If you’re a running back in the National Football League and you want to be a three-down player, you better learn how to pick up blitzes.
That’s why the San Francisco 49ers second-round draft pick keeps asking his position coach questions. He's trying to soak up the knowledge that has allowed
But first, Hyde must demonstrate he can eat up blitzing linebackers and pass-rushing linemen the same way he can eat up yards in the ground game.
Hyde is coming off of a successful senior season for the Buckeyes. He rushed for a career-high 1,521 rushing yards with 15 touchdowns on the ground and a whopping 7.3 yards per carry.
The rookie, however, noted that Ohio State’s spread attack is much different than San Francisco’s run schemes. Even so, the adjustment period has gone well for the newcomer.
“It’s way different from what I did in college,” Hyde said. “I definitely will do good in this offense. I feel my running style can fit in any offense.”
So will his blocking skills translate?
Hyde will get a chance to demonstrate his toughness in upcoming one-on-one drills against the 49ers linebackers.
Among the players he’s looking forward to facing, Hyde said seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker
The linebacker group includes former college rival
“That’s crazy, you bring up one person out of my whole career,” Hyde said. “I love competition. Whoever gives me the best competition, I look forward to going against them… When I read the media, it’s only that one person and one play mentioned.”
The Hyde-Borland rivalry is a moot point, according to the rookie runner.
“We’re cool,” Hyde said. “We’re teammates now. That’s in the past. I’m definitely happy he’s on my team, and I’m sure he is too.”
Until Hyde has the opportunity to demonstrate his blocking talent, he can rest his hat on a successful start to training camp. Though he dropped two passes in the opening camp session, Hyde has rebounded to catch everything in sight and burst up the field on a few interior runs.
Hyde’s running talents will truly be showcased in the preseason when the action is live.
“I’d say I’m a hard-nosed runner,” Hyde said of his running style. “A guy who just runs with a lot of passion, relentless, refuses to go down.”
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