Ohio football running back De’Montre Tuggle (24) has made a big impact on the Ohio offense so far this season. PHOTO: Ben Wielgopolski

Ohio Football: De’Montre Tuggle taking his opportunity and running with it

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ATHENS, OH — “I was pretty happy. It was nice to put my name out there and let people know who I am,” Ohio football running back De’Montre Tuggle said.

He is a stranger no more. De’Montre Tuggle had his coming out party in Ohio’s home-opening win against Rhode Island on Aug. 30th. The junior transfer had 3 carries for 65 yards and 2 touchdowns. Just a year ago, he was at Kilgore, a small community college in Texas.

“I used those two years to really mature and grow and learn,” Tuggle said. “I learned a lot at Kilgore, honestly mentally and physically too. So, that was really a humbling experience for me. It was definitely tough at times, but it made me stronger at the end of the day.”

If it wasn’t for his head coach at Kilgore JJ Eckard, Tuggle wouldn’t have known that becoming an Ohio Bobcat was even an option.

“My coach is actually real cool with coach (offensive coordinator Tim Albin),” Tuggle said.  “I’m getting calls left and right, but he tells me that I’m gonna send your film up to Ohio, and I’m like huh? I’ve heard of Ohio, but never really knew about Ohio. So he sends my film up, coach Albin calls me, brings me up on the visit and fell in love with the campus, the program, the team, the atmosphere, everything I knew it was home.”

So far, Ohio has treated Tuggle pretty well — he leads all position players on the Bobcats with four touchdowns through the first four games of the season.

“O’Shaan (Allison), Julian (Ross), those guys, they’re all amazing,” Tuggle said. “They can all hold their own weight while they’re in, but for me to go show everyone who I am and put my name out there that was pretty amazing.”

With Ohio dealing with injuries at running back, Tuggle will continue to lead the Ohio backfield.