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Monday, July 2, 2012
Buckeyes' Jordan Hall could be out longer

By Adam Rittenberg

Jordan Hall isn't the most decorated running back in the Big Ten. He's not the sixth most decorated running back in the Big Ten.

But after a spring session where few stars emerged at Ohio State's skill positions, Hall is undoubtedly one of the league's more valuable running backs. Without him, a Buckeyes offense that already has a bunch of question marks looks even shakier.

Ohio State will be without its No. 1 back for the start of the season after he underwent foot surgery Friday. Just how long Hall sits out remains to be seen. Colleague Joe Schad reports that the senior will miss a minimum of two games and possibly more.

A source tells Schad that the Buckeyes are prepared for Hall to take a medical redshirt, if necessary. Hall cut his foot while walking Wednesday. While few details are available on the injury, it must have been a severe cut to require surgery and a lengthy rehab period.

With Hall out and tight end Jake Stoneburner not working out at the team facility this summer because of a May arrest, Ohio State really needs some young skill players to blossom. Backup running back Carlos Hyde will be a critical component for the Buckeyes until Hall returns. Hyde impressed at times last season, although he might not be as good of a fit for the spread as the speedy, smaller Hall.

Ohio State won't suffer much if Hall returns by a Week 3 game against Cal or even if he's back for the Big Ten opener at Michigan State. But a season-long absence provides a challenge for an offense already facing plenty of them.