Trey Sermon is set to start his NFL career at full speed.
When the rookie running back was preparing to transfer from Oklahoma to Ohio State, he made it a point to study game film of NFL teams that ran an outside zone running scheme. The 49ers were a team that Sermon focused on throughout the process.
“When I was making the transition to Ohio State, I was looking at a lot of outside zone,” Sermon said. “The 49ers were definitely one of the teams that I looked at. Just going through the progressions and the reads because I knew when I got to Ohio State we were going to run a lot of that.”
Kyle Shanahan uses his running backs as both ball carriers as well as receivers, and Sermon is well prepared. During his three seasons at the University of Oklahoma, the Georgia native carried the ball 339 times for 2,076 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and 22 touchdowns. He also recorded 36 catches for 391 yards and three touchdowns.
In his senior season at Ohio State, Sermon improved to 7.5 yards per carry on 116 carries for 870 yards and four touchdowns. He also managed 12 catches for 95 yards.
Sermon joins Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, JaMychal Hasty, Wayne Gallman and fellow rookie Elijah Mitchell in a talented and speedy running backs room that is guided by veteran coach Bobby Turner.
Sermon expects his adjustment period to the NFL to go smoothly with Turner as his coach and his past experience of Ohio State’s similar system. He added that it was just a “great feeling” to finally get back on the field again during rookie minicamp.
“It hasn’t been too difficult just making the transition,” Sermon said. “Some of the stuff is similar to what I did at Ohio State. I feel like my acclimation will be pretty smooth and it will be good.”