CLEVEALND, Ohio (WCMH) — The San Francisco 49ers selected Ohio State running back Trey Sermon with the 88th pick in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday.
Sermon emerged as Ohio State’s leading running back after a solid performance against Michigan State in what turned out to be OSU’s last regular season game. Sermon solidified his spot as the starter in the Buckeyes’ Big Ten Championship win over Northwestern when he ran for 331 yards setting a single-game Ohio State record.
Sermon had another impressive performance in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Clemson running for nearly 200 yards and one touchdown while also catching four passes for 61 yards.
The University of Oklahoma grad transfer rushed for 2,076 and 23 touchdowns in three years with the Sooners but only put together 232 yards rushing in his first four game with the Buckeyes.
Sermon was put at a distinct disadvantage to start the season because he didn’t have the benefit of getting to participate in Spring practice or have a normal fall preseason due to the uncertainty of whether the season would even happen. Once it did, Sermon struggled to find his place splitting carries with Teague all the way up to the win over the Spartans where both backs played, but Sermon played better.
Sermon didn’t have a chance to show what he could do against Alabama in the National Championship after suffering a shoulder injury on the very first play. He was not able to return to the game.
At Ohio State’s Pro Day, Sermon said the injury has not affected him the past few months and that his shoulder is completely fine.
“I feel like it really wasn’t that significant of an injury to where there should be a concern,” Sermon said. “At the end of the day, all they have to do is click on the tape and see me playing at a high level, so I’m not worried about it at all.”
The Tampa, Florida native moved to Marietta, Georgia with his mother and sister where he played high school football not far from Justin Fields. The two attended the same camps during their recruitment process and their friendship helped pave the way for Sermon to come to Columbus.
Sermon is ranked as the sixth-best running back available, according to The Athletic’s Dane Brugler. His three-game streak of 636 rushing yards, 9.1 yards per carry, and four touchdowns shows Sermon’s capability.
Sermon used his Pro Day to benefit an organization close to his heart raising awareness and money for his mother’s nonprofit organization “Arise by Faith,” which helps victims of domestic violence. Sermon asked people to pledge money for every inch of his vertical leap, and they came through raising $6,497 according to Sermon’s pledgeit website.