No. 121: Carlos Hyde, #3, RB, Ohio State
2011 Stats: 106 rushes, 566 yards, 6 touchdowns; 10 receptions, 73 yards; 2 kickoff returns, 47 yards
If Ohio State needs two yards on third down, Carlos Hyde should be their man. He's not a one-trick goal-line pony like Oklahoma's Blake Bell or anything like that, but at a legit 6'0" and 235 pounds with deceptive speed, he's as big as several Big Ten linebackers and stronger than most of them. He's not a plodder either; Ohio State even used him on kick returns in spot situations last year.
What Carlos Hyde is not, however, is Ohio State's go-to back. Jordan Hall has topped Hyde on the post-spring depth chart at Ohio State, and barring a bout of ineffectiveness on Hall's part, Hyde's probably just going to basically platoon at tailback.
Urban Meyer likes to use versatility in his lineups, with guys able to move in and out of the backfield or splitting out wide and playing on the line, so while that means that there'll be a lot of opportunities for Hall and Hyde to be on the same field at the same time (or even just Hyde by himself), the fact that Hyde lacks the versatility to be of much utility anywhere but at running back will likely limit his use to some extent.
That all said, as Wisconsin can properly attest, there's nothing quite as demoralizing for a defense as an offensive line crushes it while a big back pounds the tacklers into oblivion, and in that sense Hyde is a very valuable piece of Ohio State's offensive puzzle.
Look for him to keep splitting carries with Hall about as evenly as they did last season, and something along the lines of 500-600 yards and six to eight touchdowns sounds about right.
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