Scarlet Sunrise: Tony Alford thanks Ohio State but says he couldn't pass on Michigan job

IMG_7408by:Andy Backstrom04/11/24


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Tony Alford thanks Ohio State but says he couldn’t pass on Michigan job

The same day Carlos Locklyn was introduced as Ohio State’s running backs coach, Tony Alford — who Locklyn is replacing — met with the Michigan media for the first time.

Alford surprisingly left the Buckeyes two practices into spring ball and joined head coach Sherrone Moore’s staff as the Wolverine’s new running backs coach.

“I thought it was a great opportunity for me,” Alford said. “I have so much respect for Sherrone. I’ve known him for quite a while. I just thought it was time. It might have been time for both parties, I don’t know. But I thought it was time and that it was a good opportunity.”

Alford had been at Ohio State for nine years. During that time, he coached the likes of Ezekiel Elliott, Mike Weber, J.K. Dobbins and TreVeyon Henderson, all of whom topped the 1,000-yard mark on the ground. Dobbins even ran for more than 2,000 yards in 2019, setting the Buckeyes’ single-season rushing record.

But Alford was under contract for maybe his most promising season yet running the Ohio State backfield. Not only did he help the Buckeyes reel in former Ole Miss star Quinshon Judkins from the transfer portal, but Henderson decided to return for his senior season. Together, Judkins and Henderson make up arguably the best running back tandem in the country.

“I have to say this. I’ve got so much respect for Ohio State and the Ohio State community and what they presented to me and my family through the years. It was not an easy decision obviously,” Alford said. “Anytime you are somewhere for as long as I was, for nine years, there were some groups that had been set in, not just professionally but personally as well. So that was difficult.

“But, at the end of the day, it was just something I thought I couldn’t pass up, an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

Alford didn’t get into more detail about specifics, instead emphasizing that the people who need to know are aware of them, and that he made a professional decision he believes is in his best interest.

Alford also didn’t get into why the rivalry has shifted. But he did talk about what’s stood about the Wolveriens’ program since arriving in Ann Arbor.

“There’s a level of toughness here that’s been established and that’s firm,” said Alford, notably wearing blue since he was at Notre Dame from 2009-14. “The alignment of the staff, what Sherrone has done as far as staff alignment, continuity and togetherness — I think that’s trickled down to the players.

“That’s the one thing that stood out instantaneously, just the alignment of the staff, in particular the offensive staff.”

Purpose and relationships: How Ohio State running backs coach Carlos Locklyn recruits

Carlos Locklyn made something crystal clear Wednesday in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center: He’s not a recruiter.

“Guys hire anybody for this position that can recruit, Carlos Locklyn is not a recruiter, I’m an elite relationship builder,” he said. “But I coach this position. I’m a ball coach. That’s who I am, I’m going to pour into these kids and I think you’re kind of seeing it now.”

Lettermen Row explored the recruiting impact of Locklyn joining the Ohio State staff, what recruits have already said about him and what Locklyn’s purpose is as a coach.

Get the full story here.

Tim May: Julian Sayin rising up, continues to impress during first spring for Buckeyes

Julian Sayin is gaining steam.

The Ohio State quarterback competition is ongoing, and the true freshman is “in the mix,” according to head coach Ryan Day. Sayin has earned the respect of his teammates, and that was evident as he shed his black stripe nine practices into his Buckeyes career.

Day made the point that Sayin doesn’t want his hand held in his transition to the collegiate ranks. The sixth-year Buckeyes coach is impressed with Sayin’s approach, an approach that’s inserted him into the starting quarterback conversation.

For the full story, head on over here.

Counting Down

Buckeyes vs. Akron: 142 days
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 233 days

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