Carlos Hyde, RB – This year marked the second time the OSU coaches showed highlights and discussed the merits of the 6-0, 235-pound Hyde. Initially a member of the class of 2009, Hyde did not meet the university's academic standards and wound up spending a semester at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy before enrolling for winter courses at OSU.
Running backs coach Dick Tressel said it will be interesting to see Hyde lined up at the tailback position after primarily lining up closer to the line during his prep career.
"Carlos is a physical, explosive running back," Tressel said. "He's a tough football player. He's hard-nosed. He's the type of back that you need because they have to be the toughest guy on the field. We're excited that this big, strong guy is finally on our campus."
Although he was the nation's No. 1 fullback prospect in his class, Tressel said he will not play that position in Columbus.
"He's a running back," he said. "Before he'd be a fullback you'd want him at tight end or flanker. You want the ball in his hands."
As a senior at Naples, Fla., Hyde rushed for 1,653 yards and 16 touchdowns. He will wear No. 34 at OSU.
His stint at Fork Union might pay off away from the gridiron as well.
"Carlos Hyde told me he enjoyed learning how to fold hospital corners on his bed and shining his boots and all that," head coach Jim Tressel said. "He said he's going to teach this recruiting class how to march."
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James Louis, WR – The four-star wideout from Delray Beach (Fla.) Atlantic was viewed by everyone but the OSU coaching staff as the one who nearly got away. After issuing a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes, Louis' status was debated more than any other member of OSU's class of 2010 as a number of schools including Florida continued to recruit him.
"It's always a battle out of state, but he stayed strong throughout the battle and he communicated very well with us throughout the battle," wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell said.
In discussing the 5-11, 178-pounder, Hazell used clipped sentences.
"James is really explosive," he said. "Great hands. Great quickness. Gets off the jam. A little further advanced than the other receivers that are coming in in terms of years past. Loves to play the game. Great personality. Really an explosive guy. Phenomenal ball skills. Excellent returner."
All that adds up to paint a picture of a wideout who bears more than a passing resemblance to former OSU standout and Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes.
"Absolutely," Hazell said when asked if the two were comparable. "He's probably most like Santonio coming out of high school. Probably a little bit faster but the same kind of ball skills, toughness and quickness. He loves the game. Same thing as Santonio was."
The head coach said he will also have a chance to make an immediate impact in the return game.
Andrew Norwell, OL – The OSU coaching staff could not have been happy with landing just one offensive linemen for the class, but they were pleased with the one they did get. The five-star Norwell suffered a broken tibia during his senior season, but the Buckeyes said they are confident he will be fine upon arrival.
"He has been rehabbing and doing a great job," recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach John Peterson said. "When you think of Andrew Norwell, you think of a passionate, tough guy who loves the game of football. He's excited to be a Buckeye."
Peterson said the Buckeyes were impressed with the 6-6, 290-pound Norwell's willingness to do what has been asked of him throughout his rehabilitation process. With his letter of intent signed, OSU is now allowed to assume a more active role in the process.
"He's cleared to do lower-leg lifting," the assistant coach said. "Time will tell as he starts to run and change direction, but there's no indication from any of the doctors that (the injury) would hinder him (at OSU).
"Obviously we love him. He's a Buckeye and he has a chip on his shoulder. He loves playing the game. Getting a guy who's a big guy who can run and move and learn different positions is exciting."
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