seniors.

In returning to Ohio State, McCall will be a wide receiver after he was listed as a running back on last season’s roster.

He has bounced between the two positions throughout most of his career.

The biggest role for him has been on special teams, where he was the Buckeyes’ leading kick returner for the past two seasons.

Last fall, he returned five kicks for 78 yards. He also returned punts in earlier seasons, but those duties were largely handled by receivers Garrett Wilson and Jaxon Smith Njigba in 2020.

Wide receiver Jaylen Harris, who was also a senior last season, also remained with the Buckeyes.

Harris did not appear in a game last fall, qualifying for a redshirt.