Ohio State Buckeyes: Pair of Buckeyes out for 2022 with knee injuries

March 19, 2021, Ohio, OH:
Marcus Crowley during spring ball at Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio Friday, March 19, 2021.  
(Photo by Cory Wonderly/Ohio State Football)

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March 19, 2021, Ohio, OH: Marcus Crowley during spring ball at Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio Friday, March 19, 2021. (Photo by Cory Wonderly/Ohio State Football)

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State football coach Ryan Day announced Friday the Buckeyes will be without a pair of players this fall because of major knee injuries.

For Marcus Crowley, the injury is career-ending.

“We met with his family last night, we’re going to be doing a medical (retirement) for Marcus,” Day said during an impromptu news conference following a scheduled media availability with multiple OSU assistant coaches. “He has a long-term injury there.”

Crowley arrived at Ohio State in 2019 as a four-star prospect from Jacksonville, Fla.

The communications major flashed some running ability in limited action as a true freshman, but he went down late in the year with a knee injury.

He returned for five games in the truncated 2020 season then played in four games last season before being injured again.

In all, Crowley played in 16 games for Ohio State and ran 51 times for 354 yards and a touchdown.

“He just really wants to finish his degree and still be a part of the program, which he will, but he suffered a significant injury,” Day said.

While Crowley is done wearing the Scarlet and Gray, Day spoke about Mitchell Melton as if he expects to see him in uniform again after Melton rehabilitates from a torn ACL suffered in the spring game last month.

“We don’t get into too many of those (injury) things (unless) it’s a long-term injury like that, so he’ll be on the road to recovery,” Day said. “I saw him earlier today with his family.”

By many accounts, Melton had a productive spring while experimenting with a new position.

He began his Ohio State career at linebacker, but the 6-foot-3, 245-pounder got a look at the “Jack” defensive end position during spring ball.

“I thought he showed up very well,” Knowles said in late March,” so he’s kind of been a guy that’s jumped out at me.”

Melton graduated from Good Counsel High School in Maryland, but his family has roots in the Miami Valley. His father, Jeff, is from Cedarville.

Melton is looking at a second straight lost season after also suffering a lower body injury last spring.

“It’s hard when you embrace these injuries because you know it’s gonna be a long road back,” Day said.

“The good news is we have great resources, and these guys are in good hands. The negative is it’s a long road back to recovery.”

Without Crowley, Ohio State has four scholarship running backs for 2022: Starter TreVeyon Henderson, Miyan Williams, Evan Pryor and incoming freshman Dallan Hayden, a four-star recruit from Memphis, Tenn.

The picture at Melton’s positions is less clear as there are numerous candidates for playing time at both linebacker and the Jack position.

Ohio State opens the season Sept. 3 at home against Notre Dame.

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