Redshirt Now in Picture for Jordan Hall
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — This is just not Jordan Hall’s year.
It was supposed to be. Hall was expected to be a major part of Ohio State’s offense in year one under new head coach Urban Meyer, but the senior tailback out of Jeannette, Pa. has hit one speed bump after another in an attempt to get himself healthy enough to contribute for the undefeated Buckeyes this season.
Photo by Jim Davidson
“He re-dinged (his knee), so I don’t know,” Meyer said after practice Wednesday. “He’s not even practicing.”
Meyer wanted to get Hall some work as a kick returner in practice, just to help him get his legs back under him for whenever he was able to return to action as a running back. He has not played since he tore his PCL in the first half of Ohio State’s 17-16 win over Michigan State in East Lansing back on Sept. 29.
Hall also missed the first two games of the season because of a foot injury he suffered while walking his dog near Ohio State’s campus over the summer.
“It’s the darndest thing,” Meyer said during his weekly call-in show on Thursday.
“I think there’s a message from above that this isn’t his year.”
The 5-9, 200-pound senior spent all of spring practice as Ohio State’s No. 1 tailback. He was expected to do a lot of different things for Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman this season – things no one else on the roster was capable of doing, at least according to the coaching staff.
Now it looks like there may be a silver lining to the fact they have had to play without their senior captain for most of the 2012 season.
“I think (a redshirt) is (an option),” Meyer said after practice.
“I think it is now. I had to find out even if it’s a possibility, and it is.”
Hall has only played in three games this season, which is below the number he would have to eclipse in order to be ineligible for a medical redshirt. He ran for 87 yards against Cal and 105 yards against UAB, but had the ball in his hands a total of just 43 times before the knee injury knocked him out against the Spartans.
At no point did Meyer feel like Hall was the guy they expected him to be back in the spring, and they are not going to put him back out there unless he can be a more effective version of himself.
Right now, that seems unlikely to be the case at any point over these next four games.
“We will not put him back on the field until he’s 100 percent,” Meyer said Thursday.
“We put him out there and he was not 100 percent. It didn’t effect the knee (injury) now, but he had lost a step.”
Hall is a true senior from the 2009 recruiting class. It’s the same class that included a number of fourth-year juniors, such as C.J. Barnett, Chris Fields, Kenny Guiton, Marcus Hall, Corey Linsley, Jack Mewhort and defensive back Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown.
If he does take a redshirt this season, Hall would join that group as a fifth-year senior next season, with the very real potential of becoming a two-time captain at Ohio State.
“He would not have graduated (if he was done after this year),” Meyer said Thursday.
“This gives him a chance to graduate. He was voted captain, I imagine he’ll be voted captain again.”
Without Hall, the Buckeyes will lean heavily on junior Carlos Hyde and redshirt sophomore Rod Smith, both of whom have carried most of the load out of the backfield this season.
Hyde and Smith will be back next season, along with current freshmen Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball. The Buckeyes will also add St. Louis running back Ezekiel Elliott and Middletown playmaker Jalin Marshall to the mix next season.
The addition of Hall could give Meyer a plethora of weapons to work with, which is something he has not had in his first season at Ohio State.
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