Former Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins is transferring to Ohio State, he revealed via social media Monday evening just moments after Michigan -- the Buckeyes' top rival -- capped its 2023 season with a 34-13 win against Washington in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Judkins even took aim at the Wolverines in his announcement. 

"I'm looking forward to being a part of a winning culture and helping do my part to beat the TUN (Michigan) bring a Big 10 Championship and National Championship to Columbus," Judkins wrote. "The RB brotherhood at Ohio State is incredibly special and I am grateful to have an opportunity to be a part of that."

Judkins, the No. 1 running back and No. 4 overall prospect in 247Sports' transfer rankings, is a big get at a position of need for Ohio State. A rising junior, he is fresh off his second straight 1,000-yard season with the Rebels, finishing the 2023 campaign with 271 carries for 1,158 yards and SEC-best 15 touchdowns. Judkins leaves Oxford, Mississippi, with more than 3,000 all-purpose yards and 34 total touchdowns. 

By comparison, Ohio State hasn't had a 1,000-yard rusher since 2021. On top of that, the Buckeyes will have plenty of snaps available in their running back room moving forward. No. 2 rusher Chip Trayanum entered the transfer portal and veteran Miyan Williams, who led OSU in rushing in 2022, already declared for the NFL Draft

That leaves the Buckeyes with one proven option in the talented but oft-injured TreVeyon Henderson, who has yet to make a public decision on his future. If he leaves, Ohio State will have just one running back with at least 15 career carries left on its roster, pending the addition of Judkins. 

Judkins could unlock Henderson 

If Henderson elects to return, he and Judkins would form one of the nation's best running back duos. It could be an ideal situation for Henderson, who would no longer have to play as a bellcow back but should still get plenty of opportunity to shine. 

In the two years since his breakout freshman season, in which he rushed for 1,248 yards and 15 touchdowns, Henderson has missed a total of eight games while dealing with various injuries. That particularly hampered Ohio State in 2023, when it lacked the depth and a clear No. 2 to replace him. 

Despite his high volume over the past two years, Judkins has yet to miss a game and he's used to sharing the backfield with another standout rusher. Former SMU transfer Ulysses Bentley IV actually led Ole Miss in yards per carry in 2023 with 5.7 while finishing with 540 yards on 95 carries. The split between Henderson and Judkins would be a lot closer to 50-50, but it would allow Ohio State to maximize both options without wearing either out -- a key dynamic given Henderson's past and a potential selling point for his return as he looks to boost his NFL stock. 

Further step in new offensive direction 

Not that coach Ryan Day is going to completely change his offensive philosophy, but it seems as if the former coordinator is ready to shake some things up entering his sixth year as the head coach. The Buckeyes have already landed a new presumed starting quarterback via the portal in Kansas State import Will Howard. 

Howard isn't the flashy arm that we've grown accustomed to with quarterbacks under Day, but he is a gritty, tough runner that would flourish in a scheme tilted more towards physical rushing plays. Judkins is another step in that direction. At 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds, he does his best work between the tackles. Of his 271 carries in 2023, 150 of them came on inside zone or power run schemes. He was at his best with inside zone looks, as he averaged 4.6 yards on 95 touches. 

Henderson is of a similar mold. He can look almost unstoppable on one-cut downhill runs that allow him to gain a head of steam. Ohio State isn't going to go full 12-personnel, pound the rock down an opponent's throat all the time, but recent additions do signal a renewed emphasis on physicality for Day.