Urban Meyer Presser Recap: National Signing Day

By Kyle Rowland on February 5, 2014 at 3:26p

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.

Comments Show All Comments

d1145fresh's picture

From the tone of his comments on Ash and the defensive backfield I would fully expect to see a far more aggressive play calling on the defensive side this year.

+1 HS
Seattle Linga's picture

Aggressive might just be the lightest of terms used when these guys have been all meshed together. Looking so forward to watching this class develop over the summer. 

Bugsyk's picture

Compared to last year, 10 yds off the ball might be considered aggressive!

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Meyer doesn't have to talk to Pete Carroll. All he has to do is re-watch the Super Bowl to see an aggressive defense looks like. The Seahawk DBs were lined up right on the LOS even in the 4th Qtr. THAT is an aggressive defense. Peyton had nobody to throw to. 
But if Meyer needs reinforcement, Carroll will tell him what he needs to do.



+1 HS
45has2's picture

It also helps when the D line is acting as an overcoat on the QB. Manning seldom had much time to throw the ball. The entire Seattle defense runs to the ball. Denver tried numerous screen passes, which are supposed to thwart aggressive defenses, and 99% of them were blown up by a combination of D linemen, LB's and DB's.  No team, at any level would be wrong to model their defense after the Sea(ball)hawks.

"I don't like nice people. I like tough, honest people." -W.W. Hayes

Bolt's picture

Great point. Seattle dictated Denver's offense instead of sitting back and waiting and reacting. The corners played aggresive and jumped routes to throw off Peyton's timing in the quick reads and that allowed the d-line to get after him when he had to start going through his progressions and checkdowns. We have the athletes to be fully confident in dictating the action and playing aggressive on defense. You might get burned every once in a while but it's worth the risk/reward balance.

Barnsey69's picture

Lovely start to the new year (my calendar begins on LNOI day)! 

Thank the Maker that I was born in Ohio, cradle of coaches, US Presidents, confederate-stomping Generals, and home of The Ohio State University Football Buckeyes- 2014 UNDISPUTED National Champions!

+1 HS
OSUpawn's picture

Curtis Samuel is my favorite Dream 14 player.  He is "electric".  I have watched his videos and he is fast and very shifty.  The one on one videos.... His route running is impressive and he was their tailback (Athlete!).  I think he is this year's Bosa.

I believe the SEC players put their pants on one leg at a time like we do.

HotSauceCommittee's picture

Thanks for the recap. I was waiting all day to listen to this and then made the mistake of picking up the phone at work.

ChicagoBuckeyeFan's picture

"Luke Fickell will have the final say on defensive play-calling."
Hurray! Rush three with soft coverage on 3rd and long... sigh.

+1 HS

Nothing clinses the sole like getting the hell kicked out of you - Woody Hayes

+1 HS
2002osubuck's picture

I think he meant Fickell's voice would be the last one calling the plays into the headset. Meyer's gonna stick to Fickell being the "playcaller" publicly but behind the scenes Ash will be calling the plays from the booth to Fickell on the sidelines. 

ChicagoBuckeyeFan's picture

I hope you're right!

allinosu's picture

The final say sounds like him making the final call. Urban made this decision so your complaints should directed at him.


Nothing clinses the sole like getting the hell kicked out of you - Woody Hayes


Nothing clinses the sole like getting the hell kicked out of you - Woody Hayes

osubuck57's picture

Like to hear Urban will be getting his hands dirty with the defense. I would personally camp with Pete Carroll for as long as he'd have me. That is one nasty defense.


2002osubuck's picture

Meyer made the same comment about being the final say when he was talking about the offensive play calling with Herman. Does that mean Ash has the first say being the playcaller and Fickell can chime in if he doesn't like the play. I don't think Meyer brought in Ash just to coach the secondary. Not to mention, Fickell's had two years to call plays and there hasn't been much improvement.

bigbadbuck's picture

Urbz is going to be on BTN in the next few minutes.............

Gentlemen, you can't fight in here, its a war room

allinosu's picture

Hiring Ash was the fix. He brings a defensive strategy. An identity. If it's anything like he did at wisky with 2 and 3 stars we should be ok. The so called bad play calling was a result of being out of position, not fulfilling individual responsibility, poor tackling, bad angles etc.   

MN Buckeye's picture

Agree, ALL. Ash brings the identity, and everyone MUST get on board with it so that all of the coaches can speak with one voice. Defense is all about team, and our guys were not on the same page last year. The fact that it got worse instead of better as the year went along was telling.

W-burgbuck's picture

New year, fresh start, great new bunch of kids. I'm done harping on last year's defense and pointing fingers. New Year is gonna be Special our coaches are the best in the country, we have special talent, and we have already learned from past mistakes. Here's to braxton hitting thomas in 2014 and Spence hitting everyone else. Go bucks.


PittBuckeye's picture

Jamarco and Meech both being 4 year starters, can't wait.

bull1214's picture

hilarious....urban says fickell is calling plays and some of you twist it around to hear what you want as if you know better than urban himself.
there's a difference between bad defense and bad playcalling.
seattle didnt play press the whole game. they were in zone many times no matter what you wanna be able to say.
aggressive takes many forms. its not one way and no other. i believe the new coaches will add a lot of valuable input and cant wait but the biggest difference will come in the form of better play from the players.

BHT's picture

The last bullet said Urban Meyer will call Pete Caroll. Maybe they should talk about defense.
That being said, I expect the defense to be an Ohio State defense. The staff additions are great and the recruits are studs.

m5987usus's picture

I love national signing day