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Trey Sermon lone former Ohio State player to make Super Bowl LVII

Andy Backstrom01/30/23
Article written by:On3 imageAndy Backstrom


Trey Sermon by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images
Former Ohio State running back Trey Sermon played sparingly for the NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles this season. (Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS — Trey Sermon didn’t see the field much during his second year in the NFL, but the former Ohio State running back has a chance at a Super Bowl ring.

No other former Buckeyes players have that elusive opportunity this year.

Sermon, who was Ohio State’s leading rusher in 2020 after transferring from Oklahoma, appeared in just two games for the Philadelphia Eagles this season. He carried the ball twice for 19 yards.

Ironically, the Eagles beat the San Francisco 49ers, which drafted Sermon in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft, in the NFC Championship Sunday.

Sermon started his one-year stint with the 49ers as the team’s third-string running back. Then he made his first career start in Week 3 of the 2021 NFL season and recorded a rushing touchdown in primetime against the Green Bay Packers. But Sermon’s time in the spotlight was short-lived.

Although he rushed for 89 yards on 19 attempts the following week against the Seattle Seahawks, he appeared in just two more games the rest of the season. Sermon was placed on IR because of an ankle injury he suffered in Week 12 and finished the year with 167 yards on the ground, plus three catches for 26 additional yards.

Sermon was released by San Francisco at the end of last August. Except, just before the start of the 2022 season, Philadelphia claimed him off waivers. Sermon has been the fourth running back on the Eagles’ depth chart behind Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott.

The Eagles typically roll with three active running backs on game day.

Sermon spent his final collegiate season with Ohio State after three years at Oklahoma. He averaged 7.5 yards per carry while amassing 870 yards on the ground in an eight-game, COVID-19-affected campaign. Along with quarterback Justin Fields, who started his career at Georgia, Sermon made up a critical Buckeyes transfer tandem that helped them to the national title game.

Before leaving Norman, Sermon racked up 2,467 scrimmage yards and 25 total touchdowns with the Sooners. His best season at Oklahoma came in 2018 when he was a sophomore. Sermon rushed for 947 yards and 13 touchdowns while averaging 5.8 yards per tote. He also caught 12 passes for 181 receiving yards.

The Buckeyes had five program alums playing for the Cincinnati Bengals this season: quarterback Joe Burrow (who started his career at Ohio State before starring at LSU), cornerback Eli Apple, safety Vonn Bell, offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, defensive end Sam Hubbard and punter Drue Chrisman. The Bengals lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship, 23-20, on a last-second field goal.

The only other former Ohio State standout who participated in the NFL’s conference championship weekend was 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa, a finalist for the league’s Defensive Player of the Year award. Bosa led the NFL with 18.5 sacks during the regular season, but he didn’t notch one in San Francisco’s three-game playoff run.