43 Derek Combs

Derek Combs Ohio State
usaUnited States
Grove City, OH
High School
Grove City
Current Team
Ohio State
1997, 1998, 1999, 2000

Post-OSU Update: Derek Combs was a 7th-round NFL draft pick in 2001 by the Oakland Raiders. He appeared in 12 games over two years, playing entirely on special teams, returning five punts for 71 yards and making eight tackles. (updated: Apr. 2022)

Major: Sociology (1999-00), Undeclared (1997-98)

Weight: 197 (1998-00), 180 (1997)

2000 Media Guide: Tim Spencer was an All-America fullback at Ohio State, played in the National Football League for four years and has been an assistant coach at OSU for seven years. In short, he’s seen more than his share of football. “He’s one of the quickest guys I’ve ever seen in my life,” Spencer said of Derek Combs. Arguably the team’s fastest player, Combs should see more playing time in 2000 than ever before and is the leading candidate to replace Michael Wiley at tailback. His speed and elusiveness make him a constant big-play threat. “Derek can hit the home run for us,” Spencer said. The coaching staff as a whole hopes Combs will have a breakout season in his final year.

1999: Played in 10 games and started one … lone start came against Purdue where he ran six times for 17 yards and a touchdown … rushed for a season-high (and career-high) 80 yards on 10 carries against Cincinnati … longest run of the year, a 39-yard gallop off a draw play, also came against the Bearcats and set up his own 5-yard touchdown run … caught one pass for 16 yards, rushed for 42 yards on eight carries and scored a touchdown versus Ohio … season high for minutes played was 11 against UCLA.

1999 Media Guide: Derek Combs is an exciting tailback who has the speed and skills to “hit home runs,” as John Cooper likes to say, any time he touches the ball. Trouble is, he hasn’t carried the football more than 31 times in each of his two seasons while playing behind the likes of 1,235-yard rusher Michael Wiley and second-round NFL draft choice Joe Montgomery. His 56 carries have netted 170 yards, a 3.0 per carry average, one touchdown and a long rush of 15 yards. All of those are numbers that Combs would like to improve in 1999.

1998: Scored his first collegiate touchdown, a 9-yard dash against Missouri. He had a long rush of 12 yards in the Toledo win.

1998 Media Guide: Good young running prospect with blazing speed.

1997 Media Guide: Adds depth to OSU’s already talented stable of running backs … named the 10th annual Mr. Ohio and USA Today’s Ohio Player of the Year after carrying the ball 214 times for 2,042 yards (9.5 per carry) and 24 touchdowns in the regular season as a senior … finished with 2,149 yards, including the playoffs … led his team to a 10-0 regular season … Associated Press Division I Offensive Player of the Year and first-team All-State offense (Division I) … All-America selection by PrepStar, The National Recruiting Advisor, G&W Report and SuperPrep … played in the 1997 Ohio-Pennsylvania Big 33 Classic … son of Derek Combs … born 2-28-79.


SeasonTeamGGSRush AttRush YdsRush TDTgtRecRec YdsRec TDLngFumLostFR
1997Ohio State11025820NA00015NANA0
1998Ohio State9031881NA11012NANA0
1999Ohio State714317333116039321
2000Ohio State118175888512978080100