Urban Meyer hasn’t shied away from expressing his concerns about primary playmakers – or lack thereof – in Ohio State’s offense. Now without Jordan Hall in the mix for the next 10 weeks after he cut a tendon in his foot stepping on a piece of glass, Meyer finds himself back to the drawing board.
Though Meyer expects Hall to be back in the mix for the Buckeyes by the early portions of the season, Ohio State will be forced to find a replacement during fall camp for the “hybrid” position that suited Hall perfectly.
“We're not exactly loaded at that position right now, the offensive skill, but some guys have to step up and play," Meyer said on a conference call to promote an appearance he’s making in the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe. "I was so excited because he had an excellent spring practice, had a lot of skills we look for in that hybrid position.”
Meyer envisioned Hall would be the perfect candidate to make plays for Ohio State in a variety of different ways, whether it was as a ball carrier out of the backfield or as a receiver.
The position was perfectly executed by Percy Harvin while at Florida and Meyer has used the current Minnesota Vikings star’s success on the recruiting trail. With Hall out of the mix until the early portions of the season, Meyer is stuck having to try and find a replacement.
"Who's going to take his place? I don't know," Meyer said. "We're not loaded at that spot. I'm hoping maybe Philly Brown continues to improve, but he got banged up in the spring. He has some minor injuries issues, but he should be fine. That’s one of our dilemmas right now.”
Hall’s injury wasn’t initially expected to cause him to miss an extended period of time, but after the cut was put patched up he began having issues with his toe. It was later determined that he cut a tendon and needed surgery.
Meyer said it was unfortunate timing for the senior back.
“That was a tough injury, especially for a guy who’s turned the corner academically,” Meyer said. “He had a 3.4 GPA last quarter and a 3.0 our first quarter together, he’s on my leadership committee, he’s come forever. The guy is tremendous.”
Through Hall’s first three seasons at Ohio State he hasn’t been a prolific producer on offense, though some could make the argument that he had been underutilized by former coaching regimes.
There’s no telling how quickly he re-adapt to the pace of the game when he returns or whether he’ll pay the consequences for missing all of fall camp, but Meyer expects Hall to be ready to go soon into the Buckeyes season.
“I’ve been in this long enough,” Meyer said. “He’s the kind of warrior who will come back rather quickly if he can. We’re moving on. I’m planning on him coming back for the season, or certainly after the first couple games.”
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