Ohio State's known it's to play Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl for nearly two weeks. Urban Meyer, fresh off a bevy of recruiting trips, spoke to the media Thursday for the first time since that bowl announcement was made.
The No. 7 Buckeyes are set to take on the No. 8 Fighting Irish New Year's Day at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, at 1 p.m.
- Meyer, asked about early entrants to the NFL Draft, said he "kinda" knows how many juniors will leave Ohio State, but "the focus is on winning this bowl game."
- Meyer said guys like Malik Hooker and Jerome Baker are going to be relied on heavily in 2016, so it's essential to get them reps.
- Meyer plans to keep offensive coordinator Ed Warinner in the press box "for this game."
- Does Meyer anticipate any changes on the offensive coaching staff this offseason? "I’m not sure. Right now, I don’t."
- Meyer feels like he's done a pretty good job recruiting against Notre Dame and other big programs in the midwest.
- On coaching with Chris Ash and then now recruiting against him as Rutgers coach, Meyer said Ohio State's class is already so full: "The one thing I ask of coaches in these situations is to be professional ... and he's done that. Chris has been great."
- Meyer and Greg Schiano "go back many, many years." They became friends as a very young age and always remained in touch.
- "I always had great respect for his programs, would always go visit them." — Meyer on Schiano
- Meyer mentioned Schiano coached at the professional level is huge for recruiting and also among the staff moving forward.
- Schiano will not coach in the Fiesta Bowl. Luke Fickell is the defensive coordinator and he sees Schiano having a very similar role as Ash moving forward: "I don't believe in dictatorships."
- "A guy like Greg Schiano, if you have an opportunity to hire him, you've got to make it work."
- Aasked about coaching in the MAC, Urban said he remembers his first press conference very well: "There were two people there. That's why every time we have one of these, I thank you guys for coming."
- Whenever he talks to someone about coaching in that conference, he tries to push young coaches in that direction.
- Meyer and Schiano are "very similar" with how they handle business behind the scenes.
- On Notre Dame: "Excellent team. Couple first rounders on defense ... Very good team. Offensively, I haven't studied them a lot yet but they have a very good offensive line. That's their strength. You've got a team that could be playing for the national title."
- Asked about Cardale Jones: "That's a story that will be talked about for a lot of years. He's a national champion. There's only been eight of them here. He's one of the eight. And I don't imagine there's been a quarterback here who's undefeated."
- Will Ohio State be up to play in the Fiesta Bowl? "There's indicators, I've mentioned that all season, when you're defending national champs and this, this and this. We had a great indicator ... We played a team that didn't have a lot of affection for Ohio State and played as hard as we could and won a game. I'd anticipate that we'd play our tails off."
- Meyer thinks the way J.T. Barrett is finishing the season shows an improvement over the course of the season: "I think his injury set him back and obviously the dual situation we were working through."
- On the defensive line depth: "We're good." He added Tommy Schutt hurt his foot recently, but he "doesn't know how bad it is yet."
- Meyer added that Joey Bosa also plays inside on the defensive line "a lot," after mentioning players like Michael Hill, Donovan Munger and Tracy Sprinkle are there to provide depth.
- On Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer: "He's a big dude and has been doing a lot of good things for them lately."