Ohio State reportedly hiring Locklyn from Oregon

COLUMBUS — Less than a month after losing its running backs coach, Ohio State football may leave a Big Ten Conference rival in the same position.

Multiple reports have linked Oregon running backs coach Carlos Locklyn to the Buckeyes’ vacancy, with 247 Sports reporting a deal could be finalized by Monday. The position has been open since Tony Alford left for Michigan one week after the start of spring practice.

Ohio State coach Ryan Day took over some of the running backs coach duties while conducting what he called a thorough search for Alford’s replacement.

Locklyn did not appear on early speculative lists of potential OSU targets, which focused on more long-established coaches or those with obvious ties to Day or offensive coordinator Chip Kelly. Locklyn’s credentials were reinforced last month, though, when Oregon coach Dan Lanning gave him a two-year contract extension.

Under Locklyn, Oregon averaged 5.52 yards per attempt in 2022 (ranking sixth nationally) and 5.91 last season (third). His only other on-field experience came as Western Kentucky’s running backs coach in 2021. The Colonels averaged 4.11 yards per carry after only managing 3.89 the previous year.

A former Chattanooga running back, Locklyn began his coaching career with eight seasons as a high school offensive coordinator. He broke into the college ranks with various support staff and off-field roles at Memphis and Florida State.

Day said OSU’s current running backs would be involved in interviewing Alford’s replacement. Due to the relative calm of the recruiting calendar and transfer portal activity, Day felt no need to rush the process.

“I just want to make sure we get the right person in place,” Day said Saturday. “I’m definitely taking conversations and feedback from a lot of people in the program to make sure we have the right guy.”