It was a typical Urban Meyer day as far as National Signing Day is concerned. He secured a top-five class, targeted areas in need and filled them. This is Meyer’s seventh class with a top-five ranking. The 2014 group includes one five-star and 15 four-stars.
The drama didn’t occur from sunup to sundown like a year ago, but there were still tense moments for the coaches hunkered down inside the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. First came the decision of Malik McDowell, who chose Michigan State over Ohio State, among others.
But an unexpected turn came in the afternoon. Darius Slade, a three-star defensive end from New Jersey, flipped his commitment and picked the Buckeyes over the Spartans.
- Meyer noted that Larry Johnson and Chris Ash are both great coaches and chose to be at Ohio State. He wanted a dynamic recruiter like Johnson to be able to replace Mike Vrabel.
- Interestingly, Meyer said he spoke to Larry Johnson about coming to Ohio State when he was first hired in 2011. Instead, Vrabel was retained and Meyer said there wasn’t room for Johnson.
- Ash will be in charge of the entire secondary, Meyer confirmed. Kerry Coombs will give input on the cornerbacks and Meyer himself will also be involved with the defense.
- Luke Fickell will have the final say on defensive play-calling, according to Meyer. Sounds like game plan will be collaborative effort.
- Coombs didn't elaborate, but said there will be fundamental changes across the board in regards to the defense. Being more aggressive is one.
- “We will have one voice. We may both be using it, but we’ll be saying the same things.” -Coombs on he and Ash in the secondary
- Meyer said the obvious emphasis in recruiting was on linebacker. There have been too many mistakes and lack of development in recent years. Meyer said there are no plans to redshirt any of the four true freshmen linebackers.
- “If things work out, we'll redshirt a minimal amount of this class.” -Urban Meyer
- Personnel notes for upcoming season – Darryl Baldwin is the No. 1 right tackle, Taylor Decker No. 1 left tackle.
- Meyer said he thought there was a chance Braxton Miller could go pro. Meyer told him he could be a high draft pick if he improved.
- Jamarco Jones and Demetrius Knox are two freshmen offensive linemen who could play immediately, according to Meyer.
- “He’s not a Braxton or Terrelle, but Alex Smith wasn't either.” -Meyer on Stephen Collier
- Meyer’s pleased with the speed of 2014 class. He called Curtis Samuel “electric.”
- Meyer said he didn’t know much about Slade until recently. Johnson took the lead on his recruitment.
- Meyer raved about Zach Smith's recruiting. Meyer said the process is all about developing/building relationships.
- “I think we won today. This isn’t a good class, it’s a great class.” -Urban Meyer. He said it very well could be his best class at OSU.
- On using official visits, Meyer said he encourages players to explore all their options. He said kids deserve to go wherever they want to go to school. Meyer said he doesn’t like the 11th-hour visits, but added he’d never tell a kid no.
- Meyer reiterated that Christian Bryant’s career at Ohio State is over. His second medical appeal has been denied.
- On Michigan State: “They're real. They're an adversary. That's a real battle right now.”
- Stan Drayton said his gut instinct always told him Jamarco Jones was a Buckeye.
- Curtis Samuel is fast, but Drayton said they’ve never seen him do anything in the ‘Shoe. College is a tad different than high school. Saw that a little bit last season with Wilson.
- Drayton said Meyer will be calling Pete Carroll soon because he's always intrigued and have competitive sprit to gain an edge.