October 19, 2012

Fighting Words: Jordan Hall

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Ohio State running back Jordan Hall has not had the senior season that he was hoping to have. The Jeannette (Pa.) star started the season on the bench after undergoing foot surgery and now has been sidelined a second time after only 40 carries on the season.

People have been wondering if that means that the fourth year senior will be up for a medical redshirt season and a chance to come back for one more year with the Buckeyes.

We are not measuring if we think that he 'should' be granted a redshirt but rather if the staff and Hall will come together and seek one.

FIGHTING WORDS QUESTION: Will the Buckeyes and Jordan Hall seek a medical redshirt?

Point: Time to move on- Kevin Noon

There is no position that the Buckeyes have more depth than the running back position. Sure, Warren Ball was hurt before he ever had a shot this year but outside of that the Buckeyes have had a surplus of talented runners. Even when Jordan Hall and Carlos Hyde each got hurt there were still enough backs to carry the mail.

If Ohio State were set to lose a couple proven backs next season, then maybe you explore the avenue of trying to keep one in town but that is not going to be the case. Hyde will be back, short of the NFL giving him some sort of grade that he can't refuse, Rod Smith will be a year older along with Bri'onte Dunn and Ball. Add to the mix a pair of talented offensive runners in Zeke Elliott and athlete Jalin Marshall and the barn is going to be even more crowded.

When a senior gets hurt the natural reaction for everyone is to try and pencil him in for an extra year but who is that really benefitting? The delicate balance of numbers of scholarships requires players to 'graduate' and 'leave the program'. Hall, if he has any NFL aspirations, has a limited amount of hits left in his body before his football expiration date hits and ultimately (and likely burying the lead) there are going to be playmakers in the program in '13 that will fit the offensive game plan closer than the skill set that Hall brings to the table. The staff is in a position where it doesn't want to show anyone the door but also knows that it may be time to start the clock on a new player rather than extend the clock on one.

Here's to hoping that Hall is on the mend quickly and he can end this season on the field and with all of the success in the world. He has rushed for more than 1000 yards in his career, has 11 touchdowns and has more than 200 yards receiving. Hall will tear up at midfield on senior day, get his jersey and a standing ovation and open the door to the next challenges that life has to offer.

Counterpoint: It's going to happen- Ben Axelrod

I don't think that Jordan Hall should redshirt this season. I think that Jordan Hall will redshirt this season.

Since Urban Meyer officially took over the Ohio State program in January, he's been honest in assessing freshmen and upperclassmen alike. And very few players have received the type of praise that Hall has. For whatever reason, Meyer is convinced that the senior running back can be the Percy Harvin-type player that his offense is missing, but the need for that player isn't as strong this season with the sudden emergences of Corey Brown and Carlos Hyde.

While both of those players will likely be around next year, 2013 is the real season that Meyer and his staff are putting all of their eggs in. With a manageable schedule and returning Heisman Trophy contender at quarterback, there's no reason the Buckeyes shouldn't be in the national title talk for the majority of Meyer's second year.

That's where keeping a player like Hall around makes sense. Sure, there are plenty of talented freshmen coming in, such as Jalin Marshall and Ezekiel Elliott, but you know who else was a talented freshman expected to contribute right away? Curtis Grant.

Meyer loves his available scholarships and isn't afraid to play talented freshmen. But he may love his senior leaders more. And with Hall having already been named a captain and with not much to gain by playing him in 2012, I don't see any reason why Meyer wouldn't hold Hall over for a potential national title run.



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