COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Training camp is over and game preparations have begun. The torture of the offseason is nearly over, and Ohio State's first game under Urban Meyer is closing in. Leading up to the opener against Miami (Ohio), BuckeyeNation will count down the 10 players that figure to have the biggest impact on Meyer's first campaign, starting today with a potential breakout player in the backfield.
POSITION: Running back
BASICS: Weighing in at 235 pounds, the junior still was clocked at 4.45 seconds in the 40-yard dash this summer.
BY THE NUMBERS: Didn't have the most consistent workload in 2011, but he finished the season with 566 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
OPPORTUNITY FOR IMPACT: Even when Hyde was projected to be the backup to Jordan Hall coming out of spring practice, he still figured to be involved in the offense thanks to a size-speed combination that is far from common. Now with Hall likely on the shelf for two weeks to open the season, Hyde will have an extended audition for a larger role in the spread offense. Since Meyer's attack still features a power rushing game, Hyde might become an ideal counterbalance on the inside to what Braxton Miller and a healthy Hall could provide on the perimeter.
HE SAID IT: "Carlos Hyde is the one who has really stepped his game up. I mean, he really has. He’s answered the bell, he’s trying to become a leader of that group with Jordan out, and he’s really brought a physical component to his game right now that we all enjoy. He’s really set the bar for these younger backs." -- Running backs coach Stan Drayton