There was one remaining junior who hadn’t announced whether or not he was going to forgo his final season of eligibility and enter the NFL draft, or return to the Ohio State football team for his senior season. That question was put to rest on Friday when running back TreVeyon Henderson announced via X that like the majority of his classmates, he was going to come back to Ohio State for one final season.
It appears that Henderson was seriously weighing his options, and although he hinted at the possibility of returning at different times throughout the season, his final decision was contemplated, prayed over, and possibly even persuaded by the number of teammates who decided to come back.
Ohio State’s NIL Collectives have no doubt played a part in these decisions. The financial freedom allotted to these athletes is something that has prevented past Buckeyes from returning for their fourth season with the team due to financial hardships and the ability to make enough money for themselves, and for some, even their families while playing the sport professionally.
The other persuading factor that seems to have weighed on the minds of so many of these juniors has been their inability to successfully complete their goals. Currently, the 2024 class has zero gold pants, zero Big Ten Championships, and no National Championship appearances. Given the number of guys who have returned, there is no doubt that the desire to achieve these goals has played a part in their decision-making.
Finally, there is also the ability to graduate. One can’t stress the importance of having a backup plan if football doesn’t work out at the next level. No matter how highly recruited or what some scout is promising you, your success at the next level is not guaranteed. Unless you are going to be a first-round can’t-miss draft pick, like Marvin Harrison Jr., entering yourself into the NFL Draft is a gamble. Not all of those gambles work out. Having that degree to fall back on is paramount for some of these young men.
As for Henderson, it would appear that the announcement that incoming transfer running back Quinshon Judkins, who spent the past two seasons running the football for Ole Miss, didn’t change his mind. On the contrary, it may have aided in his decision. In today’s game, especially with the possibility of playing up to 17 games next season thanks to the extended playoffs, it is important that there is tremendous depth at the running back position.
Henderson and Judkins can now split carries along with redshirt sophomore Dallan Hayden. Incoming freshman James Peoples also adds needed depth to a room that was depleted before the Cotton Bowl thanks to the departure of Chip Trayanum and Miyan Williams.
With Henderson’s return, the juniors who decided to return who may have otherwise decided to leave early for the NFL draft are as follows: RB TreVeyon Henderson, WR Emeka Egbuka, DE J.T. Tuimoloau, DE Jack Sawyer, DT Tyleik Williams, DT Ty Hamilton, LB Cody Simon, CB Denzel Burke, SAF Jordan Hancock, and SAF Lathan Ransom.
After watching TTUN win the National Championship after many of their upperclassmen returned for one final season, one has to ask if the decision to return for one final season by so many of Ohio State’s upperclassmen might have been persuaded by seeing what the Wolverines accomplished in 2023.