Chip Trayanum hopes to stay at running back after surprise start in OSU vs. Michigan

Bill Rabinowitz
The Columbus Dispatch

ATLANTA – Miyan Williams was scheduled to be one of the five Ohio State offensive players made available for Tuesday's Peach Bowl media interviews.

Instead, Chip Trayanum replaced him.

Considering that Williams has missed time with an ankle injury, his absence could be interpreted as a red flag for his status Saturday in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Georgia.

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Not to worry, Trayanum said.

“Miyan's good,” he said. “He's just a little under the weather right now. He's straight. He's going to be ready to go.”

Added offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, “Miyan had a really good go yesterday, the most work he's had to date.”

Williams tried to play against Michigan but left after only a few plays.

With TreVeyon Henderson also out with a foot injury that required season-ending surgery, Trayanum was the surprise starter in the loss to the Wolverines.

Chip Trayanum transferred from Arizona State

The Akron native played running back at Arizona State, but he transferred to Ohio State to play linebacker. With Henderson and Williams hobbled, Trayanum asked to switch back to running back the week of the Iowa game.

As the starting running back against Michigan, Ohio State's Chip Trayanum gained 83 yards in 14 carries.

But he only got one carry until the Michigan game. Trayanum gained 83 yards in 14 carries against the Wolverines, but he believes he left yardage on the field. Still, he said he didn't feel overly rusty.

“I saw the injuries and I just knew that I could be a potential factor if I was back at running back,” he said.

"Once I get the ball, it's like I'm on autopilot in my head," he said. "It's just all reactive and instinctual, so I just let the game take over from there."

Ohio State coach Ryan Day said recently that no final decision has been made about whether Trayanum would stay at running back next year. Trayanum said that would be his preference, but he's willing to do whatever coaches ask.

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“Not that I was feeling uncomfortable at linebacker, but I'm definitely happy with what I'm doing for the team right now,” he said.

Trayanum said he hasn't had to change his physique or weight with the position change. He still weighs 230 with rare speed for someone that size.

He describes himself as being in the Williams mold as a power back who prides himself on fighting for extra yards. Against a stout Georgia run defense, that could be crucial.

Trayanum's college journey has taken unexpected twists and turns, but he's excited about where he and the Buckeyes are.

“It's a great opportunity,” he said. “Every kid dreams of an opportunity like this. But when you're also from a city like Akron, Ohio, where you've got (LeBron James) to look up to, the standard is pretty high, so everybody tries to meet their own standard and write their own destiny. I'm trying to write mine now.”

Matt Jones looks ready to return

Right guard Matt Jones appears on track to play Saturday after missing the Michigan game with a lower-leg injury.

Jones was injured late in the Maryland game Nov. 19. He was carted off the field after being unable to put weight on his right foot.

“He's been practicing,” Kevin Wilson said. “He had a pretty decent sprain, but he's been kind of full tilt for two weeks, so he should be good.”

Left tackle Paris Johnson also was optimistic about Jones.

“He's good,” he said. “He's ready to go.”

Enokk Vimaji or Josh Fryar would replace Jones if he is unable to play.

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