How Carlos Hyde Became A Buckeye

Carlos Hyde is a Buckeye.

Ohio State fans were caught up in a whirlwind of recruiting last weekend when a number of top-rated prospects issued verbal commitments to the Buckeyes. Now that the dust has settled a bit, find out what it was that made Carlos Hyde join the commitment parade.

On a typical Sunday morning in southern Ohio, one of the worst-kept secrets in the recruiting world came out in the open thanks to Carlos Hyde.

A four-star fullback prospect who preps at Naples, Fla., Hyde had long been considered a virtual lock to become a Buckeye. Those sentiments only intensified when, during the week of June 2, the 6-0, 225-pound Hyde told BuckeyeSports.com that he had an unofficial visit scheduled to Columbus to check out the school with plans of committing if everything felt right.

It was little surprise, then, that OSU head coach Jim Tressel found himself accepting verbal commitment No. 20 for his class of 2009 on the Sunday morning of June 22.

"First I called Dick Tressel and he was helping his sister-in-law move furniture so he was really tired," Hyde said. "I said, ‘Coach, I'm calling to let you know that I want to commit' and he got fired up and was real happy. He gave me Jim Tressel's number and told me to give him a call.

"I called him and he was saying, ‘Carlos, is Ohio State good enough to get you to come here?' I said, ‘Yes sir' and he said, ‘Well, we just want you to become a Buckeye.' I said, ‘That's what I was calling you for. I want to be a Buckeye.' "

With that, the Buckeyes landed a fullback who considers himself a future running back. Scout.com ranks him as the No. 1 fullback prospect in the country. All it took was an unofficial visit to OSU and a tour of the campus hosted by OSU's running backs coach.

"I just wanted to see the campus," he said. "Once I got my offer I wanted to commit right then and there but I wanted to see the campus and see if everything was great. Everything was, so I went ahead and committed because it was everything that I wanted to see."

After arriving in Ohio on Tuesday, Hyde spent the next few days with his family and friends in the Queen City before heading north to Columbus. When he toured the campus, Hyde was accompanied by his parents and his grandfather.

That trip to Columbus sealed the deal for the Hyde family.

"That was the first time I ever got to see it," he said of OSU's campus. "It was really fun. Then I got to go and have a chance to see the facilities. They were showing us around campus and stuff and then they showed us the field. I was just like, ‘Yeah, I can definitely see myself playing here.' Plus I really liked the coaches there."

Hyde currently resides with his grandmother in Naples, but both his parents live in Cincinnati. The commitment to OSU will give his family members more chances to see him play at the next level.

"They were excited for me," Hyde said of his family's reaction. "They said it's good that I'm close to home and they can come see my games. They were really excited for me to come home."

Hyde's grandmother will fly to Columbus to see him play, he said.

Even though he was viewed as a strong OSU lean ever since landing his offer, issuing a verbal commitment has been a relief for Hyde.

"I've definitely got a big weight off my shoulders now so I can just relax and think about the season coming up," he said. "It's a big relief. Now I can focus on my upcoming season now that I've got my college choice out of the way."

Although the Buckeyes have a verbal commitment from Jeannette, Pa., running back Jordan Hall and are heavily recruiting five-star talent Jaamal Berry from Miami (Fla.) Palmetto Senior, fans have been excited about adding a player with a physical reputation such as Hyde's.

But the soft-spoken Hyde pays no attention to any such hype.

"I guess people are expecting big things out of me, but I really don't pay attention to any of that," he said. "I just focus on myself."

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