Tom Herman Named Big Ten's Top Recruiter

By Kyle Rowland on February 12, 2013 at 12:53p

Ohio State recently hauled in the No. 2-ranked recruiting class, according to One of the major themes from the class was the number of out-of-state prospects the Buckeyes were able to lure to Columbus, especially from the state of Texas. The point man on the Lone Star State was offensive coordinator Tom Herman. For his efforts, Rivals named Herman the top recruiter in the Big Ten: 

Outside of Ohio State, Michigan and Nebraska, all which finished in the top 20 nationally, the Big Ten had a lackluster recruiting season. There were, however, several impressive individual recruiting performances, making the title of the Big Ten's best recruiter hotly contested. The job that Herman, Ohio State's offensive coordinator, did by going to Texas and grabbing three of the state's top 20-ranked prospects, including five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell -- Texas' No. 1 ranked prospect -- gets the nod as this year's most impressive feat. While Mitchell was a monumental pull, convincing Rivals100 running back Dontre Wilson to leave his Oregon commitment, spurn the in-state Longhorns and come to Columbus to play slot receiver was more impressive. Add four-star quarterback J.T. Barrett to his total, and even though Herman did not get to pad his stats with in-state pickups, his was the Big Ten's best in 2013.

Not to be outdone, Mike Vrabel and Everett Withers also drew praise from Rivals: 

Herman's closest competition for Big Ten Recruiter of the Year may have come from his own staff. Vrabel is the Buckeyes defensive line coach and was responsible for bringing in a six-man defensive line class that included four four-star prospects. Vrabel went into South Florida and plucked the fourth-best strongside defensive end in the country, Joey Bosa. He went into South Carolina to grab Rivals250 defensive tackle Michael Hill and North Carolina to grab four-star defensive end Tyquan Lewis. He added three-stars Donovan Munger and Tracy Sprinkle in-state. Vrabel was also responsible for flipping cornerback Gareon Conley from Michigan.

Ohio State's 2013 class held the top spot in the national team rankings briefly on National Signing Day after five-star Rossville (Ga.) Ridgeland safety Vonn Bell announced he was signing with the Buckeyes. Withers was responsible for outdueling Alabama and Tennessee to get Bell to Columbus. That was far from his only impressive pick-up in the Southeast, however. Withers bested Florida and Tennessee for Rivals250 linebacker Trey Johnson and flipped four-star safety Jayme Thompson from West Virginia.


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Lincoln's picture

Lets all enjoy Herman and Withers while the are here because I have a feeling they both will be head coaches before we know it and it will be much deserved.

jthiel09's picture

One or two years tops for these guys ... they are proving to be worthy candidates for head coaching positions not just from this season but from their past successes it's clear. 
Let's just hope Urban can regin in some other coaches at this level when he needs to next time around, and if his nickname is "The Closer" I think that's a given he will do it again.


William's picture

I think Herman is here for more than 2 years, he's still extremely young, and could use more time as the OC at a big program. Withers on the other hand could be gone after a year or two like you mentioned. He has plenty of experience as a DC, as well as experience as a HC (interim coach). Withers will be the first to leave. 

Poison nuts's picture

Agreed. Withers goes first....too bad any of the staff has to leave, they seem to work well together & obviously are a great staff - but that's how it goes...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

old_rasputin's picture

Very true.  Fortunately for tOSU, Coach Meyer will refill those positions with other high quality assistants but rejoice while they are here!

"We hate to lose, but when we do, rest assured we'll be back, and someone will pay the price." Coach Hayes

jthiel09's picture

Coaching a Heisman trophy QB would look awfully good on Herman's resume.


d1145fresh's picture

I, for one, wouldn't mind seeing Herman stay around as the heir apparent to Urban. UFM stays for 8-10 years and Herman is there to take over for another 10 years. 

cinserious's picture

VERY wishful thinking. I'm with you brother.

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

BrewstersMillions's picture

His loss next year (my prediction) will hurt more than Roby, Shazier, or Miller (should #5 opt out of year 4).

ohiowhitesnake's picture

Hope that's not a plane out of town. I could see him getting serious looks as the DC, with The "co-coordinators" leaving in a few years. He did a pretty damn good job with the secondary this year. No it wasn't perfect, but the group improved. 
Say what you will, but two first team B1G CB has got to be a good thing.

I finally got a set of Gold Pants!

osubuck57's picture

Yep,when you can recruit and coach,you don't last very long as an assistant,especially at big time programs!!They might both very well get snatched up after this upcoming season!!Hope not,but I could see both gone to head coaching positions next season.


mitchjacobsen01's picture

Last year there were more than a few posters who thought that Urban Meyer had built an impressive, but not overwhelming coaching staff around him.  We had some doubts about some of the "unknown factors."  The expectations were lofty, but I really think we've been blessed by this staff.  Let's enjoy it while it lasts.
On a semi-related note, under JT we didn't need to worry about other schools poaching our assistants as'll definitely be bittersweet to see some of the quality guys on this staff leave.  I couldn't be happier with the current state of the program.  Who the hell wouldn't want to come work here under Urban Meyer, working with a bunch of top-quality players for a powerhouse university?  It's great to be a buckeye!

Knarcisi's picture

Big 10 Recruiter Rankings:
1) Urban Meyer (OSU), 2) Tom Herman (OSU), 3) Everett Withers (OSU), 4) Mike Vrabel (OSU), 5) Kerry Combs (OSU), 6) Luke Fickell (OSU), 7) Zach Smith (OSU), 8) Stan Drayton (OSU), 9) Ed Warriner (OSU), 10) Cam Burrows (OSU)

cinserious's picture

Remember, its the big-10(11) so @ #11 you have Brady Hoke.

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

Knarcisi's picture

No.  Tim Hinton. 

cinserious's picture

Can't argue with you there.

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

Doc's picture

My first reaction was "No shit Sherlock!", while my second reaction was "Being the best recruiter in the B1G is like being voted the skinniest kid at fat camp."  But, I am so glad they are our coaches.  Really, this staff is stellar from top to bottom.  Suck it B1G! 

CJDPHoS Member

The Official DDS of 11W

tennbuckeye19's picture

Don't know if any of you guys saw it, but ESPN named UM DC Greg Mattison their recruiter of the year. 

Knarcisi's picture

Of course they did, with their hate for tOSU.  Wait, no SEC school won ESECPN recruiter of the year?  Jalen Rose won after hours stoner of the year.

AndyVance's picture

So here's the question: thinking hypothetically, what does it take to assemble (check) and keep a truly exceptional coaching staff in place for a given length of time? Is the lure of being a head coach so great that an employer like Ohio State can't possibly keep the band together after more than a season or two of top-tier success?

Knarcisi's picture

Success breeds success.  Look at the many places that have repetitively produced talent that has moved on elsewhere.  They key is a plan and balance.  Certainly we will have guys take head jobs, and we should want that.  They key is to keep the funnel full of talent and backfill.  Meyer and the rest of his staff know talent, and that talent wants to come here. 

AndyVance's picture

Yes, I agree... I'm thinking more along the lines of executive/talent management philosophy... If you have the best coaches on your staff, in an ideal scenario you want to keep them in place for as long as possible.
So the question is, what does that take? Is it money and perks, is it the thrill of winning and being the best OC/DC/position coach in the game and pulling in multiple championships? Or is the pride and prestige of being a head coach simply so strong an incentive that it is inevitable that your best will leave at some point?

Poison nuts's picture

Case by case basis, some guys love the school & want to be there. In the end though, I think most guys want a HC job...If it's at a major program at, oh I dunno, say Texas, (who I believe could come calling on Tom Herman if Mack Brown has another lackluster season) - There's not much you can do to keep that from happening...

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

2002osubuck's picture

I think Meyer had a plan for this from the beginning. He's been quoted saying he asks for 2 yrs from his guys and we have co-coordinators on both sides. Its all about titles and coming from OSU as a coordinator can make a lot of head coaches. the trend will continue with offering the co-coord title and we'll have somewhat of a revolving door with a few core coaches staying for ahwile with Meyer. Its like meyer knows coaching will become like recruiting players and we'll be going after new ones every few years. Like he says "flavor of the month" just gotta keep the momentum rolling and it should be 4-5 years of greatness.

dtanmango's picture

I hope that they stay for at least two years and train up individuals to continue recruiting like crazy :D.


cinserious's picture

I wish everybody could just keep these 'best recruiter' awards under wraps. We dont want colleges natoinwide trying to poach our assistant coach talent. BTW, I didn't realize we landed Texas' #1 prospect. Makes it even more awesome.

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

OSUBias's picture

This is great for now, but is a bit worrisome moving forward. Talent turnover among the coaching staff at UF is what led to him going all control freak and destroying his health. We'd like to avoid that happening again here, for the sake of his health and selfishly because he makes our program perpetually top-5 year in and year out.
Hopefully he's learned from his mistakes at UF and is doing a better job grooming the next guy in line on the coaching staff, and not just the next guy up on the field.

7 yards and a cloud of dust is a beautiful thing