Ohio State football: Williams in, Henderson out for College Football Playoff

Credit: Nick Wass

Credit: Nick Wass

COLUMBUS — One of Ohio State’s top running backs expects to be available for the College Football Playoff, but the other is out.

Miyan Williams said Wednesday he feels close to 100 percent after dealing with multiple injuries in the second half of the season, while a team spokesman confirmed TreVeyon Henderson plans to have surgery and will not be available when the Buckeyes take on Georgia in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 31.

Henderson, a Freshman All-American last season, told the Columbus Dispatch he spent most of the season trying to play through a foot injury suffered Week 3 against Toledo.

The 5-foot-10, 214-pound Virginia native was still effective at times — including 100-yard rushing games against Wisconsin and Michigan State — but he missed three of the last four games and four overall while dealing with the injury.

Henderson finished with 571 yards on 107 carries this season after picking up 1,248 yards in his first season in Columbus.

Williams picked up the slack, at least when he was healthy.

The third-year sophomore from Cincinnati had four 100-yard games, including two in November when Henderson was out, and finished the season with 817 yards on 125 carries.

He rolled an ankle against Indiana in Week 10 then did not play a week later at Maryland. He tried to give it a go against Michigan but did not look like himself and finished with 34 yards on eight carries.

“I wasn’t really healthy, but I needed to play that game so I just kind of took it on the chin and did what I could,” Williams said.

The 5-9, 225-pound Williams figures to be the feature back against the Bulldogs with converted linebacker Chip Trayanum and true freshman Dallan Hayden also in the mix.

“I’m kind of upset he’s not going to be able to play just because I know that feeling of not being able to play in the big game, but somebody else has just got to step up like Dallan and Chip,” Williams said.

With Henderson sidelined, Ohio State will be without a pair of five-star talents who were expected to be major parts of the Buckeye offense.

Junior receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba previously announced his OSU career is over as he plans to concentrate on rehabilitating a hamstring injury and prepare for the NFL Draft.

Both received some flack from people identifying themselves as fans on social media, something quarterback C.J. Stroud pushed back against Wednesday.

“Honestly, it sucks” Stroud said. “I feel so bad for ‘em. They work so hard and the stuff people are saying is crazy. Especially Jaxon. I don’t want to go into back and forth with people, but we really put our lives on the line and our bodies on the line and our mentals. And I’m not saying other people in other careers don’t, but people judge us because we have a scoreboard.

“We have a result people can go look up online, and that kind of makes it tough.”

He praised Smith-Njigba, who broke multiple Ohio State singe-game and single-season receiving records last season but played in only three games because of injury, for remaining engaged with the team throughout the season.

That includes helping mentor sophomores Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, who played larger roles in his absence.

“I know that people were talking about how he should play (in the Peach Bowl),” Stroud said. “Y’all have no idea the stuff he’s been through this year. No clue. Who are people to talk about my brother like that? It kind of gets me angry. People try to make it seem like he’s not a team player and he doesn’t care about his teammates. That’s the total opposite. I’m on the phone with him every day, talking practice. He’s helping out the young receivers. He helped Marv so much this year, (Emeka) and those dudes who stepped up. Same with Tre. So it’s not fair for people to ridicule Jaxon or Tre or anybody who’s out with injury because that’s the worst part of this game.”


Saturday, Dec. 31

Ohio State vs. Georgia, 8 p.m., ESPN, 1410

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