Will Hyde Suspension Alter Hall’s Hybrid Role?

By Michael Citro on August 2, 2013 at 11:30a
Jordan Hall is a capable replacement for Hyde if Meyer chooses to use him that way.

In the fallout of Carlos Hyde’s suspension, much of the attention on Ohio State’s offensive backfield has fallen on junior running back Rod Smith, sophomore Bri’onte Dunn and redshirt freshman Warren Ball. But let’s not forget about senior Jordan Hall.

Although Hall has been penciled in at the hybrid position in Urban Meyer’s spread attack, he’s shown himself to be a capable between-the-tackles runner throughout his career.

With Hyde out, will Meyer line up Hall in the backfield more often than expected in early 2013?

Hall is not even supposed to be here today. He received a medical redshirt after missing five full games and large chunks of others due to a variety of injuries, starting with the foot he sliced open last summer. The foot injury did considerable damage to a tendon and took a long time to heal properly. He started just three games before partially tearing a PCL in his right knee against Michigan State.

Although he was very limited due to injuries last year he still finished third on the team in rushing yards (218), behind Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde. Receiving his medical redshirt gave Hall a do-over of his senior season and allows him to add to his production in Ohio State’s offense.

In his Ohio State career, the 5-foot-8, 197-pound senior from Jeannette, Pa., has racked up 1,032 yards on 225 carries, averaging 4.6 yards per attempt and reaching the end zone six times. He has also caught 24 passes for 233 yards (9.7 YPR) and four touchdowns. If you throw in kick and punt return yards, Hall has amassed 2,765 career all-purpose yards, placing him 20th in school history.

He’s not big, but Hall always seems to find a way to fall forward after contact. He learned his trade as an understudy to Boom Herron from 2009-2011 and spent much of last season wearing street clothes and watching Hyde.

Something we don't want to see this season.Jordan Hall's 2012 injury problems led to a medical redshirt.

Hall doesn’t provide the same physical blocking presence that Hyde can. However, though small in stature, Hall is a capable if not spectacular blocker. He can be overmatched at times, as in this play against Michigan State in 2011.

Whichever running back blocks the best will likely get the most snaps at tailback, because all of the Buckeye ball carriers can run. But Hyde’s ability to provide devastating lead blocks on designed quarterback runs will be hard to replace.

Meyer would probably like Smith to grab Hyde’s position in camp, but Hall could potentially be the stopgap measure needed and as a senior, he can provide more experience on the offensive side of the ball.

Hall at least provides some insurance for Meyer if Smith has ball security issues as he has sometimes shown in the past. Dunn and Ball may know the playbook, but the former looked lost at times on the field last season and the latter didn't see any game action due to injury and a medical redshirt of his own.

On a team looking for more leadership, Hall can provide some. He's already shown his teammates how hard he's willing to work in overcoming his injury problems. Accepting a different role than expected sets a good example for younger players. (See also: Zach Boren in 2012.)

While he may not pack the punch Hyde does, Hyde could provide some versatility for Meyer as he plans for life without El Guapo.



Comments Show All Comments

THE_JUICE's picture

I trust the staff to place Hall in whatever position gains yards and scores points.  I think that he brings something different to the table from Dunn or Smith.
I remember all of us getting excited hearing Meyer and some of the other coaches praising his play making ability last summer before his injury.  Some of the same hype is being placed on Dontre Wilson now.
You can never have too many weapons.  I hope Hall has a good senior season and goes out with a bang.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Begging the football gods to let him have a year where he fulfills his potential.  Between the tackles or not.  Whatev, just go rip it up!

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

rdubs's picture

I don't know that it would change his position, but it could cause us to use him more frequently as a runner who gets motioned in to the back field or in the diamond formation.

shaggybuckeye's picture

I've been big on Hall from the first time I saw him hit the field. If only he could find a higher gear as he has had some great kick/punt returns only to get caught from behind...

aplumb100's picture

I think he deserves a good year. Poor guy had a string of bad luck last year. 


droessl's picture

How bad is it (as a fan) that I had all but forgotten about Hall this year? 
How good is (for the team) that there's so much talent on offense that I could forget about Hall? 

JayDonk's picture

I'm hoping that someone else steps up in camp and takes the starting spot. It would be nice to have someone we know (think) is not as injury prone as Hall securing that role. If Hall is our best option coming out of camp and then, god forbid, goes down with another injury in week 2, we know we don't have our best option.
Best case scenario, one of the other guys balls out and locks down the #1 spot.

They only hate us because we're great.

Bolt's picture

I hope not. Not because I don't think he's a capable running back but because I think he's a capable "H-back" and I think Rod Smith is a capable RB and I'd like to see both of them on the field. I want to see Jordan specialize in the "H-back" role (which ironically is a role that doesn't really specialize in anything).

Maestro's picture

Agreed.  Don't want him to have to get moved around from spot to spot.  Not that he couldn't handle it, but I hope he can focus on one position and excel at it.

vacuuming sucks

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Pivot, not H-Back. :)

Earle's picture

I would really like to see Hall featured in the as-yet-unamed-pivot-player-role-fomerly-named-after-some-guy-who-played-at-some-other-school.  I think he is better suited for that role than as a true RB.
I think we are fine at RB, especially if Rod shows he can hang onto the ball.  Otherwise, let the kids play until Hyde gets back. 
The only way I see Hall at RB is if one of the freshman flyers grabs a hold of that pivot role and we want to have both players on the field at once.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

Fugelere's picture

Hopefully he excels at that spot. Then we can start calling it the "Jordan Hall" position.

TMac's picture

I trust that Urban & Co will put the best team possible out there every week. 
That being said, I think Hall is better in space as an H - see his punt/kick return numbers and whomever steps forward among Smith/Ball/Dunn should get the RB opportunities. 

ONE Not Done!

BUCKfutter's picture

Love JHall as a weapon, but give me a power guy as my starting RB.

the kids are playing their tail off, and the coaches are screwing it up! - JLS

dmiller2345's picture

If Hall has to step in for Hyde for three games I could see Dontre Wilson or Jalin Marshall filling in for Hall at the 'Percy' position

"I've got to coach a few of them and I want an angry team, I want a pissed off football team." - Urban F. Meyer

2015 CFP National Champions Buckeyes 42 - Ducks 20

- Are you a solution or a Pain in the ASS? -

USMC11917's picture

I hope Rod gets his chance. Dude has paid his dues. Hall doesn't have elite tackle breaking ability. Good elusiveness but not great interior running.

Wilkins78's picture

As much as Braxton runs it, I'd rather have a bigger blocking presence at RB and have Hall a potential game breaker in the hybrid role.  

TWCBUCKEYE's picture

With this offense I am confident with any of our RBs honestly. Put Brionte in there and let the big fella rumble!

"Nothing cleanses your soul like getting the [Mark May] kicked out of you."

avail31678's picture

I rewatched some of the 2012 action on BTN this week....anytime Hall went outside he got 5-7 yards.  Like every time.  I do not, however, recall him doing well running between the tackles. 
Put Hall in the hybrid role.  Get him outside or in space. 

Ethos's picture

When Hall was running between the tackles regularly to make that decision iut was 2011, 2012 was an injury fest for him so you can't use statistics from that season for him.  In 2011, no Urban Meyer/Hermann, no Offensive Line, and Jim Bollman.
So really we have no idea how well he would do with an offensive line that is 10x better then in 2011, and an OC that actually knows what he's doing.

"I spent 90 percent of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted." - George Best

avail31678's picture

Fair point....good one actually.
I'll revise my statement to only point out how well he does going outside.

saltybuck61's picture

That's a great point. We haven't seen Hall run with the conditions he has now. I think he has potential to be a solid traditional tailback, but I also want to see him at the H-back. Either way, it should be fun to watch him play this year.

ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

It's huge to have a guy like Hall back and available.  Here's to him staying healthy and finding various ways to make an impact, during and after Hyde's suspension.

Class of 2010.

BierStube's picture

I like Hall in the "relief valve" roll.  When he can settle in the flat and be the check down route, I find him to be a great option for moving the chains .. possibly taking it all the way with his illusiveness!

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

cinserious's picture

Thanks for the throwback 'Clerks' scene.

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

doodah_man's picture

Why not just keep him at the Percy position? While I am sure that he could be productive as a back, Smith and Dunn need the experience and playing time, as well as doing a better job of blocking for Braxton. Also, there is going to be enough of a hiccup when Hyde comes back (assuming he does) in after the Cal game. At least, they will have a tune-up with Florida A&M to work out the kinks in that part of the offense.

Jim "DooDah" Day

"If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.” --Wilbur Wright, 1910

Earle's picture

Stop calling it the "Percy position"!!

Sorry man. It just drives me crazy. It was all I could do to keep from going all caps.

Snarkies gonna snark. 

OSUbucknut's picture

I'm sorry I just don't feel bad for someone who gets to spend ad extra year in college at Ohio State. 

whobdis's picture

I've heard that Hall has lost a decent amount of weight..I assume in anticipation of his 'new' position. I'm not sure the lighter weight would serve him well as a fulltime rb. We are pretty loaded at RB so I see no reason for the move. I'm going out on a bit of a limb and stating Ball will play much more than people think. Myer stated he was making quite a push before his injury last season. He had the most 'long runs' in spring ball and he has
great hands. I'm just not sure about his blocking and if the staff would be comfortable with him leading the way for Miller.

Poison nuts's picture

Rod Smith at RB, Hall in the slot. Dunn, Ball, & Zeke getting touches at RB & Marshall, Wilson, & Zeke getting touches in the slot. This is what I hope for & would foresee. People may disagree with this next one, but I wonder how good Rod Smith can be & if Hyde gets the starting RB role back once he comes back in. We'll see. Going to be an interesting year...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

cinserious's picture

Just remember, when Hyde comes back look out for the 'diamond' formation, where a handful of these guys will be utilized simultaneously. Hyde, Rod Smith, J.Hall, and either Ball,Wilson,or Marshall.

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

MassiveAttack's picture

I don't think it alters Hall's role at all.  We have plenty of RB talent.  How much Hybrid talent do we have?
I've really enjoyed Hall's contributions in the past, and he has shown some elusiveness.  But honestly, I don't see him as durable enough to be a full time guy in either position.  I can see him splitting time with some of the incoming speedy Frosh.
Good luck, Jordan.

The Ohio State University - "Haters love us!"

buckeyepastor's picture

I don't think Hall was ever an ideal, natural "between the tackles" runner for us.   I think in Hyde's absence he gets a few more touches, but I think the lion's share of the slack from Hyde will fall to Smith and Dunn.   

"Woody would have wanted it that way" 

Kindell's picture

Hall does his best work in space, I think he should stay where he is at.  I would rather see Dunn and Ball get the carries after Smith.

ScarletNGrey01's picture

Hall has great attributes for a spread offense, he's strong enough to run through holes but also fast and versatile enough to catch a short ball in the seams and scoot down the field or even run the option.  I'd be surprised if he wasn't used a good bit this season.  Imagine having to defend a lineup that includes Miller, Hyde or Smith and Hall along with the improved WR's the bucks have.  I'm don't think I'm being a homer when I assert that the buckeyes (assuming Brax has improved his passing mechanics as advertised) SHOULD be able to score a lot of points this season, and may need to since the defense is in a bit of a reloading mode.  The other aspect of Hyde being out the first three games is it may require Miller to pass a bit more, which can only help during the meat of the schedule.  With Hyde, Smith and Hall in the lineup the bucks could probably just run through 90% of teams without ever passing the ball LOL.

The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win. -- Woody Hayes

3GB's picture

After rewatching some of the 2012 season I'm excited to see Hall in the Percy position.  The tap passes (essentially a jet sweep) and misdirection handoffs are where Jordan can do some real damage.  Philly Brown was able to bust off a few 10-15 yard runs from those plays and I think Hall is even better in those small space situations on the edges than Brown so he could find himself a lot of opportunities to break off a big play.  It's hard not to be excited about our run game when there is talent able bang up the middle or burn you on the edge spread at different positions on the field.

SOF_Buckeye's picture

Let's all find a way to get out of the 'Percy' position references... Each individual puts his own mark on how any position is played. Plus, I don't want any of our players feel obligated to develop maladies that may keep them off of the playing field...

"The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender." Woody Hayes

3GB's picture

Urban calls it the "Percy" position.  It's terminology the offense uses around practice.

Mirror Lake Jump's picture

Is Hall a 6th year senior?

Furious George 27's picture

He is on the David Lighty plan.

Yeah, well…that’s just like, your opinion, man.

EDUGOON's picture

I'm holding out on Hall until I see it. I don't see the pull away or (GizzzzOut!!!) speed or ability that it takes to excel at that role in which he'll play the famed "Percy Harvin" position. I see Dontre Wilson or Philly Brown being far better suited for that role. Hall will help, but in other ways. 

"We Don't Believe You, You Need More People"- Hova #GOBUCKS #FreeElGuapo #Famthik

Hovenaut's picture

Rooting for Jordan Hall as well....he's a senior, a leader and most definitely needed.

pjtobin's picture

From what I have gathered from the comments in this thread , leave Hall in the Percy position. ( if urban calls it Percy than I guess we can?) I want hall to have a great year. No matter his role. I want him to go pro and represent TOSU in the nfl. We have some great playmakers. I think they all will shine bright in Urbans offense. 

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

I think he will get a few more carries at the back position than at the hybrid position during the first 3 games.  Hopefully some of the younger backs can step up.  I think they will.  There is such a huge amount of talent there that I think we will be okay.  Will be nice to get Hyde back though. 
Go Bucks!!

pasadena buckeye's picture

It's too bad the nickname The Law Firm is taken. Smith, Ball & Dunn has a ring to it for tailback by committee.

Pasadena Buckeye

Buckin-J's picture

While he may not pack the punch Hyde does, Hyde could provide some versatility for Meyer as he plans for life without El Guapo.

If I'm not mistaken the shouldn't it read something like
While he may not pack the punch Hyde does, 'Hall' could provide some versatility for Meyer as he plans for life without El Guapo.

Go Bucks or go home.