Written by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
Edited by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
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When a person, family, or even football team is faced with sudden hardship, it’s always good to be prepared with a contingency plan of some kind. Well ladies and gentlemen, with this whole situation looming over Ohio State football, I think it’s wise for us as fans to look at our options going into this season.
I’m not at all suggesting that the situation hanging over the Buckeyes is some sort of tragedy. Nobody died, no natural disasters have happened, so calling this a tragedy would be horribly out of place. Two players made stupid decisions and one of them may be gone for the season…so having a contingency plan in place is probably a smart idea.
So what are Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes to do to fill the void that may be left by Carlos Hyde?
Well, in a nice change from a couple seasons ago, Ohio State seems to be pretty deep at the running back position. Right now the list looks like this: Rod Smith, Jordan Hall, Bri’onte Dunn, Ezekiel Elliott, Warren Ball, and Dontre Wilson.
Physically, Rod Smith has the build to take over for Carlos Hyde. He’s got that similar shape that Hyde has with lot’s of muscle and not overly tall. The downside on Smith is that he’s not quite as fast as Hyde and he can’t seem to hold on to the football. Warren Ball and Bri’onte Dunn are similar, traditional style running backs but they are relatively unproven. These guys all seem to have what it takes to be the main guy at running back, drawing hits away from Braxton Miller, they just need the opportunity to prove it.
Ezekiel Elliot, Dontre Wilson, and Jordan Hall are all a different kind of running back. They represent more of the slot receiver/pivot type of player. Elliot and Wilson are perfect for this position because they are a little undersized compared to the big bruisers in the middle. However, Jordan Hall seems fit for the position more because of nagging injuries than physical build. After missing most of last year with injuries, Hall will be eager to get back out there and be a difference maker.
Bottom line, the Buckeyes have a lot of options at running back this year. We may see all of them get a crack at the job during the non-conference schedule, or we may see Carlos Hyde come in and dominate…it all depends on the outcome of this investigation and what Urban Meyer decides to do with him. I’m not at all suggesting that losing Carlos Hyde is a small thing, but it’s not like we have no options at the position either.
What say all of you out there? Who would you like to see at running back for the Buckeyes this season?