CORNERBACK MICAH HYDE
Hyde was on his way to Iowa for a recruiting visit. Michigan State called his brother, Marcus, who was a safety for the Spartans before graduating after 2010. MSU made some noise about an offer, but Hyde said Iowa was it for him.
“I don’t want to go to a school that if they can’t get another player, they can get me,” Hyde told the Advertiser-Tribune (Ohio). “Michigan was the same way. They offered a bunch of 5-star or 4-star athletes and if they didn’t get them, they were interested in me. Iowa has been here the whole time since the beginning. They’ve been here every week and I’ve been talking with them all the time. I went there and they showed me a lot of love.”
Hyde was a hugely productive player for Fostoria (Ohio) High School. As the team’s QB, he was named Ohio Division IV offensive player of the year, northwest Ohio offensive player of the year and first-team all-state.
He held 24 school records on offense, including 46 rushing touchdowns, 425 points, 977 pass attempts, 606 pass completions, 7,846 passing yards, 65 touchdown passes and 10,755 total yards over his three and a half years as a starter.
Last season, he earned second team all-Big Ten honors from league media with 72 total tackles and shared the team lead with three interceptions.
2012 Takeoff: Remember that experiment at safety last year? Try to not remember it.
Twenty-four of Hyde's 26 career starts have come at cornerback. Hyde could very well end up a safety in the NFL, following in the footsteps of Charles Godfrey and Amari Spievey, former Iowa corners-turned-safeties in the NFL. The simple fact is Iowa needs him at corner.
The front and center for Hyde in '12 is the possible emergence of more man-to-man coverage for Iowa's corners. Now, it's still in the "possible" stage. Parker, in his first season as defensive coordinator, has talked about the possibility. We've been over this topic. It's now time to see it, or see if Parker indeed follows through.
Hyde can do the press coverage. It was called more and more in Iowa's defense last season.
"We all know coach Parker and he is an aggressive guy," Hyde said. "He was calling some plays in spring ball to see how we'd make the move. I think we did a pretty good job. I can't put words in his mouth, but we definitely did a lot more blitzing and man coverage and stuff like that. I guess we'll see what happens."
Hyde is the consummate leader and always has his head up. The secondary, on paper, is a strength for Iowa's defense. Hyde knows Iowa's defense could very well be defined with what happens along the defensive line. He's positive on a group that returns just 14 career starts (Dominic Alvis eight; Steve Bigach six). For comparision, Ohio State's D-line has 78 career starts.
“They’re tough guys,” Hyde said this spring. “The other day, we were at practice and they’re low on numbers, really low, and I think they had five guys who were rotating in and out. There was only one guy out on each play and they were still going full speed.
“They were hurting, they were tired. Some of them said they had jammed fingers and their ankles hurt, but they were still going. That’s the mentality our defense brings. No matter who’s in or what’s going on, if you’re hurt or if we’re low, we’re going to try to push it.”
Yes, Phil Parker was an inside hire for defensive coordinator, but don't discount the amount of turnover and transition Iowa's D will need to overcome this season.
The Hawkeyes will need every inch of Hyde.