Hyde Learning Patience

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Established October 31, 1996
Front Page Columns and Features
Last updated: 09/14/2011 5:19 PM

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Hyde Learning Patience on the Run
By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — For Carlos Hyde, Saturday’s game at Miami (Fla.) will be a homecoming of sorts.

Ohio State’s starting tailback played his high school ball in Naples, Florida, where he ran for 1,653 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior for Coach Bill Kramer.

But that’s not where he got his start.

Carlos Hyde
Photo by Jim Davidson
Carlos Hyde

“I’m more an Ohio guy,” said Hyde, who also spent one year at Fork Union Military Academy before enrolling at Ohio State.

“I grew up in Ohio for 14 years, so I feel like I’m an Ohio guy.”

There are plenty of true Floridians on Ohio State’s roster, including guys like Jaamal Berry, Etienne Sabino, Travis Howard and Orhian Johnson, but Hyde actually grew up in Cincinnati before moving to Naples to live with his grandmother for the start of high school.

The only part he brought back was the speed.

“I just got the ball and just ran,” Hyde said of his 36-yard touchdown run against Toledo.

“I brushed past my left tackle and felt that I wasn’t touched so I just kept running.”

No one is going to confuse Hyde for Berry or Jordan Hall, but he got his 238-pound body moving in a hurry. It was the first of two touchdowns for Hyde against the Rockets—his first scores at the collegiate level—but he felt he could have had an even bigger day.

“After watching film, if I would have been a little more patient on some power plays I could have seen the cutback lane that was wide open,” the sophomore tailback said.

“The linebackers kept running over and if I would have been a little more patient, I probably could have broken a couple of those.”

It looked like Toledo was crashing their backside linebacker on every play, which is part of the reason Ohio State had a hard time blocking for Hyde Saturday.

“They were running a 4-4 and the safety was rolled down too sometimes. A lot of times there were nine guys there in the box,” right tackle J.B. Shugarts said.

“It was tough sometime. There was always that one guy making the hit that wasn't blocked.”

Boom Herron
Photo by Jim Davidson
Boom Herron

The Buckeyes made Toledo pay for being overly aggressive on the long touchdown run, but they did not capitalize on that nearly as often as they should have—or would have with returning starter Boom Herron in the backfield.

The senior tailback ran for over 1,100 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, but he was watching from home Saturday with the rest of Ohio State’s suspended players, including Jordan Hall.

He had plenty of advice for Hyde Sunday when the team came together to watch film.

“Boom was trying to help me out and telling me I should have been patient more,” Hyde said.

“Just telling me to look at the safeties and get a feel for the weakside linebacker. You can feel if he’s running over or if he’s still there. If he’s running over, then you can cut it back, but if he’s still there then you have to take it to the outside where the play is supposed to go.”

That is a part of the game that doesn’t get talked about much. Young running backs often have a tough time finding the proper balance between running hard and being patient. We’ve seen that with both Hyde and Rod Smith this season, but even Herron had issues with it early in his career.

As a sophomore, he ran for 600 yards and seven touchdowns while splitting time with Brandon Saine, but he averaged only 3.9 yards per carry that season. Part of that was because of a leg injury, but Herron had to learn how to use blocks to his advantage and make defenders pay for being overanxious.

“It probably comes from being around here so long,” Hyde said.

“You get a good feel for the system and you know the game so well that it’s just natural. It just comes to you.”

If and when Hyde gets to that place, he could be one of the greats. He has shown good speed for a back his size, but what makes him so dangerous is the way he finishes runs.

“When he’s coming at you in practice, you better get in a football stance and brace yourself,” OSU defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said.

“Because there’s going to be a collision.”

That’s the way Hyde likes it.

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