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Ohio State Season Preview: Running Backs

Posted By Jimmy Martinez On Aug 3 2012 @ 12:43 pm In Ohio State | 1 Comment

Everything will be focusing on when senior Jordan Hall gets healthy after suffering an injured foot. The early prognosis is that he’ll be back sometime in October, but even then it might take a little while to get him back into the swing of things. This is a huge blow to an offense that wants to use him as a runner, receiver, kick returner and everything in between, the “Percy Harvin” Role. The 5-9, 198-pound senior ran for 408 yards and two touchdowns last season but the new coaching staff have much bigger plans for him when he returns.

With Hall out, the focus turns to Carlos Hyde, a tough combination of good power and enough speed to get by. “El Guapo” could be the first feature back in an Urban Meyer offense since his days at Utah. The 6-0, 235-pounder out of Naples, Florida finished third on the team with 566 yards and six touchdowns with a 5.3-yard average, and he caught ten passes for 73 yards. His signature moment last year was his explosion  of 104 yards and two scores against Nebraska. Now he might be the workhorse among the running backs.

More work will be there for 6-3, 230-pound sophomore Rod Smith, the prototype Ohio State back with tremendous speed to go along with his power. Part of the Indiana state champion-level 4×100 relay team, he could be deadly when he gets into clear and can turn on the jets. However, that didn’t happen too often last year rushing for just 116 yards and a touchdown. He’ll combine for backup time with redshirt freshman Bri’onte Dunn, a 6-1, 214-pound promising athlete who was close to going to a school that runs a more pro-style attack after he found out that Meyer was taking over, but now he appears ready to be a big part of the fun.

Another key factor will be 6-0, 245-pound senior Zach Boren, a big-time blocker who has done a little of everything well for the last three seasons. He hasn’t been used as a power runner, but he caught six passes for 60 yards last season. He’ll work in a rotation with 6-3, 245-pound senior Adam Homan, a pure blocker who needs to start catching the ball to be used like a tight end.

Overall Grade: B
With the injury to Hall the unit has an opportunity for others to step up and I expect to happen with Carlos Hyde. When Hall returns it will provide the offense with much more versatility. The group has lot of upside being that the group as a whole is young. I expect the rushing attack to be better than last years especially with Braxton Miller also contributing.

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