COLUMBUS — There’s already a blueprint in place at Ohio State for Steele Chambers.
The freshman running back from the Atlanta suburbs knows what it’s going to take for him to be successful at Ohio State. He has seen it for six months since he enrolled. J.K. Dobbins, an All-American tailback, and redshirt freshman back Master Teague have been the leaders in the running back room this season.
Even if they don’t know it, they’re teaching Chambers the course of action if he wants to see the field early in his career.
“Just watching how they prepare for every game, for every practice, all the film they watch, how they take care of their bodies,” Chambers told Lettermen Row. “It’s given me blueprints of how to be great in this program.”
The results haven’t showed up for Chambers yet, but he was behind fellow freshman Marcus Crowley entering the season by default. Crowley enrolled early and began his Ohio State career in January. Chambers had to wait until June before he was on campus.
Maybe that’s why Crowley was often the third running back in blowout games over Chambers. Either way, Chambers is staying patient and continuing to grind, knowing his time will come in the Ohio State offense that loves to get multiple playmakers the ball.
“I don’t regret it,” Chambers said. “But I feel like I was a little behind. At the end of the day, once you’re in here, you’re a Buckeye, so you’ve got to compete to the best of your ability.”
And he has competed. Running backs coach Tony Alford has complimented Chambers when given the chance, and he has made some plays to show what he can do. In the Buckeyes 76-5 win over Miami (Ohio), Chambers had eight carries for 63 yards and a touchdown.
All of that came in the second half of a blowout against a Mid-American Conference school, yes, but it was one of a few big moments for Chambers, who is taking success where he can find it this early in his career.
“It was pretty interesting — kind of some ups and downs, of course, because it’s hard being a freshman,” he said. “I have some great leaders ahead of me, and I’ve been able to learn a lot from them.
“As the year went on, it kind of built up, just being able to watch some of the guys that I’m playing with, just knowing I’m on the same team as them, it’s amazing that I’m able to compete with some of these guys.”
Now that the time for freshmen to play in the second half of blowouts is over, Chambers can focus on getting his teammates ready for the College Football Playoff and gaining experience and practice reps for next season. Spring practice will be huge for Chambers — it’ll be his first time.
So he’s zeroed in on getting better physcially, mentally and emotionally, trying to become a contributor alongside Justin Fields and an offense that will likely replace quite a few pieces after this season. Chambers’ first goal is to find the right weight. He wants to drop some fat and put on 10 pounds of muscle, so his playing weight will be around 230. But that’s just part of his offseason plan.
“You can get better in all three aspects,” Chambers said. “You can always study the playbook and get better and better at that. Physically, definitely try to gain weight, get bigger, faster, stronger and be confident in how I play.”
If Steele Chambers can gain that confidence, he might be able to find a role in 2020. And if he follows the blueprint in front of him, that path to a big career at Ohio State will be easier to navigate.