Name: Daniel “Boom” Herron
Hometown: Warren, Ohio
High School: Harding
Position: Running Back
Last season: First season gained valuable experience in 11 of 13 games for Buckeyes; scored six touchdowns with 439 yards
This season: Will look to lead a young running back squad
by Alex Morando, OhioStateBuckeyes.com
For the 2009 Ohio State football squad, the spring time is a new beginning — a period of progression as key members from a season ago countdown the days before entering the NFL Draft. In the running back department, star running back Chris “Beanie” Wells, who gained 1,197 yards last season, leaves Columbus allowing one sophomore a great opportunity this upcoming fall.
For Ohio State running back Daniel Herron, a native of Warren, Ohio, a larger work load will be expected as he continues to improve and progress.
“Beanie, you know, those are big shoes to fill,” said Herron, who averaged 4.9 yards a carry for the Buckeyes last season. “I feel like if we continue to work hard and work together, we can do what we have to do this year.”
Along with 6-1, Herron, junior running back Brandon Saine, a native of Piqua, Ohio, will look to battle for the top spot in the Buckeye back field. Saine was slowed by an injury last season, but is back and ready to share time with Herron in the backfield.
“I look forward to competing with him,” Saine said. “Since we’ve been here “Boom” and I have become good friends and we would do anything for each other. We are competing against each other on the field, but at the same time we are helping one another.”
Herron, who posses great versatility and strength between the tackles, said the competition between the two is not the main focus.
“We are just trying to make each other better,” Herron said. “I think that’s the big thing right now by working hard and showing the coaches that we can do it without Beanie. I knew coming in the same class we would be competing together, but I think that competition makes us better with two great athletes going at it.”
One question coming into this spring is whether or not there will be a two-back system in place this season. Running backs coach Dick Tressel, who enters his sixth year as the Buckeyes’ tailbacks coach and his ninth at Ohio State, continues to develop and work with Herron this spring and said “Boom” definitely has the potential to be another great Buckeye running back.
“The thought I have is that this may be the most comfortable situation to really use two backs like the pros are,” Tressel said. “There’s a little more balance in the ability level, age, and growth as running backs this year than previous years. They like to compete and I think they both would love to be the starting tailback at Ohio State, but really they are team-people.”
As of now Tressel said they will do what is necessary to have a good running game this year, whether each carries 15 a game or one with 20 and the other 10.
“Whatever it takes with these two, they will be ready to go,” Tressel said.
With spring practice in full swing in the month of April, Herron, who is entering his third season with the Buckeyes after being redshirted in 2007, said he feels pretty confident about what needs to get done this spring to be ready for the opening game Sept. 5 against Navy.
“I’ve learned a lot and I feel comfortable with the playbook,” Herron said. “I think if we continue to do what the coaches tell us and continue to work hard, I think it will all work out. I just want everybody to remember me as a great back. Like Archie, Eddie and “Beanie” I want my name to be in that category when it’s all said and done.”