O! What could have been.
In a video interview posted on the San Francisco 49ers' website, Carlos Hyde was immediately asked about the fateful 4th-and-2 play against Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship game.
Carlos Hyde says he didn't have a "conversation" with Urban after the play, but before it went down he was very vocal.
"I ran over there, and I'm like, 'Coach, you know... it's fourth and one... give me the ball, you know? We've been killing them vertical all day. ... This is my bread and butter right here.
... I thought he said, 'OK.' I thought he did. So I run back up to the huddle, I'm like, 'OK, I'm about to get the ball.' The offensive line is all hype, 'Alright, c'mon, give 'Los the ball! Let's go!'
"[Meyer] calls a quarterback run. I'm like, 'Alright. I'm not going to question the coach's call. I'm going to go execute and do my job. Braxton is a great runner, so I'm like, 'Braxton can get two yards, one yard.' So, I'm not worried about it.
"We ran the play, a guy came off his block, hit him for a loss. Like, 'man....'"
In the article attached to the video interview, there's also this:
“I decided not to go [Florida] because I saw the spread offense,” Hyde said of Meyer’s Gators. “I was like, ‘I don’t see any big running backs back there running the ball for him.' The only big guy back there was Tim Tebow.”
In retrospect, playing for Meyer more than prepared Hyde for the NFL. He learned how to play alongside a mobile quarterback – Braxton Miller rushed for 1,068 yards on 171 carries – and the importance of protecting Miller in the pocket.
Hyde offered this: “If you can’t pass protect, there’s a good chance you won’t play there.”
So take heed, running backs: Carlos Hyde became a complete, NFL-styled running back in Urban's power spread offense, an offense he specifically avoided coming out of high school because he didn't think it'd be beneficial for him. Funny how life works.
Tim May of The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this post.