July 6, 2012
Meyer responds to Hall injury
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Speaking on a conference call alongside Alex Smith for the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, Urban Meyer appeared to be in good spirits as he discussed his golf game and his former star quarterback.
That all changed once the topic of injured Ohio State running back Jordan Hall was brought up.
Speaking publicly for the first time since Hall cut his foot by accidentally stepping on a piece of glass on June 27, the disappointment in Meyer's voice was apparent as he addressed the injury that could keep his starting running back out for the next 10 weeks.
"I spend almost all of my time thinking about it," Meyer said. "I was so excited because I thought Jordan- as I didn't know him in January, I didn't watch much film of him last year- but he had an excellent spring practice and he had a lot of the skills that we look for at that hybrid position."
Hall's performances throughout the offseason resulted in Meyer naming him as the team's top playmaker following April's spring game. Primarily a special teamer throughout his first three seasons in Columbus, the senior running back was expected to excel while playing the pivot position in Meyer's spread offense- the same position that helped highlight Percy Harvin during Meyer's time at Florida.
But although Hall will certainly be missed in the Ohio State offense, that's not the only reason Meyer can't seem to stop thinking about his injury.
"That was a tough injury, especially for a guy that's turned the corner academically. He had a 3.4 GPA last semester, he had a 3.0 GPA our first quarter together. He's on my leadership committee," Meyer said. "The guy's tremendous. When he cut his foot on a piece of glass, they stitched him up, and then they came back and he cut a tendon and they had to put him in surgery. It was tough."
Meyer was not prepared to name a replacement for Hall at the pivot position just yet, although he did indicate that sophomore wide receiver Corey Brown could get the first crack at replacing the Jeannette, Pa. native.
"We're not exactly loaded at that position right now with offensive skill. Some guys are going to have to step up and play," Meyer said. "I'm hoping Philly Brown continues to improve, but he was banged up in the spring with some minor injury issues, but he'll be fine. But I don't know. That's one of our dilemmas right now."
The new Ohio State coach also remains unsure of how long he'll need to have a replacement for Hall. Upon announcing the injury, Ohio State said that Hall would miss approximately the next 10 weeks of action- which would keep him out until the Buckeyes' third game of the season against California- but on Thursday Meyer remained unclear on just when his starting running back will be able to return to contact.
"They're throwing around the 10 weeks," Meyer said. "He's a kind of warrior, you know, he'll come back rather quickly if he can. We're just moving on. I don't plan on him being back for the season or certainly within after the first couple games."
Through his first three seasons at Ohio State, Hall has accumulated 2,513 all-purpose yards- the 26th most in school history. On twitter, he indicated that he has been able to continue upper body workouts.
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