Top Prospects Unfazed by Ohio State Linebackers Coach Bill Davis' Lack of Experience on the Recruiting Trail

By Andrew Lind on March 26, 2017 at 8:30 am
Bill Davis

When Ohio State hired linebackers coach Bill Davis in late December, everyone's first concern was his lack of experience on the recruiting trail. Davis looked at it in a different light, however.

"Like I told Coach [Urban] Meyer, that's a positive," Davis said after a recent practice. "You tell me how you want it done, and that's how you're going to get it done. The routine and the way we do recruiting here is 'I'm a blank slate' and we're making it whatever he wants it to be. I'm attacking the recruiting trail like the rest of the staff is."

The 51-year-old Davis occupied an unofficial advisory role for the Buckeyes last season, but coached in the NFL for 23 seasons. He replaced Luke Fickell, the longest-tenured member and most active recruiter on the staff, who left after 15 years to become the head coach at Cincinnati.

“I think Coach Fickell did an outstanding job and the work speaks for itself," Davis said. "How many NFL players have Coach Fickell and the Ohio State Buckeyes under his coaching got into the NFL? I think that’s real. There’s no team that has more NFL linebackers than Ohio State."

That testimony resonates with recruits, which is why the Buckeyes were able to land five-star Baron Browning earlier this year in spite of Fickell's departure. And seeing as the ultimate goal of any prospect is to make it to the NFL, it's difficult to find any downside to Davis' hire.

"Coach Davis and I have developed a good relationship," Virginia Beach, Virginia, five-star linebacker Teradja Mitchell said. "His NFL experience outweighs that by far."

That sentiment is echoed by numerous recruits, including Toledo St. John's Jesuit four-star Dallas Gant, Cincinnati Winton Woods four-star Christopher Oats and Columbus St. Francis De Sales three-star Brian Asamoah, each of whom said Davis has stepped into Fickell's shoes seamlessly.

"I was a little concerned at first, but he's made it a seamless transition in building our relationship," Asamoah said. "I trust coach Meyer and his system. Coach Davis wouldn't have gotten the position if they didn't believe he could do the job."

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