Ohio State: A Top-To-Bottom Preview of the 2010 Buckeye Running Backs
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Every Buckeye fan knows that Ohio State has a lot of depth at the running back position, but others outside of the Buckeye Nation don't know about these young men as we do.
As fall camp is soon to be nearing completion, and with the start of the season just two weeks away, it seemed like a fitting time to let everyone know just how deep and talented (albeit raw in some cases) the 2010 Buckeyes will be by taking a look at each of our backs that will have a chance to contribute on the field this season.
Not staying healthy has always been the knock on Saine, but entering this season, all systems are go for Zoom.
There is still likely to be somewhat of a running back by committee approach, but Saine is expected to get the lion's share of the workload.
A year ago, a relatively healthy Saine posted 963 rushing and receiving yards combined, scoring four touchdowns on the ground and two through the air.
This season, not only will he carry the ball, but as evidenced by the Oregon game, he will also be used as a receiver out of the backfield and from the slot at times.
For Saine, plays like the one at 1:25 in the video should become a regular occurrence this season.
If (big if) he can remain healthy, Saine is going to be used a lot like Reggie Bush was at USC, (sans the free house and cash in return), so don't be surprised when he has a big year for the Bucks.
Two words come to mind when thinking of Boom—very dependable.
By all accounts, Boom is a very hard worker and a great teammate. In 2009, Herron gained 600 yards on the ground for a 3.9 yards per carry average and scored eight total touchdowns (seven rushing, one receiving).
On occasion, he has shown the ability to break a big run, but he's also been somewhat inconsistent at times.
One minute he's breaking through for a big gain, then the next it's as if he trips over a blade of grass with nothing but wide open space ahead of him.
Hopefully, we see more of what we see Boom do in the video against Michigan in 2008 this season and the next.
He needs to be more patient and let the play develop instead of running straight into a pile of bodies before the hole opens up. His field vision could also use some fine-tuning.
Doing those things should hopefully (for his sake as far as playing time goes) help him move his game to the next level.
The former HS teammate of QB Terrelle Pryor out of Jeannette, Pennsylvania filled in for the then-injured Saine and Herron and showed that he is strong, fast, and explosive out of the backfield.
Somewhat of an afterthought in the class of 2009, the undervalued Hall proved his worth when he had his opportunity and at least for now has been rewarded accordingly as the third running back in the pecking order.
In the six games he saw action in last season, Hall gained 248 yards on 48 carries for an average of 5.2 yards per carry, which was a higher yards-per-carry average than both Saine and Herron.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a video specifically of Hall from last year at Ohio State, but he played very similarly for the Buckeyes as he did for his HS team, the Jayhawks.
He was pretty solid on defense too as you'll see. It probably won't happen, but I wonder if a position change could be in his future given our depth at running back?
The video showcases a few highlights from his Jeannette days.
If Hall can hold off the surging and highly-touted Jaamal Berry for the No. 3 back behind the oft-injured Saine and Herron, he could find himself playing a key role for the Buckeyes in 2010 and could emerge as an unlikely star.
Miami Palmetto's Jaamal Berry was the most prized recruit in the Ohio State 2009 recruiting class. Saying he was/is considered a can't miss star-to-be is almost an understatement.
But not every highly-regarded prospect lives up to the sometimes ridiculous hype and expectations. The jury is still out on Berry as he took a redshirt in 2009 after battling a nagging leg injury all season.
Although by most accounts coming out of camp, Berry sits at No. 4 behind two upperclassmen and fellow 2009 recruit Jordan Hall on the depth chart, many believe he also won't be down there for long.
He is a game breaker, possessing moves that have been compared to those of Barry Sanders and also is a literal speed-burner with another gear, allowing him to blow past defenders.
Obviously he has not seen any on-the-field action in the Scarlet and Gray as of yet, but take a look at this impressive highlight reel of him from his HS days.
After watching the video, I think it is easy to see why Buckeye fans are chomping at the bit to see Berry on the field this season and for the next three to four years.
He may have to bide his time as the third or fourth option in the crowded Buckeye backfield this season, but he won't be held down for long if he even comes close to performing near the level of expectation we have for him.
Originally a member of the 2009 recruiting class, Carlos was one point shy on the ACT of meeting the academic standard for admission to OSU.
So instead, he followed the path former Buckeye great and 1995 Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George took to Columbus by spending a year at Fork Union Military Academy in Virginia. With the plethora of backs already on campus and in the class of 2009, that might have been the best situation for Hyde.
At 6'1", 230 lbs., the former Cincinnati, Ohio native is a big, powerful back who has been compared to both Eddie George (6'3", 235 lbs.) and Beanie Wells (6'1", 235 lbs.). He clearly has the physical tools just as they did and if he can carry the rock like those two did, look out!
Like Berry, Hyde has not seen any live game action for the Buckeyes, but he too has a very impressive highlight reel from his days at Naples HS in Florida—take a look at the video.
As you can see from the highlights, Hyde is big, strong, and fast for his and Buckeye fans are very excited to see him on the field as soon as possible.
Others Worth Noting
FB Zach Boren finds paydirt
Roderick Smith out of Fort Wayne, Indiana is considered the top recruit from the 2010 class but he is yet to make it on campus. He might be wise to take a similar path as Hyde did and save a redshirt year and a year of eligibility by working out his academic issues then joining the Buckeyes in 2011.
Now-former Buckeye Jermil Martin officially transferred to Ashland University recently because of the abundance of backs ahead of him at OSU. He decided on AU so that he can play right away instead of sitting out a season per NCAA rules.
Also worth mentioning are fullbacks Zach Boren and Adam Homan. Both are great blocking backs, but Boren has also been making his case to actually carry and catch the ball on occasion as well so keep an eye out for that.
There is no shortage of depth, talent, or speed at the running back position in Columbus and it is easy to see why we Buckeye fans feel that we (not USC or Alabama or Florida) have the best stable of backs top to bottom in the nation.