Ohio State Football: Bigger Backs Will Succeed in Urban Meyer's Offense
Ohio State has had a long tradition of utilizing big, bruising backs in their smashmouth offense. Running backs like Eddie George and Beanie Wells used to terrorize defenses with their size and strength barreling through the hole, out of the classic I-formation. Buckeye Nation loves their backs to have significant bulk, and fear that in Meyer's spread offense these type of backs will be pushed to the wayside for smaller scat backs. This couldn't be further from the truth.
One thing we can know for certain about Meyer's offense is that he is a mastermind when it comes to utilizing his talent. Meyer isn't the type of coach that runs one system, no matter what type of personnel he possesses. He is interested in utilizing his most talented players, and he will adjust his system to fit the type of talent his players are blessed with. If Meyer is fortunate to have gifted but bigger backs, he will maximize their talents into on-field production.
Current backs like Rod Smith and Carlos Hyde won't be forgotten with Meyer at the helm. In fact, Buckeyes fans should rejoice Meyer's philosophies because he will continue to include bigger backs while utilizing the talents of smaller backs like Jordan Hall.
During Tressel's reign as head coach, smaller backs were poorly used and talent was wasted at an enormous rate. Running backs like Brandon Saine and Jordan Hall, who fail to fit the mold of a downhill runner, were ignored when they could have made major impacts on the field. In Meyer's offense, big, downhill runners will succeed along with quicker backs with solid hands.
Rumors have been swirling that Ohio State commit Bri'onte Dunn will jump ship and join Michigan because he's not sure how a bigger back, like himself, will fit in Meyer's offense. Immediately following his hiring, Meyer called the Ohio native and ensured him he would have a place in his offense. Meyer said during his times at Florida that he never had a bigger back, but would have loved to. Dunn's status is still unclear, but the young man should take Meyer very seriously.
Meyer's offense isn't chock-full of gimmicks and finesse. When broken down to its simplest form, it is still the same downhill running game that Buckeye nation has come to love, and bigger backs have thrived in for years.
Probably Meyer's greatest talent as a coach is his ability to maximize and utilize the talent placed before him. Don't expect this to change in Columbus, no matter how big the back may be.
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