Presser Bullets: Urban Meyer Addresses Media to Cap Ohio State's 2015 Season

By Eric Seger on January 7, 2016 at 11:55 am
Urban Meyer addressed the media Thursday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

Not even a week after Ohio State downed Notre Dame, 44-28, to win the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, Urban Meyer met with reporters to discuss the 2015 season and exodus of Buckeyes heading to the NFL Draft.

Meyer took questions Thursday in the team room at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.


  • Meyer opened speaking of the "incredible effort" by his players and coaching staff in the Fiesta Bowl. He had a fear of the team being a "no show" after missing the College Football Playoff.
  • "The leadership and everything on our team was outstanding."
  • Meyer called the Fiesta Bowl "the best special teams effort" Ohio State had in 2015 is the best its been in his four seasons in Columbus.
  • Meyer called the punt coverage, kickoff coverage and kickoff return units among or the best in the country. He said the punt return unit "is one of the most improved" on the team. "If you guys have another hour and a half, I'll visit with you guys about special teams." 
  • Meyer continued to talk special teams and offered a breakdown of the average drives started against Notre Dame. The Buckeyes started at their own 36 on average, Irish did so at its own 20.
  • Meyer on the NFL Draft early entrants: "The obvious news of the week is we have some young people who decided to chase their dream. Everyone was so professional about it."
  • Meyer lauded the players on his team who were going to leave early and the professionalism with how they handled the process, with waiting until after the season to announce except for Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa and Cardale Jones: "The question you ask is why, and I think it's because of their love for Ohio State and love for their team."
  • Meyer feels "great" about the 2016 offense: "The future is extremely bright."
  • Ohio State is moving forward as if wide receiver Corey Smith — who broke his leg in the Indiana game — will be back next season off a medical redshirt. He is in the process of getting that now.
  • Meyer is entering the 2016 season with the same mindset as he had entering 2014.
  • "I'm a fan of great players ... We recruited very well. The door is open now," Meyer on all the guys leaving early. "It is what it is."
  • "I feel great about the (recruiting) class we have coming in." 
  • Meyer did mention nine players leaving early is "a lot," but that's what Ohio State does.
  • "This was over the top. This started Jan. 13. That's why I credit the guys on our staff and our players, because as a coach you're taking calls from agents all the time."
  • Meyer said "a couple" players who chose to leave early surprised him, and mentioned specifically Tyvis Powell: "I understand though. He's a four-year guy and has his degree."
  • At running back in 2016,"It's open door." He mentioned the steps Bri'onte Dunn made as far as selflessness is concerned, and mentioned the talent Mike Weber has. Also, Meyer said Dontre Wilson potentially coming out of the backfield: "We're excited about all candidates."
  • On recruiting, Meyer and his staff had been on the premise that "six-ish" guys would leave, but then nine guys did: "Now you gotta dive into it a bit."
  • Meyer said he did not think about getting Cardale Jones into the Fiesta Bowl: "That might have been something that had been appropriate to do."
  • Meyer said he "will not be critical" of the way the team played and finished the 2015 season, even though it didn't win a Big Ten or national title: "I'm extremely proud of them."
  • On expectations for 2016, Meyer hopes the team is "mean, hungry and nasty."
  • J.T. Barrett, Pat Elflein and Raekwon McMillan have already been named captains for the 2016 season, even though they usually wait until August to decide that: "It's done."
  • They are still evaluating whether or not Ed Warinner will remain in the press box next season: "I will say this, we will change some thing and want to be much more balanced."
  • Meyer mentioned Isaiah Prince, Noah Brown, Jamarco Jones and Marcus Baugh as guys he expects to step up next season. Defensively, he said Chris Worley, Jerome Baker, Erick Smith, Malik Hooker and Cam Burrows need to be ready for next season.
  • "It'll be a challenge, and challenges are fun. I don't use that word much." — Meyer on 2016.
  • Meyer does not anticipate any staff changes coming in the offseason.
  • Asked about Torrance Gibson, Meyer first mentioned his 2.7 GPA. He said Gibson "worked his tail off" and in mid-September is when he really grew up: "I love Torrance Gibson ... I would love to use him at quarterback-slash, because he's that good of an athlete. So this spring will be big."
  • Meyer, asked if he wishes he had gone to Barrett at quarterback earlier or put Warinner in the box earlier: "That's a good question. The Cardale situation, he's a national champ, won three big games. Should you put J.T. in there earlier? I'm not going to answer that ... I know that was a very difficult, that was a grind, that was an anguish, a knot in your stomach. Are you doing the right thing? I care about Ohio State, I care about the future of Cardale Jones, I care about the future of J.T. Barrett. I'm not prepared to answer that."
  • On Warinner moving up in the box earlier, Meyer smiled and joked with the reporter: "That's a good conversation and that's something I'll evaluate."
  • Meyer learned as much about football and as much about life as "he ever had" from the 2014 team: "I might have matched that this year."
  • Meyer called Elliott's blocking in the Fiesta Bowl "the best its ever been."
  • On so many early entrants to the NFL Draft, Meyer said that's how Ohio State's mindset was when most of those players were recruited and how they were developed in Columbus: "That's what NFL people are looking for."
  • Asked about Joey Bosa's targeting ejection, Meyer said it was the correct call but he did not agree with it: "But hindsight, I'm all about player safety."
  • Meyer: "This will be the winter of development."
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