Jordan Hall Set to Return, Won’t Start Against Toledo
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tailback Jordan Hall will be back on the field Saturday after serving a one-game suspension, but he won’t be in the starting lineup for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State running backs coach Dick Tressel—older brother of the school’s former head coach—said the team plans to start sophomore Carlos Hyde against Toledo in week two.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“I think Carlos has certainly done everything to put him in a situation to be the starter,” Tressel said after Wednesday’s practice.
“The way he performed and the way he practiced, it’s hard not to say, ‘Hey Carlos, do that again.’”
The sophomore out of Naples, Fla. made his first career start last Saturday in place of senior Boom Herron—who is suspended for the first five games of the season. The 6-0, 238-pound tailback had been coming on strong all fall, so Tressel wasn’t surprised that he ran for nearly 100 yards against Akron.
In fact, Hyde played so well during camp the Buckeyes felt like they were going to have to play him no matter who else was available for the season-opener.
“Not have to play, we were excited to have him play,” Tressel corrected.
“He was going to play. Carlos was ready to go, Rod (Smith) was ready to go. We were hoping to have them all in there.”
Instead they only had two.
Photo by Jim Davidson
Hall’s unexpected suspension and Jaamal Berry’s hamstring injury left the Buckeyes with just two healthy backs in week one, but that didn’t stop them from racking up 224 yards on the ground against the Zips.
Oh by the way, those rushing yards came without Herron, Hall, Berry, and some guy named Terrelle Pryor.
“I was excited about the way they played because they’re young guys,” Tressel said of Hyde and Smith.
“You get out there in front of 105 or 106,000 people and it’s hotter than heck and I think they maintained their focus.”
Hyde finished with 93 yards on 19 carries and Smith added 74 yards on 18 carries. He also had a late touchdown that was somewhat negated by his early fumble, but Tressel believes he has only scratched the surface.
Photo by Dan Harker
“He turned it loose a couple times out there. You can see he’s an excitable guy, when he scored his touchdown he was excited about it, but he’s going to have another level of gear still,” he said of the redshirt freshman from Indiana.
“You saw he played well. He’s a good football player but he’s still got a lot of reps to go before he’s as good as he can be. I’m not sure how good he can be, he can be pretty good.”
He probably won’t get as many opportunities to carry the ball Saturday with the return of Jordan Hall, who was slated to be the teams starter before his one-game suspension for accepting less than $300 in benefits at a charity event earlier this year.
“They said he’s available, so that’s the way we’ll continue to describe it,” Tressel said of Hall.
“He’s going to play, and the exciting thing is that I’m pretty sure he’ll play well.”
Because Hall can play a number of positions, he could still be on the field for Ohio State’s opening drive. He probably won’t be lined up in the backfield, but Hall could also appear in the slot early on before he gets his chance to run the ball.
The Buckeyes also expect to have redshirt sophomore Jaamal Berry back after he missed the opener with a hamstring injury. The Miami native was in uniform for the Akron game, but only for emergency purposes.
“He could have gone in, but there’s a long season here and the tables turn quick,” Tressel said.
“You don’t want to jeopardize anyone for the long haul.”
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