The Ohio State Buckeyes were in dire need of an additional running back after J.K. Dobbins left for the NFL and Master Teague III suffered an injury in spring practice, and they landed one Sunday.
"It's kind of crazy to look back and believe that the place where I scored my first touchdown is where I'm going to be spending my final year of college football. I'm excited for this opportunity, I'm excited to just be with the team and I'm excited to connect with the guys.
"I just believe it's the best situation for me. I know that I have the opportunity to play there considering the depth, and I had a relationship with [running backs coach Tony] Alford during my recruiting process coming out of high school. He was a great guy then, and I just feel like I connected well with him. I know I'm going to have to go in and compete for the job, but I feel like it's the best situation for me to go into now."
Sermon arrived at Oklahoma as a 4-star prospect in the class of 2017, per 247Sports' composite rankings, and made national waves in just his second career game when he ran for 62 yards and caught a touchdown pass from Baker Mayfield in a victory at Ohio State.
He helped lead the Sooners to the College Football Playoff in each of his three seasons and is well accustomed to playing on the pressure-packed stage a marquee program like Ohio State will present him in 2020.
The newest Buckeye finished with 744 rushing yards in 2017, 947 rushing yards to go with 13 touchdowns in 2018 and 385 rushing yards in 2019. His totals would have been higher last season, but he suffered a season-ending knee injury in a November win over Iowa State.
Ward illustrated how important this pickup was for the Buckeyes, noting how Teague tore his Achilles and backup Marcus Crowley is expected to be sidelined until the summer. That leaves DeMario McCall, who has been used as a special teams player and receiver and had just 18 carries last season, and Steele Chambers, who had just 19 carries last season, on the depth chart.
The Buckeyes have national championship expectations and are going for a fourth straight Big Ten title in 2020.
They needed someone to take the pressure off Heisman Trophy candidate Justin Fields and take advantage of the running lanes such a dynamic quarterback creates, and Sermon has plenty of experience guiding highly ranked teams to important wins.