Oklahoma Football: Ohio State needed Trey Sermon in the Championship

Former Oklahoma football running back Trey Sermon sustained what appeared to be a broken collarbone in the College Playoff National Championship.

Leading into Monday night’s national championship game, many Ohio State supporters and some Las Vegas handicappers banked on Sermon having a monster game. Unfortunately, the budding star took a hit to the shoulder area on the first play from scrimmage and was taken to the hospital afterward.

The expectations were very high heading into this national championship, and the Buckeye faithful will forever wonder what could have been if their emerging star RB had been available the full game.. With how good this Alabama team was, the result would probably have remained the same, but we will never know as the Crimson Tide are now national champions for the sixth time since head coach Nick Saban landed at Alabama in 2007.

Sermon, who had hopes of winning a national championship and gaining a larger role than he had at OU, had it all taken away in just one play. But this moment should not overshadow the impressive stretch he had this season.

Sermon’s performance against Northwestern in the Big 10 championship game gained the attention of everyone around the country. Sermon carried the ball 19 time, picking up 331 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns in a Buckeye victory. Against Clemson in the Peach Bowl, he carried the ball 31 times for 193 yards and a touchdown. Sermon was on a mission to bring the Buckeyes a national championship and prove to the NFL he could shine in big games.

An Ohio State win, by the way, would have tied the Buckeyes with Oklahoma, both with seven national championships in the Associated Press poll era (1936 to present).

Sermon was also on a mission to prove that he is more than just a committee running back. He was stuck not getting the carries he felt he deserved playing behind Kennedy Brooks, along with the emergence of Rhamondre, in his final season at Oklahoma. Sermon’s decision to transfer made sense, but many Oklahoma football fans would have preferred he had stayed.

Sermon got off to a slow start this season at Ohio State. The former Sooner did not cross the 100-yard mark in a game until the last regular-season game against Michigan State. Had the season not been shortened by the coronavirus pandemic and he had more time to fit into the system, he could have been up for a major year in 2020.

The northern Georgia native had the potential to cross the 1000 yard mark in 2020, something he never did during his three seasons at Oklahoma. With 866 rushing yards in just 7 games, he would have been all but guaranteed to cross that milestone in a full 2020 season.

Would Ohio State have won the game if Sermon had been healthy? Maybe, but most likely not. Championship aside, Sermon will most likely be declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft in the coming days and weeks.

So where will the former Sooner go after his college career has been cut short?

Many were not sure if Sermon would be drafted going into 2021, but his stock has been on the rise after his two great late-season performances. He will most likely end up as a third- to fourth-round pick but could go higher.

Sermon will find his way in the NFL, and hopefully, he finds a good fit where he belongs. Look for a team that could use a running back to add to their committee to pick him up on Day 2 or 3. Fits such as the Kansas City Chiefs or Miami Dolphins,  who both love running back by committee could take a chance on him.

Once a Sooner, always a Sooner for Trey Sermon. Oklahoma football fans have been rooting for him as a Buckeye and they will continue to do so in the NFL.