Ohio State spotlight: Carlos Hyde

RB | Ohio State

By The Columbus Dispatch  • 
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Adam Cairns | Dispatch
Carlos Hyde

Carlos Hyde’s suspension put him on the back burner for the first three games of the season, but that doesn’t mean the Ohio State senior running back has been sitting back there pouting.

The power back who finished 30 yards of 1,000 a year ago was has been pounding runs, if only against the first-team defense as a member of the scout team.

“He has been preparing our defense for three weeks now, and I feel like he is really ready to get back on the field,” safety Christian Bryant said last week. “But he is doing everything in his power right now to give the defense the best look that he can.”

That kind of effort, along with meeting other requirements, prompted coach Urban Meyer to elevate Hyde back to playing status this week. Meyer had suspended him after video showed Hyde getting into a physical altercation with a woman at a Downtown bar in late July. Although police ultimately opted not to charge Hyde, Meyer hit him with a three-game suspension and told him it could be more if he didn’t like his attitude.

“He handled this in a very unselfish, selfless manner, and I made it very clear to him it had to be that way,” Meyer said. “Because he could have come back and said, ‘There was nothing legally wrong with what I did. Why?’ That never came up.

“I simply said, ‘This is the punishment. This is what I need you to do and you better walk the straight line here.’ And he did. So we’re welcoming him back.”

It’s uncertain how he will fit into the rotation at a stacked running back spot. Jordan Hall has set career highs in two of his first three games this year as the starter, the latest being a 168-yard, three-touchdown effort in last week’s win at California. Freshman Dontre Wilson has emerged as the scatback who is likely to get more action as the year progresses, and Rod Smith and freshman Ezekiel Elliott also have caught the coaches’ attention.

Regardless, Meyer will play Hyde today against prohibitive underdog Florida A&M. Hyde has served his penalty and opted not to “mope and complain” about it, Meyer said. “And I think he knows that this is it, he is at the 11th hour of his (college) career, and he played very well for us a year ago.”

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports

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