Rod Smith is the next great running back

SEC BUCKEYE's picture
September 28, 2012 at 6:46a
49 Comments

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.

Comments

439LawDog's picture

It would be nice to have a "3 headed monster" of Hyde/Dunn/Smith once they have the playbook down. Just keep rotating them while wearing down the defense..

Justanut's picture

I really want Rod Smith to do well just to prove the naysayers wrong. He could have taken the easy road and transferred but decided to stay and fight for PT at Ohio state. Never give up young man.

Buck U's picture

When I watched Rod against Akron last year, I thought he could be the next big thing.  He is a beast and I would love to see him in the backfield more.  I really hope he keeps on improving and gets more PT by the end of the year.  If he stays comitted and keeps his passion as said above I believe it will turn out to be a great story and his career will be legen..."wait for it"...dary.
I have never been that big of a fan of Hyde.  I do not think he has what it takes to be a great Ohio state running back.

FROMTHE18's picture

dude needs to stop fumbling. 

doodah_man's picture

That.

Jim "DooDah" Day
It is hard to play dirty against a man who picks you up.

shortbus20's picture

I hope Coach Meyer has really gotten his attention and focus where it should be. Sometime a change of attitude comes with a coaching change. I firmly believe he has the ability.

  • shortbus20
cplunk's picture

I think Dunn has the highest ceiling, Smith second, and Hyde third as far as bigger backs. Hall is the best fit for the offense though. If Hall had more speed he'd be perfect for this offense. 
Unfortunately though, talent ceiling is a really minor piece of the puzzle. College football history is littered with high-talent high-ceiling players who just never worked out. It's also littered with players without as many gifts and as high a ceiling who just flat out produced.
So talent ceiling aside, I just don't think Smith will ever accomplish as much at OSU as Hyde, Dunn or Hall. Is he a "better" back than Hyde? Yes, I think so, but I also think Hyde will just perform better and do more for OSU during their respective careers.

gbm's picture

I always thought the same of him. Especially coming into this year i thought he would breakout. Never looked into his fumble troubles to much. Just a young kid trying to hard to get the extra yardsand prove himself and maybe just forgot to hold onto the rock. However, im begining to think he might not be the stud i thought. Still pulling for him but correct me if im wrong but smith sat out a year after high school, then still redshirted and now got passed by a true freshman on the depth chart. Doesnt bode well for him and look good on paper. Hope he puts it all together cuz if he doesnt this yr might as well move on to Dunn.

AllDay028's picture

Rod Smith will finish his career at Ohio State with less than 50 carries.

Chris Lauderback's picture

I tend to agree with you. I don't ever see him being the feature back at Ohio State though I have nothing against him. I really thought out of HS that he would come in and be a beast but for his size, he seemed to run a little to upright/timid between the tackles and then ran into fumbling problems. He seems to have progressed which is awesome but I definitely can't see him being the go-to guy at OSU ever.

d5k's picture

The problem for Rod Smith is Dunn and Ezekiel Elliott and Warren Ball not to mention Carlos Hyde all have something to say about whether he gets a lot of carries next year.  He is already well behind Hyde and at best slightly ahead of Dunn on the depth chart.  Who knows what happens next year.

Buckeyejason's picture

This

BUCKEYES BABY!

SPreston2001's picture

I agree, I dont see him being the feature back here either. Great guy, but sometimes the shoe just doesnt fit...

Bucks43201's picture

I love your positive thinking...hand the ball to Hot Rod! & GTFO the way

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Maestro's picture

Jaamal Berry agrees with this thread title.

vacuuming sucks

SPreston2001's picture

Lol! Thats a guy I really had high hopes for. Seems like Smith may be the next disappointment...

SEC BUCKEYE's picture

I don't know...I guess im just not ready to give up on this guy....A player who smith reminds me of is a young Arian Foster at Tennessee(without the legal trouble). Foster too was redshirted. He had all of the gifts a running back could ever ask for but he had two issues (1}focus and (2} fumbling the football. Arian did not get the opportunity to start until an injury opened up the way. I honesty just thinkhe needs the opportunity. If he ever does im not sure, but if he ever does get the chance lookout.....

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maestro's picture

He had opportunities when Herron was suspended and when Hyde went down this season.  He has yet to show the ability to take advantage of his opportunities to this point, but last week was a positive sign.  Not expecting much so I will be pleasantly surprised if he becomes a stud.

vacuuming sucks

Northbrook's picture

If he can ever learn his assignments maybe he will gain the confidence he needs to be a top back.

USMC11917's picture

Hyde runs hard but his vision hasn't impressed me. Good ball security but he hasn't mastered the playbook. I am not impressed with him thus far. Speed is good but not exceptional. (Game Speed, I know he is considered one of our faster players but it hasn't appeared that way on tape.)
Hall, well, it's not fair to asses his current performance because of his injury. He has good agility but his vision and timing have been off these last two games. He has great hands but his lack of speed is a real problem for this current team. Our team is a big play, scoring team. We have not shown, with regularity, the ability to string together consistent scoring drives. We score more often than not on the big plays. I don't see Hall fitting that role.
Dunn seems to have great vision for a freshman and he has enough wiggle to make defenders bounce off of him, or deflect major hits (Minus that shot he took in the spring game) but not to break ankles like that 5 yard lateral juke that Braxton delivered. Dunn's greatest problem is his youth and knowledge of the playbook. I think the activation of his sympathetic nervous system interferes with his cognitive abilities and he can't synch up with the plays that are being called. Between him and Hyde they both have had major issues with lining up in the right position or fulfilling their responsibilities on certain play calls. If the game slows down for Dunn, I have seen enough from him to think he has a great career here. He is not a bad runner at all.
Smith can be that guy that has all of the intangibles but he can't hold onto the ball. I see great power and speed, hes also shown good vision. (limited sample size of course) If he gets opportunities, I can see him being a game changer. He has the ability to bust long runs if he can hold onto that daggone football. I wouldn't go out on a limb to project him to be the next great one but I am just as curious to see what he does with the rock as I was Jamaal Berry. That never panned out either. I would like to see some wildcats with Smith ala what Herron had last year. He ran quite a few of those plays in High School.

d5k's picture

I was almost with you until those last few sentences.  Meyer will never be dumb enough to run the Wildcat when you already are running a spread option with your best runner at QB.........

Buckeyejason's picture

Oh boy....here we go. You have a right to your own opinion, but come on man SERIOUSLY!?!?! He'll never be the #1 back here let alone a "Great OSU" back.

BUCKEYES BABY!

Buckeyejason's picture

When Rod Smith doesn't work out and transfers or stays 2nd/3rd string back you better eat a lot of crow.

BUCKEYES BABY!

njc2o's picture

yes because internet is serious business

ralEbuckI's picture

I'm with you SECBuck (except for the fact I didn't see Eddie on your list).  Not to say that I'm some great pronosticator in the likes of Puncsatony Phil, but I just believe in him.  Maybe its pulling for the underdog when so many have dumped on him, or more likely the comparisons we heard in the past to my all time fave Eddie ... regardless, I'm hoping you are right.  And the passion we saw out of him last week was a great start.  Here's to building on to that.

cajunbuckeye's picture

The Smith train is leaving the station without me on board. Brings back thoughts of missing team flights...hmm. Maybe my expectations were to high, but with the stats he brought to tOSU it was hard not to be psyched. It's a Dunn deal for me. (pun intended)

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

dvalentine7's picture

I want Rod Smith to do well also.. i've been pulling for him since he stepped on the field and if he gets a shot like last week he's going to continue to grow confidence.. He is a physical speciman that we need right now because J.Hall is not what he was hyped up to be this year in my opinion, he is a great player don't get me wrong ..

cajunbuckeye's picture

I've never been a big fan of J. Hall as a headliner either. I want Keith Byars, is that too much to ask?

An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches

Haybucks's picture

I wanted to see what Carlos Snow could do with good knees.  That kid was a gamer!

You've got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was. - Irish proverb

 

Buckeyejason's picture

J.Hall is what he is..a small, quick scat back who can get you good yardage and catch passes out f the backfield. He seems to fall very easily when barely touched though, and lacks great speed. 
I don't know why fans fall for all this preseason hype/talk about players like Hall and Simon..when we know what they are and can/cant do as players. I don't expect Hall to be like Chris Rainey or Jeff Demps because I've watched him for the last 4 years and know what he brings to the table. I don't expect John Simon to be Jadveon Clowney either.

BUCKEYES BABY!

SEC BUCKEYE's picture

Edited @Ralebucki I loved Eddie as well.....

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

d.bradfordii's picture

One could only hope Rod Smith joins your list.  We used to be called "Running Back U", what happened?  We've had some average running backs and some good quarterbacks in the past 10 years or so - and Braxton Miller is our best quarterback in a while (definitely better than Pryor).  But we haven't had a great running back in a long time.

Here is my point.  A great running back is going to get his yards, he's going to keep fighting and never stop.  He doesn’t care that he’s facing the best defense in the country, the best rushing defense ever, the best linebacker or defensive lineman to ever wear a uniform, etc.  He ignores the hype and is going to prove to everyone what a great running back he is - you’ll never know his toe, or thigh, or ankle, etc. hurts because he wants you to think he’s invincible.  A great running back has great vision yet knows when to put his head down and smash at the smallest of cracks in the hope that he squirts through and sees nothing but daylight between himself and the goal.  It might be his 21st carry before he gets his chance but he perseveres and keeps the faith, knowing that he is going to get his yards - he wills himself to do it. 

My list of those types of Buckeye running backs is much shorter and they are - Cassidy, Archie, Eddie, and I’d add Robert Smith to the list (he broke my heart by leaving early for the NFL).  These guys took so much pressure off of their quarterbacks that the Buckeyes dominated and few even remember the quarterbacks on their teams.

If you pair a great running back up with Braxton Miller at quarterback, it would be magic before your eyes – one can only hope someone steps up and gets us back to “Running Back U” status!
 

DEB II

Buckeyejason's picture

erbacks in the past 10 years or so - and Braxton Miller is our best quarterback in a while (definitely better than Pryor).  But we haven't had a great running back in a long time.

Sorry man, but you lose all credibility with this. You must have not watched much Buckeye football from 2007-2010. Braxton is already better than Pryor? No, not yet. 
I would call Beanie Wells a great runningback..unless you call 4 seasons ago "a long time".

BUCKEYES BABY!

SPreston2001's picture

I agree with you Jason. I wouldnt say Brax is better than Pryor at this moment. I def think he will surpass him but he's not there yet. I think alot of us live in the heat of the moment and forget how good TP was. Most only choose to remember how Pryor left the program (tatgate) and fail to realize if he had been in this current offense he would have been off the charts! Pryor was the type of physical specimen that wont come around for another 10-15 yrs. TP was a beast as well as this other guy that won the Heisman back in 2006!

gobucks96's picture

He doesn't lose all credibility with that opinion.... tone it down.
I think Braxton has a ways to go still before he's better than Pryor, but his ceiling is very much higher than Pryor's.. Troy was in '06 and he was a better QB than both, IMHO.
 

jestertcf's picture

To be a great running back, you need the majority of the touches. I just don't think he will ever be the number one.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

Et_Tu_OSU's picture

Update:  Rod Smith participated in at least one play today...

"The revolution will be televised."

jestertcf's picture

Thanks man. I truely Lol'd when I read this.

~Because we couldn't go for three~

SEC BUCKEYE's picture

I don't know I think he will get a chance and when he does he will be spectacular

All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

SPreston2001's picture

Lol he's had the chance! Im not sure how many more chances your willing to give him but he couldnt even snatch it from a true freshman earlier this year! Rod Smith has been given plenty of chances guys. I dont think the coaching staff would have him riding the pine if they saw something great in him. Sometimes players just fizzle out at the college level...

Et_Tu_OSU's picture

I actually like Rod Smith and I hope he does get another chance, but I have to say he's squandered most chances he's been given so far.  I truly hope he does become the next great Buckeye RB, because if he does, we're gonna be killin' people -- I just haven't seeing enough to lead me to believe this is going to happen...especially since he's one fumble away from done this year.  Seems like a good kid, and definitely a good athlete, he just needs to find a way to pull it all together.

"The revolution will be televised."

Buckeyejason's picture

^ if he was spactacular he would be playing more than 1-2 plays a game. 

BUCKEYES BABY!

William's picture

Rod Smith is the greatest ever, he's already won 5 Heismans. 

Buckeyejason's picture

WILLIAM IS RIGHT HE'S BETTER THAN ARCHIE, BEANIE, AND MO CLARETT!1!1!1!1!1! lol

BUCKEYES BABY!

BlockO's picture

bump

"faith seeking understanding” (fides quaerens intellectum)

Buckeyejason's picture

^why?

BUCKEYES BABY!

Silver Bullet 10's picture

Well, it's now or never for Smith.