by HD Handshoe
Many a Buckeye fan might think Jim Tressel has a huge decision to make concerning the future of Ohio State football and that of his top running back recruit Jaamal Berry.
I am not in that likely majority and if you read on, you will see why.
Direct from the In Case You Missed It Department, top 2009 Ohio State recruit Jaamal Berry was arrested and charged with possession of more than than 28 grams of marijuana on Thursday.
Police stopped Berry around midnight for running a stop light in a silver Nissan Altima. Officers noticed a bag of marijuana in the prep star's backseat, according to a Miami-Dade Police Department report. The report said the bag contained about 28 grams of marijuana.
The report said Berry told police he had purchased the drugs an hour earlier and had planned to smoke them with friends. He was arrested and taken to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, where he was later released on an undisclosed bond. Charges are pending, and no court date had been scheduled as of Thursday night.
So, what are the repercussions for Berry's future at Ohio State?
Unlike a lot of Buckeye fans and scouts, I have never personally been very "high" (pardon the intentional pun) on Jaamal Berry.
By that, I don't mean he isn't talented or a worthy recruit, but rather that I can't help but compare him to Mo Wells.
Both were highly recruited during and after outstanding H.S. careers in Florida.
Once Wells arrived at Ohio State however, it was clear he would never be the No. 1 guy as he was buried on the depth chart behind Antonio Pittman and Beanie Wells.
When he did get in the game on a rare occasion (mostly as a third down back), he was either blocking or if he did take a hand-off, he was on his back faster than an opponent of old school Mike Tyson, circa 1991!
I envision much of the same for Jaamal Berry, or as I like to call him, Mo Wells, Version 2.0.
The only exception being Wells, unlike Berry, to my knowledge never missed any time because of an injury. Then again, it's hard to hurt yourself watching from the sidelines!
I had the chance to interview Carlos Hyde a few months back and I love this kid's upside for the OSU program.
To me, he's a mix between P.J. Hill, Ron Dayne, and Beanie Wells!
I can barely contain my excitement knowing this situation opens the door even more for Hyde!
I think he can handle the full-time running back duties or at the very least, share time with Boom starting in 2010 and eventually assume the starting role full-time.
If Berry is still allowed to come to Columbus this fall, or if his scholarship is pulled, I honestly do not see it as having a huge impact one way or the other.
Right now, Dan Herron and Brandon Saine are the top two backs and Berry was not going to displace either of them.
In 2010, Herron will still be the back to beat and Berry and Hyde would have to go through him for playing time, and while I think Hyde has the ability to push Herron, I'm not convinced Berry could.
Realistically, barring injury, the Buckeyes don't even need to have the next star running back on-campus until 2011.
It's not like OSU wouldn't be able to land a top running back in 2010 or 2011 should Tressel and company feel the need to if Berry is sent packing.
Roderick Smith and Corey Brown are both four-star top level backs from the 2010 recruiting class that are interested in the Buckeyes.
Buckeye running backs don't seem to have any trouble making it to the NFL via Columbus so recruiting a replacement for Berry won't be a hard sell.
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