Hyde Seeks Redemption

By Kyle Rowland on August 6, 2012 at 10:00a
More 100-yard games are in Carlos Hyde's future.

The 2011 football season was the best of times and the worst of times for Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde. There were 100-plus yard performances against Nebraska and Indiana contrasted with zero carries in the Wisconsin and Michigan games.

Hyde welcomed three-year veteran Boom Herron back into the fold with open arms after the fellow tailback’s six-game suspension. But becoming invisible was a blow to Hyde’s ego and confidence. It led the disgruntled Florida native to post negative remarks on Twitter that hinted at transferring, though he clarified on Friday that he never seriously entertained the idea of leaving Ohio State.

“Last year was like a roller coaster," Hyde said after the opening of Ohio State’s fall camp. "Sometimes I'm out there, I have good games, then the next game I don't get in there at all.

“I thought I’d be in the rotation way more than what I was. It just taught me to be patient and not to get down on myself, sit back and wait because soon enough your time will come.”

Once again, Hyde enters the season knowing the starting running back will be sidelined. This time it’s because of a tendon injury Jordan Hall suffered in his right foot after stepping on a piece of glass outside his apartment. Hyde is the lone running back on the team who’s started a game or played any substantial amount of time. Behind him is the fumble-prone Rod Smith and true freshmen Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball.

With Hyde all but guaranteed to be the starter when the season opens Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio), head coach Urban Meyer has put the onus on him to live up to the hype that accompanied him to Columbus after a stellar high school career and one season at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. 

“It’s time for Carlos Hyde to step up and take the baton and go as hard as he can,” Meyer said. “This is the defining moment of Carlos Hyde’s career. It’s either yes or no. There can’t be anymore gray area.”

Jim Bollman's offensive style never endeared himself.

When he’s been on the field, Hyde has displayed the rare skills of an elite runner and a bruiser – he has size, speed and durability. Hyde did tweak his ankle during the spring but has deemed himself 100 percent as the regular season looms.

In the eight months under the tutelage of strength coach Mickey Marotti, nearly every player on the Ohio State roster has a success story to ramble on about. Hyde is no different. His playing weight has dropped five pounds from 240 last season, but his results in the 40 are still head-turning – two 4.45s. The credit goes to Marotti. 

“He’s slimmed down a little,” quarterback Braxton Miller said of Hyde. “He got all that jelly fat off of him. He’s got more muscle tone this year.”

Slimming down and speeding up wasn’t the only concentration for Hyde this summer. He also honed his pass-catching skills, earning the admiration of teammates for the work ethic he exhibited. Hyde went as far to say that he has the best hands on the team. Meyer’s offense puts a premium on running backs that can catch in open space – the I-formation was only used in goal line situations during the spring – and Hyde took note.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’ll be out in the open in one-on-one more. I won’t have to worry about two or three guys chasing me. I can be one-on-one and make that guy miss and be off to the races. This offense is quick. It’s hike the ball and go quick. By the time the defense reacts, I’ll already have the ball in my hands and making moves.

“(All the running backs) came out here and we all did drills almost every single day (this summer). Working on jump cuts, pass blocking, just getting ready. So today's practice, Coach Drayton was surprised with how we came out looking so fresh and ready to go."

Hyde joined the chorus of offensive players raving about Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman’s revamped scoring attack. When he first got the playbook, Hyde said he was bewildered, “especially after last year’s offense.” More points and excitement will occur with regularity on Saturdays, according to Hyde.

Jordan Hall's injury has shifted the spotlight to Hyde. 

Accompanying the new offensive staff are heightened expectations, and the confidence doesn’t only emit from the fans. After a 6-7 season and a year of tumult, Ohio State’s locker room is busting at the seams – in a good way. After one day of camp, players were already pining for the games to begin. It’s a season Hyde believes could result in zero blemishes.

"Our goal is to go 12-0,” he said. “Even though we can't go to a bowl game, we still have to get out there and play. So we're just going to get out there and play and have a chip on our shoulder since we can't go to a bowl game and let the world know who the Buckeyes are this year."

Hall’s injury has given way to names like Philly Brown, Devin Smith and Najee Murray. But Hyde says why not me?

“I have a little more weight on my shoulders since (Hall) is out,” he said. “I’m not trying to be cocky, but I think I can play any position. Sure, I think I can execute at that position.”

Meyer, however, isn’t opposed to Hyde being a prototypical, ground-it-out Big Ten running back. A physical style back is something Meyer has never employed, but in October and November, he’s aware that Hyde’s panache is the epitome of Midwestern football.

“He’s got the tools,” Meyer said. “He’s a big, strong, fast player. The body type (for a 15-carry running back) is Carlos Hyde, and the talent is Carlos Hyde. He’s got to stay healthy and go get it. It’s not the previous coaching staff’s fault. It’s not the offensive line's fault. It’s not the dog ate his homework. It’s time.”

Hyde has embraced both the pressure and opportunity presented to him. He knows it’s his time and felt like he performed at a lower level than what’s customary during the spring– Hyde’s career average yards per carry is 5.4.

“I wasn’t as physical as I should have been,” he said. “So in this fall camp, I’m going to show them what I’m really capable of. I don’t want to say I want to hurt people because they’re my teammates. But I want to make them not want to tackle me.”


Comments Show All Comments

whobdis's picture

I was enjoying the article..until the pic of Bollman. Can we put some type of
official closure on that and burn whatever pic's you have on file.

Doc's picture

I'm with ya on this.  I was recently diagnosed with an ulcer  Every time I see walrus' pic it acts up.  I'm beginning to think that his offensive offense was the root cause of it, that and the fist full of Advil I would take to get rid of the headache he would induce.

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Can we put some type of official closure on that . . .

I'm afraid that's not going to happen. After every BC game this season, fools like me won't be able to help themselves, providing statistical updates on how well BC's new "running game coordinator" is doing.
Actually, it will be hilarious if BC rushes for like 2,400 yards.  

cinserious's picture

You go boy! I remember when we were recruiting Hyde and he was this pudgy, but kinda fast "fullback" from florida who was an afterthought to the 5* Jamaaaal Berry. How times have changed. I can see what he was talking about with not having the 'toughness' last yr. and thats probably why he was benched, this yr. he 'gets it' and wont let his incredible potential and abilities go to waste. He is the real reason for exitement out of the running back position this yr. BTW, its funny how Myer thinks getting 15 carries out of Hyde's body type is a huge number of carries. Myer's been away from B1G-TEN football for awhile  but around here, the featured back gets more like 20-25.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

thorvath22's picture

I'm on team Hyde.

Savage45's picture

I always felt Hyde runs like a much smaller back. He is built like Clarrett, but doesn't lower his shoulder and run over people, he's been all speed and cutbacks so far. If it's true that he's going be more physical (without getting hurt), then I will be thrilled. I know he may never have a stiff-arm like Beanie, but should be able to go through and not just by tackelers.

hodge's picture

Personally, I'm just excited to see El Guapo dominate something other than the villagers of Santo Poco.

Maestro's picture

A toast to El Guapo, today he is........33 years old.

vacuuming sucks

JJB's picture

Jefe... would you say I have a plethora of pinatas?

Squirrel Master's picture

"We pruned the hedges of many small villages!"

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

buckeyedude's picture

VIVA EL GUAPO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Maestro's picture

vacuuming sucks

buckeye76BHop's picture

I tend to think he's going to get more carries than last year obviously .  I just not sure he's going to have 100 yard in "every" game.  I can see him being the leading rusher for sure as well as getting most carries this year (especially with Hall out for at least a couple games).  I love how Mickey's transforming these guys...I'm lovin it!

"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."

"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."

Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987 

JJB's picture

I always find it interesting that that measuring a 5 pound difference is deemed important... I understand that mechanically it does make a difference. I guess my point is more about the measurement of weight... much like 40 times, it is subjective. I would say even more so.. my weight fluctuates from 174 to 164 on a weekly basis, depending soley on how much water I have been drinking, whether I have been playing sports and whatnot. Also, maybe Hyde lost 5 lbs of fat as implied, or maybe he dropped 10 lbs fat, and gained 5 lbs muscle, or maybe he lost 5 lbs muscle, etc.  To summarize my point... it is hard to quantify exactly what impact this stat will have, and in my opinion 5 pounds is in the noise.
Just hard for me to get excited about the fact that he lost 5 pounds.

bassplayer7770's picture

One thing I know is losing "jelly fat" is a good thing, so that's mostly what I was happy to hear along with "more muscle tone."

Crimson's picture

With what is coming out about all of the players, you can bet that he lost 10 lbs of fat.  However, the staff wanted him to lose 8, so I guess he gained too much muscle :)

Buckeye_Mafia's picture

Not that we weren't already aware of this, but the coaching staff was HORRIBLE in handling personnel last season. From Miller to Hyde. And Doran Grant. Having an organized and solid coaching staff is gonna be awesome to watch. Let alone seeing the players feed off of it and playing with that nasty steak we were used to seeing until recently.

"At critical moments throughout the season, we learned about the character of this football team.  This was a team of true character, of true resilience." -- President Barack Obama

Squirrel Master's picture

"Someone once told me about this thing called a pass, never heard of it!" - Jim Bollman
I can't wait to watch some BC games. It will be like old times! Dave, Dave, Dave, punt!!!

I saw a UFO once.......it told me to have a goodyear!

Chise47's picture

....."fumble prone Rod Smith"..., I seem to remember this young RB who wore #27 that fumbled alot as a Freshman. Not really sure, but I THINK he went on to win a,(GASP!!!), Hiesman. Think his name was Edward Nathan George Jr., or something like that.
Let's give the kid a fighting chance, shall we? Glad to FINALLY see a Warren Ball reference though, I was starting to believe either the kid transferred,(not really!), or that I was the only Buckeye who seen his game film or watched the,"Big 33", game. VERY versatile kid!
Worry worts: "Our backfeild is too thin, AAAARRRRRGGGHHHH!!!!!"
Reality: It's crowded enough for us to quit chasing Derrick Green, just sayin'....(Hyde,Dunn,Smith,Ball, & of course Hall before any real competition starts.)