I'm sure this has been discussed, but with more and more playmakers being stockpiled by UFM, I thought I would list the names and maybe preview some possible new faces to back-up the "Hyde-ra" of Miller, Hyde and Smith.
QB- Braxton Miller - Obviously the offense will go through him. It's possible his rushing numbers could go down next year as a result of the emergence of our talented backfield.
RB- Carlos Hyde - Breakout season for the big back from Naples, FL. Coming up just short of 1,000 yards despite missing 2 games, Hyde came on late in the season as teams loaded up against Miller. Should enter 2013 as the #1 RB.
RB- Rod Smith - Prime example of the transformative powers of Meyer and co. Likened to Eddie George because of his size, Smith was lost in the depth chart in early spring. He committed himself to the Buckeye way, and contributed huge carries all year especially in games against Nebraska and Penn St. Must stay focused to keep others from taking carries.
RB- Jordan Hall - Injuries derailed the senior season of the former HS teammate of Terrell Pryor. He did mange 3 games and even topped 100 yards against UAB. Granted a medical redshirt, Hall will look to fill the "Percy Harvin role" we hear so much about.
RB- Bri'onte Dunn - The freshman from Canton saw action in 3 games, scoring in garbage time against Miami and Illinois. Should battle Hall for carries.
WR- Corey Brown - Used mostly on bubble screens and reverses, don't call me "Philly" racked up 10 carries and scored on the ground against IU. It's possible we see much the same next year for Philly.
Note: Five other Buckeyes recorded carries, but only do-it-all Zach Boren and the ol' right hander Kenny Guiton had more than one. Warren Ball, freshman from St. Francis DeSales was reshirted.
Urban Meyer has quickly assembled a dynamic 2013 recruiting class with some notable runners. As always the predictions and assumptions of incoming freshmen is subject to many factors. Although not rare, seeing a freshman come in and make an immediate impact on the ground isn't a given. Below are the prized legs Urban hopes will take our offense to the next level.
ATH- Jalin Marshall - A shifty speedster from Middletown, he played option QB for the Middies. Projected as a RB or WR at Ohio State, it's not known exactly how he would be used. His best asset may turn out to be his versatility in running and throwing. One to keep an eye on.
RB- Ezekiel Elliot - Not just an awesome name, Elliot is one of the best backs in the 2013 class. He's big (6'0" 205) and fast (4.42). Many Buckeye fans have him slated to compete for carries right away.
QB- J.T. Barrett - Signed as the future dual threat QB at OSU, Barrett unfortunately tore his ACL, MCL and meniscus in early October. His immediate future will be rehab and lots of it. We wish him a speedy recovery, but his impact won't be known for a few years.
WR- Taivon Jacobs - A super speedster from Maryland, he will be buried on the depth chart when he arrives in Columbus. His speed is what makes him intriguing.
Projected DBs with offensive possibilities - Cam Burrows, Gareon Conley, Eli Woodard, Darron Lee and Jayme Thompson.
In closing, Meyer has two potential Heisman candidates in Miller and Hyde, a veteran runner with versatility in Hall, a capable stable of back-ups in Smith and Dunn and several youngsters with loads of talent (Ball, Elliot, Marshall). I look for an increased role for Carlos Hyde, who I thought established himself as a lead back in Urban's power-run spread offense. If Miller continues to develop as a passer and a decision maker on the option run, he will be more efficient on less carries. Anything can happen in the offseason, and I look forward to see who has set themselves apart come spring. Thanks for reading and any opinions, tidbits on players, criticisms or corrections are welcomed, provided they are politely done.
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