Why can't Dallan Hayden find playing time on the Ohio State football team?

The talented running back has played well when he's gotten snaps for the Ohio State football team. Yet, he still can't seem to find extended playing time. Why is that?

Nov 18, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; 
Ohio State Buckeyes running back Dallan Hayden (5) attempts to
Nov 18, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes running back Dallan Hayden (5) attempts to / Clare Grant/The Columbus Dispatch / USA
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The Ohio State football team has had some up-and-down success running the football in the past couple of seasons. Some of that is due to injury. TreVeyon Henderson and Miyan Williams haven't been able to stay healthy consistently over the past few seasons.

Williams is gone and Henderson is back. The Buckeyes also added Quinshon Judkins from Ole Miss. That combination should make the running game more consistent, especially with Chip Kelly calling the plays now. But there's another running back who seems to have been lost in the shuffle.

That running back is Dallan Hayden. Remember him? The guy that pretty much single-handedly won the Maryland game a couple of years ago when he scored three touchdowns? That guy has had issues seeing the field despite showing some promise when he has gotten time.

In 2022 when both Henderson and Williams went down, Hayden had to become the primary back. All he did was average five yards a carry and score five touchdowns in the nine games he appeared in. In the IU and Maryland games, he had over 100 yards in each and scored a combined four touchdowns.

For some reason, Ryan Day decided to redshirt Hayden last year. This was despite the fact that Hayden was probably the second-best back on the roster. Now Judkins comes in and pushes Hayden back down to third on the depth chart. Why can't he get on the field?

Hayden has to be one of the worst practice players ever. That's the only explanation I can give for him not seeing the field more. He runs hard, hasn't lost a single fumble, and has shown the ability to hit big runs. What's not to like about that?

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Unfortunately, it doesn't seem promising to see more of him in 2024. Henderson is always liable to get hurt, so maybe Hayden can steal some carries if that happens. It's clear that Henderson and Judkins are the one-two punch. Perhaps Hayden can finally become part of that duo with Judkins in 2025.