The San Francisco 49ers newest running back starts completes his afternoon workout following "Football School," after the team’s oldest has already completed his morning regimen.
But the time will come when Hyde will seek Gore.
“Not too many people get to learn from a guy that will go into the Hall of Fame,” the eager second-round draft pick said. “They run the ball a lot more here. Being a running back here is awesome.”
This was Hyde’s main concern the last time he entered a new level of football. Coming out of Naples, Fla., he opted for the traditional, pro-style offense practice in Ohio State after drawing recruiting interest from then-Florida coach Urban Meyer.
“I decided not to go there because I saw the spread offense,” Hyde said of Meyer’s Gators. “I was like, ‘I don’t see any big running backs back there running the ball for him.' The only big guy back there was Tim Tebow.”
Of course, Hyde would enjoy his best collegiate seasons – including 1,521 rushing yards, or 7.3 per carry, plus 15 touchdowns in 2013 – after Meyer was hired at OSU in ’12. He was pleasantly surprised to see his coach call power-type running plays even when the quarterback was receiving snaps out of the shotgun.
In retrospect, playing for Meyer more than prepared Hyde for the NFL. He learned how to play alongside a mobile quarterback – Braxton Miller rushed for 1,068 yards on 171 carries – and the importance of protecting Miller in the pocket.
Hyde offered this: “If you can’t pass protect, there’s a good chance you won’t play there.”
And this: “There will be plays where I’ll have to run-block for the quarterback.”
His new backfield ‘mate,
There’s little doubt, however, that Hyde enjoys carrying the ball himself. He said he admires the relentlessness of Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch and Gore, whom he worked out with in Miami this offseason.
How can he get even better?
“Learn from Frank,” Hyde said. “Become a better runner by seeing what he does right.”