I know, I know. The NCAA Tournament starts today, you’re still filling out your last bracket (although your wife already let the dog make picks in hers and she’s going to beat you), and you’ve got CBS’s basketball music stuck in your head already. However, I also know that you’ve got a few minutes to read about Buckeye football, and I’m sure you have an opinion on who will be playing running back for us in the fall, so stick around for a few more paragraphs…
Judging by the way our new head coach practically giggled on stage when asked about Braxton Miller, I’d say that the quarterback position is about as locked up as it could be. Things can happen, as we have learned the hard way, but Miller is anything but the player that had previously held his position. In contrast, Miller is shy and soft-spoken when not in front of his peers, and has seemed to have his head on straight since Day 1. If this continues, he studies hard (both in class and on the field), and he puts in the effort over the next few weeks/months, then Braxton Miller will be our leader in 2012.
Now that the easy part is out of the way, there is no shortage of opinions throughout Buckeye Nation as to who will be carrying the football (other than Braxton) in Urban and Tom Herman’s offense. At Florida, Meyer was able to rely, in large part, on his quarterback to be his power rusher. Tebow is essentially a fullback who lines up behind center and smashes forward for yardage so effectively that when he throws the ball, the defensive backs’ eyes are in the backfield and people are open. Braxton, on the other hand, is a juker and speedster with the ball in his hands, so I am of the belief that our running back(s) will need to earn the tough yards.
For that reason, I would not be surprised to see Carlos Hyde begin the season as the Bucks’ halfback. Hyde has a quick burst when he breaks through the line, and is powerful enough to fall forward in short yardage situations. If the choice were up to me, early enrollee, Bri’onte Dunn would be the backup/committee halfback and share the load with Hyde. Obviously, this leaves out an important name from the backfield, Jordan Hall. I don’t feel that Hall will be a typically back this year, but will share time in certain situations when Hyde or Dunn is on the field as well. In other words, serve as either a decoy or a slot back to help spread the field, while still showing the ability to smash the ball up the middle. This position could also show Devin Smith’s flexibility, and allow him the chance to take some handoffs on reverses and options.
We’ll have some more clues to these positions in the next few weeks, but the following are my current predictions for OSU’s quarterback and running backs.
- *Indicates incoming freshman
Braxton Miller (So.)
Ken Guiton (Jr.)
Carlos Hyde (Jr.)
Bri’onte Dunn (Fr.)*
Jordan Hall (Sr.) / Devin Smith (So.)
Zach Boren (Sr.)
Adam Homan (Sr.)
- Other Quarterbacks/Running Backs
Cardale Jones QB (Fr.)*
Warren Ball RB (Fr.)*
Rod Smith RB (So.)
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