Ohio State notebook: Goals swayed Hyde to return for senior year
Carlos Hyde was tempted to leave Ohio State for the NFL after a breakthrough 2012 season, but he decided the potential rewards of staying were greater.
“I only considered it for a couple of weeks,” Hyde said.
In the end, three main factors kept him in Columbus. He wants to earn his degree. He wants to be the first runner to gain 1,000 yards on an Urban Meyer-coached team. He wants to win a national championship.
“I want to come back and get the 1,000 yards and raise the crystal ball,” Hyde said.
With almost everyone back on offense, an experienced secondary and a young-but-talented front seven on defense, the Buckeyes will be highly ranked in the preseason polls. Hyde will be counted on to play a crucial role. He had some big games as a sophomore in 2011 but really blossomed last year. Despite missing almost three games because of a sprained knee ligament, Hyde rushed for 970 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. In the process, he proved that a power runner can flourish in Meyer’s spread scheme.
“All I really wanted was a chance, so I could prove myself,” Hyde said. “I told myself when I got this chance that I was going to take advantage of it.”
Running backs coach Stan Drayton credited Hyde’s breakthrough to maturation.
“It became more than just about Carlos,” Drayton said. “That was the difference. He cared more about his team. He became more of a teammate.
“That is definitely a direct reason he had the success he had last year.”
Hyde believes he has room for improvement.
“I want to be better at making the safety miss,” he said, adding that he’d like to lose five pounds and play at 230 pounds this year.
Hyde won’t be able to relax. The Buckeyes have depth at running back. Rod Smith, Bri’onte Dunn, Warren Ball and incoming freshman Ezekiel Elliott will push Hyde for playing time.
“I think the competition is still strong,” Meyer said, “but if he’s right and he goes like he did in certain games last year, I think he’s as good as there is in the country.”
Hyde is determined to build off his 2012 season.
“Mentally, I’m still hungry,” Hyde said. “There’s more to improve on. Some people have probably doubted me. I want to prove those people wrong.”
No news on investigation
Meyer said he couldn’t comment on the investigation into alleged misconduct involving Ohio State students. At the start of spring practice, Ohio State announced that freshman defensive lineman Se’Von Pittman was no longer on the team, for reasons believed to be related to an off-the-field matter.
“I can’t comment on any student issues, and there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know,” Meyer said.
Meyer wasn’t thrilled with yesterday’s practice, although he said it was a factor that it was the first after spring break and the first in pads. … The Buckeyes used an unconventional 3-2-6 defensive alignment at times, with Curtis Grant and David Perkins as the linebackers, and Tyvis Powell and Corey Brown as the nickelbacks.