Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has said time and time again that having playmakers at the skill positions is vital to the success of not only Braxton Miller, but to the team as a whole. While the recruiting class of 2013 (Jalin Marshall, Ezekiel Elliott, et al) will help in that regard, you can certainly never have enough difference makers.
Along those lines, enter class of 2014 all-purpose running back Jalen Hurd. The 4-star recruit out of Tennessee has an impressive offer list that includes Alabama, Ohio State, Tennessee, Michigan, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, and others.
Hurd is a 6'3", 190-pound back that can fit many different styles of play, as evident by the schools offering him. Alabama of late has sought guys that finish with power, like Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. Meyer historically has preferred burners, though lately his tone and tenor seem to suggest recruiting backs that fit both descriptions.
In 2011, as a sophomore in high school, Hurd rushed for 1,606 yards and a mind-blowing 23 touchdowns. His versatility is demonstrated by the 31 receptions he wheeled in for 437 yards and 3 touchdowns. This coming fall, expect Hurd's team to use him even more both as a rusher and out of the backfield as well as a vertical passing threat as he enters his junior year of play.
Hurd is listed at #48 overall in 247Sports' Top247 for 2014 and is rated as the number two recruit in the state of Tennessee for the class. He's also been rumored to run a 4.5 40 yard dash. Hurd's also shown he can bench over 300 lbs and squat above 400 lbs. The running back should be an exciting player to keep an eye on over the next year or so as he continues to progress and grow as an athlete even more.
I spoke with Jalen about his recent offer from Ohio State and his overall thoughts and observations on his personal recruiting process as a whole.
Who is recruiting you from Ohio State? What is your take on Ohio State as a program?
Coach Hinton is the coach recruiting me. From what I can see, Ohio State is a great program and I think they are going to do very well with Coach Meyer leading them.
How does it feel to have received an offer from OSU? Did the coaches say anything they were impressed about with you?
It feels great. I didn't know this recruitment would come on so fast. The coaches said they really like my change of direction and quickness as a "big back".
What schools have offered you up to this point?
Tennessee, Alabama , Ohio State, Vanderbilt, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Nebraska , Michigan, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss.
Which teams are recruiting you the hardest?
Vanderbilt , Alabama, and Ohio State are recruiting me the hardest.
What would you say are your greatest strengths?
My greatest strengths are my size. And my speed and quickness with my size.
What do you think you need to improve on the most?
What I need to improve on the most is my all out speed and explosion.
What are the biggest factors for you in making a decision as to where you'll play your college ball?
Some of the biggest factors to me are the stability in the coaching staff and the football program.
What do you think of Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer?
Coach Meyer is one of the all-time great coaches. He did a great job at Florida and I think it will carry over to OSU.
Ohio State has a rich history of talented running backs. What does that kind of tradition mean to you?
With a tradition and past of top running backs, I find myself favoring OSU for that reason. That is because I really want to play running back at the next level.
Are you attending Friday Night Lights? What about other campus visits?
I am not attending Friday Night Lights, but I am definitely going to visit the campus soon. I plan on visiting Ohio State this fall or next year sometime.