Ohio State's Eventful Media Day
By Ken Scudero
As he prepares for the 2013 season, Carlos Hyde is a top-10 running back prospect. He had an excellent 2012 season, leading Ohio State with 17 touchdowns and rushing for 970 yards on 5.2 a carry. He’s a power runner, pummeling guys up the middle and breaking tackles routinely. Also, he’s got sneaky good speed for a 240-pound runner, able to bounce it outside and outrace defensive backs.
But Hyde also is a person of interest in an investigation which alleges that the senior halfback assaulted a woman in a downtown Columbus bar, according to a report filed this past Saturday. Hyde was suspended indefinitely on Monday. In a strange twist, as Big Ten media day was underway, Yahoo reported that a surveillance video shows Hyde did not strike the alleged victim. It will be interesting to see if the police clear Hyde’s name and how quickly he then could be reinstated.
If Hyde is cleared, I don’t think this incident will have any effect on when he is drafted. He’s a mid-round talent, and if he plays this season and improves, he could be the fifth running back taken. If he remains suspended, it will be tough for his stock to improve. He will still be drafted because he is an NFL-style running back, but for his sake, he better get on the field this year. Playing this season is the difference between being a 2nd or 3rd round pick and a 7th round pick.
Ohio State dealt with another developing situation on Wednesday involving Buckeyes cornerback Bradley Roby, who is almost a sure-fire first round pick in the 2014 Draft. If Roby’s able to put together a season in 2013 anywhere close to the one he had in 2012, when he broke up 17 passes, recorded 63 tackles and had 2 interceptions, he could be the first corner taken. His ability as a player is unquestioned. But like Hyde, his off the field behavior may cost him. Roby has not been suspended, but he is under investigation and faces preliminary battery charges after allegedly refusing to leave a bar.
Roby’s character has now taken a hit and NFL teams are already circling his name with a red pen. As more details emerge about Roby’s incident, we’ll see if and how Ohio State chooses to discipline him. If he misses playing time, his draft stock won’t take that much of a hit. Roby is a better overall prospect than Hyde and one incident in a bar won’t stop a team from taking one of the best cornerbacks available.
At Wednesday’s media day, Urban Meyer spoke about the two incidents. "It drives you insane that you have to deal with that nonsense," Meyer said. ". . . To have a couple of knuckleheads make some decisions that reflect the entire program, that's not, I guess it’s part of the deal. It's something that bothers me, bothers our staff, and we work very hard to avoid with our players."