Ohio State Football: H back unit rounding into one of Urban’s best


Ohio State h-back unit is strong and deep.

Urban Meyer has coached two of the best h-backs ever to play college football. Percy Harvin was the standard-bearer at the University of Florida, and Curtis Samuel put up numbers last year that will be difficult for any future Ohio State football player to match.

There isn’t a guy in this year’s h-back unit who is on pace to match the performances by either Harvin or Samuel. But this year’s group may rival any that Urban has ever had before.

The three Buckeye h-backs, Parris Campbell, KJ Hill and CJ Saunders have already exceeded most of the receiving totals Samuel recorded during the 2016 season, and in only eight games. The three players have caught 82 passes for 974 yards and 6 touchdowns. Samuel had 74 receptions for 865 yards and 7 scores last season.

Here are the receiving stats of the three:

  • KJ Hill 40 receptions, 376 yards, 3 touchdowns
  • Parris Campbell 28 receptions, 399 yards, 2 touchdowns
  • CJ Saunders 14 receptions, 196 yards, 1 touchdown

Campbell, Hill and  Saunders aren’t exactly setting the world on fire running the football, with Parris Campbell the leader with only 51 rushing yards. But there hasn’t been a need for them to get heavily involved in the rushing attack like Samuel was.

Running back JK Dobbins has led the way in that department, Antonio Williams and Demario McCall helped out early in the season and Mike Weber is now back healthy. With that group of running backs performing well, the h-backs have primarily been used in the passing game.

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With the depth of this year’s h-back unit, it could be as important as the one in 2014.

The three players who played h-back during the 2014 season, Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall and Samuel formed an excellent unit. And the depth of the group proved to be extremely important in the Buckeyes’ run to the national title.

Wilson was the number one guy but went down with an injury late in the season. Marshall stepped up and Samuel moved over from his  backup running back spot and the Buckeye offense didn’t miss a beat.

During the last two games, Campbell has left the game early and Hill has stepped up big time. He had 7 catches for 82 yards in the Nebraska game and 12 receptions for 102 yards versus Penn State. Saunders chipped in with 3 catches for 32 yards in the two games as well.

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Urban Meyer may not have that All-American h-back this season but he has quite a unit. The trio of players he has are pretty good.