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Trey Sermon Explains How He's Handled NFL Transition

Ohio State running back Trey Sermon runs away from a Clemson defender.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 01: Trey Sermon #8 of the Ohio State Buckeyes carries the ball against Lannden Zanders #36 of the Clemson Tigers in the first quarter during the College Football Playoff semifinal game at the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 01, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

When an NFL team drafts a player, the front office and coaching staff have obviously watched film, and have a good handle on how he will fit into their scheme. The reverse is certainly not as common, but for San Francisco 49ers rookie running back Trey Sermon, his NFL fit is one he is very familiar with.

Sermon made one big move earlier in his football career, with his transfer from one of college football's top offenses, Oklahoma, to another in Ohio State. By the end of the 2020 season, he put his stamp on the Buckeyes' offense, rushing for 112 yards and a touchdown in the regular season finale against Michigan State, 331 yards and two touchdowns in the Big Ten title game against Northwestern, and then 193 yards and a score in the College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson.

The 49ers, the team best known for its incredible ability to produce running backs, took Sermon in the third round. It is anything but a position of need, but obviously they have big plans to take him that high in the draft. He's excited to hit the ground running, after studying Kyle Shanahan's famed zone running scheme when making the move to the Buckeyes.

“When I was making the transition to Ohio State, I was looking at a lot of outside zone," he told NBC Sports Bay Area. “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.”

“It hasn’t been too difficult just making the transition,” Trey Sermon added. “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.”

Of course, playing time may be tough to come by. Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and JaMycal Hasty all return after carving out roles in the offense last year. Wilson led the team with 600 yards last season, ahead of Mostert (2nd, 521 yards) and Hasty (4th, 148).

Veteran Wayne Gallman joins the backfield after a productive year with the New York Giants, and the team also selected Louisiana's Elijah Mitchell in the sixth round.

[NBC Sports Bay Area]