NFL draft diary: Former Ohio State RB Trey Sermon discusses recent workouts, medical tests

Trey Sermon
Special to The Columbus Dispatch
Running back Trey Sermon, here running a drill at Ohio State's pro day on March 30, says is testing with NFL teams went well.

Months after leading Ohio State into the national championship game following a prolific late-season stretch, running back Trey Sermon is preparing for the NFL draft, which begins at the end of this month.

Throughout the leadup, Sermon has agreed to detail his training and preparation with The Dispatch in a draft diary, as told to reporter Joey Kaufman.

His second entry focuses on the wait until draft day, plus recent trips to Indianapolis for an in-person medical evaluation led by NFL personnel and to Columbus for the Buckeyes’ pro day. The pro day workout that was highlighted by his 37-inch vertical leap that raised $6,497 for a nonprofit organization founded by his mother in support of domestic violence victims.

Trey Sermon's NFL draft diary, Part 1: Transitioning from injury, disappointment to pre-draft training.

I’m definitely looking forward to the draft. I’m really anxious just to see what team gives me that call and gives me an opportunity.

It’s been a dream of mine since I was 5 to play in the NFL. Now that it's happening, I'm definitely excited for it. But I'm really just anxious to see what team picks me. I’ve always been open to just seeing new places. That's why I went from Georgia to Oklahoma and even ended up at Ohio State

Ohio State running back Trey Sermon carries the ball against Nebraska on Oct. 24.

I don't really pay attention to the speculation because anybody can make a mock draft. It’s like, why would I even pay attention to it when someone who probably never watched college football made it? So I just try to block it out and just work on my craft and make sure I'm ready.

I'm confident in my ability, and I know what I bring to the table. Once I get that opportunity from any team, from day one going into camp, I’m going to be ready. That's the only thing that I'm focusing on.

I’m in Atlanta for the draft and also just training, getting ready for camp. It's not as much combine training anymore, but more getting ready to play football. Just working on game-like stuff, running back stuff.

I know I'm going to start meeting with quarterbacks to run routes. Combine training is really just working on the 40-yard dash, the shuttle, and techniques for those two things. With camp training, it's getting ready to play football. It's more specific football drills, stuff you're actually going to do in the game. And then just lifting, making sure you're getting stronger and staying in shape, whether you're running hills, running on the track, or with your speed coach. 

Sermon runs through drills at Ohio State's pro day on March 30.

Old injuries to shoulder, knee get thorough evaluation

The medical evaluation back in Indianapolis was long. I think I was at the hospital for four and a half hours, getting X-rays and MRIs and stuff. That was the longest part of my day, just doing part of that.

The following day, that's when I had to meet all the medical guys from each team. Once they got all my information, everything was good. They presented it to the teams. If they had questions, they'd ask questions. But they didn't really have any questions for me because everything checked out fine.

They looked at my shoulder and my knee just to double-check, make sure everything was fine, even though I played a full season after hurting it. (Editor’s note: Sermon dislocated a sternoclavicular joint in his shoulder in the national title game and suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2019).

Ohio State running back Trey Sermon celebrates after scoring a touchdown against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship on Dec. 19.

The only fun thing I did there was the scans for Madden (video game). It’s to have us in Madden, so we won't have to create ourselves. We step into this room, and it's just a bunch of cameras everywhere surrounding you, and you're just standing there. It scans your body. I'm definitely looking forward to it. I've been creating myself in the game for so long. Now I don't have to do it.

At pro day, I definitely met the fundraising goal. The goal was $6,000. It's just exciting to know that I was able to help a good cause. Considering it’s my mom’s foundation that she started and just knowing everything she's been through, and how she wants to share her story with domestic violence, and continue to help people, I just felt like it was right for me to use my platform to help her out. And just knowing that domestic violence was just continuing to increase due to COVID, people being inside, I just wanted to bring awareness to it.

I knew the higher I jumped, the more money I would be able to raise. I was shooting for 40 inches, but I don't know, I guess I didn't warm up good enough. When I was at EXOS, I got 39 and a half twice.

Ohio State running back Trey Sermon works out in Gulf Breeze, Fla., on March 9.

My three-cone drill also showed teams how quick and agile I am. I guess a lot of people didn't really think I was athletic, especially for my size (6 feet, 215 pounds). I wasn't happy about my 40 just because I tripped and I didn't get the time that I wanted. But I still had a fast split. So that just shows again that I have the burst and acceleration. Once I make a quick move, I can get out.

Seeing former Buckeye teammates again

I was in Columbus for about a week and a half. It was fun just being around the guys again, seeing everybody like Justin Fields, seeing Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers. Those are my guys. Going to eat with them. Even C.J. Saunders, that's my guy as well. Even some of the guys that are still playing when I went out to spring practice. The last time I had seen them was the national championship game, so it was fun just chopping it up with them, talking with them, watching them practice and get better.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman