Meyer and Tressel: Where Do the Offers Go?

By Jordan Wagner on July 25, 2013 at 7:00p
Meyer invading key states with a lot of offers

Last week, I wrote about the disparity among the number of scholarship offers between Urban Meyer and Jim Tressel. In a three year span, Meyer offered nearly 400 prospects to Tressel's near 200. With the help of Eleven Warriors member Gravey, we can now take the data one step further and see where the offers went under these two elite coaches. 

Not only did Meyer and Tressel have differing philosophies on how many prospects to offer, it is also apparent that the two had different ideas on where to focus their attention. Tressel focused on Ohio and Florida. These two states would account for over 50 percent of Ohio State's offers from 2009-2011. Only three other states – Pennsylvania, Georgia and Maryland – had double digit offer totals in the same period. Overall, Ohio State would send scholarship offers to prospects in 24 different states. 

Meyer spread offers to a total of 31 states and another continent – landing a commitment from Australian punter Cameron Johnston. Of those with offers, 12 states had double digit offer totals (in order): Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Michigan.

Under Meyer, 20 states have at least five recruits with offers from Ohio State – compared to just 10 under Tressel.  What does this prove? It shows Meyer spread his offers throughout the nation better than Tressel. Yes, Meyer offered double the amount of prospects, but you can move the focus away from the number of offers to the percentage of offers. 

The collected data also disproves two of the common misconceptions of Ohio State recruiting under Urban Meyer, while supporting another widely held opinion. 

Misconception: Urban Meyer doesn't recruit Ohio like Jim Tressel did. 

From 2009 to 2011, Tressel offered 50 prospects from Ohio, which is almost 26 percent of his total offers in that period. There is no denying Tressel really focused on in-state recruiting, and those numbers confirm it.

Meyer, on the other hand, has only offered 37 prospects from Ohio, which is about 9.5 percent of his total offers. Tressel offered 13 more Ohio prospects in 2009-2011 than Meyer did in 2013-2015.

However, Tressel's total accounts for three complete recruiting classes, while Meyer has only completed the 2013 class. The 2014 class might not see more offers go out to Ohio prospects, but Meyer will definitely offer some of Ohio's elite 2015 prospects. Currently, Meyer has only offered four Ohioans in the class of 2015, but that number will definitely grow, when the staff shifts their focus after National Signing Day. 

Tressel focused on in-state recruiting more than Meyer, but Meyer has – by no means – ignored the state. When Meyer fills out his classes, I'd expect the three year in-state offer totals to be similar. Although, Meyer's Ohio offer total will be a much smaller percentage of his total offers. 

Misconception: Meyer's Florida ties have resulted in more offers and better success in Florida recruiting. 

At first glance, the data shows that Meyer offered 78 prospects from Florida – 40 more than the next highest state. Twenty percent of Meyer's offers were to prospects from the Sunshine State. Tressel topped that percentage, though, with offers to 48 prospects, amounting to 25 percent of his total offers from 2009-2011. Meyer offered 30 more prospects, but Tressel gave a higher percentage of his offers to Florida. 

In 2013-2015, Meyer has only landed Joey Bosa and James Clark from Florida. It's not entirely fair to compare, since it is still very early in the recruiting process for that time period. Tressel landed seven signees from his 48 Florida offers, which isn't too bad of a percentage of prospects to pull from a southern state. In Meyer's defense, he really doesn't need to dominate Florida because he's shown the ability to successfully recruit nationally. 

Texas Tom with tiesTom Herman's Texas ties paying off

Opinion: Meyer's additions of Everett Withers and Tom Herman have expanded OSU's recruiting territory. 

It's hard to disagree with that statement. The numbers back up the claim.

The states where Ohio State's staff have previous ties to, unsurprisingly, received the greater number of offers. Florida has the most offers in the Urban era, which comes as no surprise since Mark Pantoni, Stan Drayton and Meyer have ties to the talent-rich state.

Due to Everett Withers' ties to the area, Georgia and North Carolina show up at second and sixth, respectively, on our list of total offers. Texas checks in at fourth, due in large part to Tom Herman's coaching ties in Texas. Zach Smith has led the charge in recruiting Virginia, with 22 offers – good for fifth on the the list of total offers. 

While Tressel recruited these areas, the current staff has been recruiting these states much harder. The data shows that more offers and a higher percentage of total offers have been given to each of these states. The success in landing prospects from these states can be partially attributed to the coaches' ties. 

Meyer and Tressel State by State Offer Data

Too much data for a graph!



Comments Show All Comments

droessl's picture

Holy shit this is fantastic! Thanks to you and Gravey for the work on this! 

3rdGenBuckeye's picture

Don't forget James Clark is from Florida... also I am not sure Ricquan Southward, counts but he basically committed due to Meyer's impending appointment is coach.

Codeezy's picture

Beat me to it. Also Mike Mitchell grew up in Florida a fan of Urban Meyer. 

Jordan Wagner's picture

I didn't include 2012 in the data since Urban Meyer only took over half way through, but yes I forgot to mention James Clark in the article. I doubled check and he is in our database and therefore accounted for. 

gravey's picture

You're welcome.  I love this stuff.  It's nice to see what Jordan did with the numbers.

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Great work Jordan!  I love getting into the data and seeing this.
Well done!
Go Bucks!

osu07asu10's picture

Such a freaking awesome awesome article. Thank you to all involved for their effort on it!

CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache

The 0 is silent.

causeicouldntgo43's picture

Well done. My take from this is that to be a highly successful D1 coach, it helps to be able to recruit a staff with ties to various areas of the country, who can then expand on your overall recruiting base.
It also makes the case that it may not necessarily be wise for an AD to promote from within the assistant ranks until they go out and have grown their own networks independently. It may not be wise for a head coach to be surrounded by the same assistants year after year who may have grown up in the program.
It makes a good case for assistants to be sure they move around and get good quality experience under good head coaches and expand their networks. I'm not talking about Luke Fickell in this case, but perhaps he could use some seasoning elsewhere before he comes back as the HC. Just a thought.... 
So, the higher profile and respect you have as a coach, the more you can recruit nationally and the more you can pick a staff to help in those goals. Success reinforces success. Meyer really takes recruiting seriously, and the results are showing it. Glad he's ours....

hit_the_couch's picture

That map is pretty dope.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

gumtape's picture

My favorite part of the nap is that Notre same has a smaller footprint then the Hoosiers.

High and tight boo boo

cinserious's picture

My favorite part of the nap was the multiple beers to choose from and the uncontrollable snickering at the funny looking lady on the other side of the laptop who was getting more and more pissed we couldn't stop laughing at her...Oh,wait...

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

biggy84's picture

Great info! Thanks!

unholy bucknut's picture

Catch more fish the wider net you cast.

Hovenaut's picture

One of the best off-field statistical breakdowns I've seen, wow. Definitely a method to Urban's madness.....I know I've never been this excited about recruiting before.

Well done gents.

German Buckeye's picture

As I was reading this article, I thought nice info, great writing, etc.  TOTALLY took it for granted that such a nice piece comes from the 11W team.  A free site (ssshhhhh) no less.  Keep loading up the targets and knocking em down.  Thanks for all you guys do to provide us ravenous Buckeye fans our fixes. 

Firedup's picture

Nice side by side comparison.  Interesting that DC has seen a rise in offers and yet no spill over effect into Maryland.  Any how Great work Jordan on a free site.  I am going to head back to my free Pandora now ;)

"Making the Great State of Ohio Proud!" UFM

whobdis's picture

Good stuff as always. I've heard/read the JT's offers were rather low during his last few years..focusing on a smaller group. It's probably blasphemy to say but I thought JT was getting a bit 'relaxed' during his last few years. I don't feel we were searching for the best possible candidates for coaching vacancies. Video coordinator being promoted to qb coach..JT's brother coming in from Minn St to coach rb's. Bollman would have been allowed to retire here. As one post mentions it helps to bring in some fresh faces that cut their teeth in strong recruiting areas. Recruiting is the life blood of any program and this only strengthens my thought that we are going in the right direction

captain obvious's picture

great job with the article but
Why does UC get any of our state?

I'm a friend of thunder is it any wonder lightning strikes me

jayt's picture

nice read....awesome job guys!

pjtobin's picture

Running a spread offense must also involve spread recruiting. I don't care where UFM gets his guys. He only picks guys that want to be a Buckeye. And they must be fast. How many recruiting classes did Tress have that were at least a top 5 in the country?

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

BeijingBucks's picture

It's like recruiting on the XBox360.  That generated player list basically ignores home state and just marks up best players at their position aka 'The Urban Renewal Model'.

None can love freedom heartily, but good men; the rest love not freedom, but license. ~ John Milton

Schwizzle1985's picture

I think Texas is especially ripe for poaching right not with UT down.  Virginia and NC are great states for OSU because unlike Florida, they don't have in state powers to compete with and are closer geographically.  

Maestro's picture

Alaska = Switzerland

vacuuming sucks

Idaho Helga's picture

Excellent article!

buckskin's picture

Tressel hit Ohio hard on the recruiting trail, I had concerns that Meyer wouldn't do the same when he was hired.  Glad Meyer appreciates Ohio high school talent, while also spreading a broader net around the country. 
The main difference I see is that Meyer has more depth in his classes, resulting in a stronger 2 deep lineup on the field.  This was the main reason OSU struggled with Florida in 06, now we have the master building that team here.  Even with the recent off the field news, it's a great time to be a buckeye football fan!!! 

216ToThe614's picture

Zach Smith has Florida ties as well!!

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!

cinserious's picture

Its amazing how much more spread out Meyer's offers are around the states than Tressel. The whopping # of Fla. offers makes sense considering we have current coaching connections and plenty of recent recruiting history there. The state of Florida has the Big-three as we know: UF, FSU, and Miami.  The state also boasts a very impressive list of D-1 prospects every year but the big-3 can't gobble them all up. Plus I've noticed that at best only 2 of the 3 are any good at the same time. This allows an excellent opportunity for the Buckeyes to mine this ripe state for plenty of talent as Urban has been doing.
Miami hasn't been much lately plus NCAA sanctions loom.
Florida still hasn't proven much since MusCHUMP took over, plus he's waiting for the UT job.
FSU is on the upswing under Jimbo Fisher so we'll se how that continues.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

Edincostarica's picture

I"m sure most OSU fans realized Urban was spreading his net wider than Tressel's but this just shows how much larger Urban's net really is. Also Everett, Withers & Herman have definitely extended the Buckeye's recruiting territory as mentioned above. Thanks for the info.


gerry30's picture

Such a cute map: Schools that dominate in their state in football are shown.
Next year's will be a US map of schools that dominate the nation... with only Brutus on it.