Get ready for a Monday double dose of our Top 25 Players in the Big Ten!! We last left off with No. 23 and that was Michigan State's Isaiah Lewis and today we switch sides of the ball to feature perhaps one of the most underrated players on the offensive side of the ball last season.
Part of that could've been his team's lack of postseason play or a certain QB stealing all the headlines in Columbus or a record setting running back inside his own conference, but we digress.
Before we get into our newest member of the Top 25, let us remind you of what criteria we used to make our list. We used things like importance to your team, overall skill at your position, records set, past performance, conference honors (coaches, media, our list too), and the good old-fashioned eye test.
So with that, let's explore perhaps the most underrated running back in the Big Ten.....
No. 22: Carlos Hyde (RB, Ohio State):
2012 Stats/Honors: 185 rushing attempts, 970 yards (5.2avg), 16TD's, 8 catches, 51 yards, 1TD
What makes him worthy: The Braxton Miller effect has to be taken into consideration for Hyde. He improved all but his reception numbers from 2011 to 2012, despite only playing in 10 of 12 games. He ran for more than 100 yards four times in Big Ten play alone and had 14 of his 16 touchdowns in conference play as well.
Just check out what he did against Nebraska, rushing for 140 yards and 4TD's for all you need to know about how good this running back can be. If he remains healthy this season it's hard to see him not join Braxton Miller in the 1,000 yard rushing club.
With Montee Ball gone, could this be the year that Carlos becomes the best running back in the Big Ten? A solid spring by Hyde suggests he is ready to do just that and if he does go to the 1,000 yard mark he'll be the first back to ever do so under the direction of Urban Meyer (a bit surprising, no?).
Coaches are also saying he's really stepped up into one of the team's most important leaders on the offensive side of the ball.
(h/t to D Wright's YouTube account)
The Top 25 List: