Ohio State has seen it's share of elite running backs in the school's illustrious history of playing college football. Names such as Eddie, Archie, Byars, Clarrett, Cassady, Harley, Johnson, Beanie, and Spencer jump out at first glance but others such as Pepe Pearson, Michael Wiley, Joe Montgomery, etc; have left an indellible mark on the fabric that is Buckeyenation.
I believe that it is time that we add one more name to this great list of buckeye legends- and that name is Rod Smith.
Before I go any further let me first start off by saying that I understand that this is giant leap I am making and for all intensive purposes I am willing to take any criticism for my seemingly outlandish and bold claims. For starters, Rod Smith is barely a third string back, only receiving small portions of PT due to the injuries of speedy tailback Jordan Hall and the big buckeye bruiser Carlos Hyde. What I find is so troubling about this young man is that the talent and potential has always been within his grasp to be a truly elite back.
It is in my opinion, been because of a lack of focus that Rod Smith has yet to climb the pinnacle of buckeye stardom. In fact, earlier this year Smith found himself in Urban Meyer's lockup facility after showing a lack of passion for the game and in his words, "just not good enough" to gain meaningful minutes in the rotation.
Meyer strongly urged Smith to transfer to another team where he would be able to play. From the span of that moment until the present, a fire lit up in Smith. The passion for the game and the undeniable potential buried beneath lost fumbles and missed running assignments were on full display in crucial situations, last week against UAB.
I am not oblivious to the fact that Smith did not even play most of the game but what was clearly obvious is that when Ohio State needed a big third down he delivered when his number was called. There was an "it" factor that I saw in Smith's few carries last week that I failed to see in any of our backs.
If Smith continues to work hard, I have no doubt that he will be the number one option for the buckeye run game next season. Remember, most of our greatest players had rough beginnings. It is not where you start off but it is more about where you finish.
What a great story it would be if Rod Smith could overcome all of the obstacles that has plagued his young buckeye career. I believe he can and I believe he will. Get ready Columbus a star has been born.