Ohio State is known for its method of finding and signing recruits early. For one running back prospect, there was no question of whether he would play for Ohio State.
Carlos Hyde, a 6-foot-1, 230 pound running back from Naples High School in Naples, Fla., will join the Buckeyes for the 2009 season. He will join junior Brandon Saine, sophomore Daniel Herron and two other recruits: Jaamal Berry, from Miami Palmetto High School in Pinecrest Fla., and Jordan Hall from Jeannette High School in Jeannette, Pa.
Numerous recruit-tracking Web sites project these three to make the greatest immediate impacts among their recruiting class.
Kevin Noon, publisher of Buckeygrove.com, said these men will get to play a decent amount as true freshmen, especially with only two running backs on scholarship at this point.
Because of his size, Hyde maintains a deceptive fluidity on the field, often tricking the opposing team’s defense with his speed and ability in moving the ball. Noon said he will be crucial in short-yardage settings, something that wasn’t always an important factor in Chris Wells’ technique.
“Carlos is pretty big for a running back,” Noon said. “He’s not quite as fast as ‘Beanie,’ but he brings a different type of running game to the field.”
And while many of the recruits looked at a spread of options in making their decisions, Hyde didn’t take much convincing to come to OSU.
Hyde is originally from Cincinnati, where he played for Princeton High School his freshman year. He is said to have always been a Buckeye fan, even after moving to Florida.
“Carlos signed months before signing day,” said Steve Helwagen, managing editor of Bucknuts Media Network. “OSU does a really good job at getting most of its guys early, and Carlos has always shown affinity to the team.”
Hyde rushed for 1,653 yards and had 16 touchdowns as a senior. His team, the Naples Golden Eagles, won the 2007 Florida State Championships for Class 3 A, and was a 2008 regional finalists. In addition, he was listed as one of Super Prep Florida’s Top 75 and stood out in basketball and track.
With his projected playing time, Helwagen said he will have a greater chance to grow with the team.
“Carlos is similar to ‘Beanie’ in that he has the ability to make things happen on the field,” he said. “He’s the biggest running back on the roster right now and with the key role he will play in short yard plays, he’s only expected to get better.”
Margaret Stahl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.