Could Former Alabama Star Safety Play Running Back at New School?

TUSCALOOSA, AL - SEPTEMBER 02: Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Caleb Downs (2) lines up on defense during a college football game against the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders on September 02, 2023 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire)

Of all the losses to the transfer portal in the aftermath of the retirement of Nick Saban, none hurt more than the departure of superstar safety Caleb Downs.

Downs, who led the Crimson Tide in tackles with 107 in 2023 and was the first freshman in program history to do so, elected to take his talents north and commit to play for Ryan Day and Ohio State.

While Downs is already arguably the best safety in college football even after just one year, Ohio State head coach Ryan Day says the elite athlete could even see some time on offense at running back for the Buckeyes.

“We started having conversations with Caleb during the recruiting process of him doing a little bit of running back as well,” Day said to reporters this week. “It’s something he wanted to do. We’ve been having him in the meetings and some of the individual drills—as a possibility there if he’s needed down the road—to continue to build depth at the position.”

While ultimately this feels like something that wouldn’t actually happen, it would be extremely foolish given the fact that the Buckeyes already boast one of the best running back rooms in the nation.

Playing a guy who could very well be their best defender on both sides of the ball doesn’t exactly seem wise.

But in college football in 2024, you truly do never know.