Sure, it's Gore's job to lose. Today. But in the near future he will be handing the reins over to someone new. I realize we could go with a dual attack (or even the mythical Cerberus- I see you Hunter). However, having watched tape on Lattimore and Hyde I see both of them as feature backs. Bell cows. 3 downs. Frank Gore but Frank of 5-8 years ago.
Marcus Lattimore is the swift, running back with some power. He can catch the ball, he can block. He's got wiggle and shiftiness. He's been fragile but apparently his work ethic is legendary. He carves up lesser opponents (like Navy in 2011) but he pounds away against good teams too (Missouri in 2012). He has speed to take the edge and isn't likely to be caught from behind. That being said teams like Missouri bottle him up in the back field at times. He's somewhat boom/bust: 10+ yards or nothing. This is of course assuming he's the guy he was pre- injury.
Carlos Hyde is the enormous punishing running back with some speed. He is an able and willing blocker, often lead blocking for a mobile qb in college. His hands are okay and he presents himself as a safety valve in the passing game. He bulldozes, battering rams, and carries tacklers forward. Rarely does the first guy get him down and when that happens it's usually several yards past the initial contact. He's not going to take it to the house, however. He's the 3-7 yards reliable work horse who will be caught from behind in the open field. He has some moves but his best move is finding a way past that first down marker or over that goal line. He refuses to go down easily (which can lead to fumbles). The man is tenacious. I watched several games and didn't see a bad 1 from 2013. His game against Northwestern was ridiculous.
This isn't about stats necessarily because college rb production doesn't necessarily translate to the pros (LMJ) but just for fun:
Lattimore: 555 att 2677 yds (4.8 ypc) 38 tds/74 rec 767 yds 3 tds
Hyde: 523 att 3197 yds (6.1 ypc) 37 tds/34 rec 271 yds 4 tds
As for the combine numbers, (Lattimore missed his from injury but)
Lattimore: 5.11 221 pounds
Hyde: 4.66 40/19 reps/34.5" vertical/114" broad/6.00 230 pounds
I recommend checking out the film at draft break down:
before I watched Hyde I assumed it was all going to come down to whether Lattimore was recovered... But after watching Hyde demolish the big ten I'm not so sure. 7.3 ypc for a power running back is ridiculous.
So the big question: who wins this camp battle?