Presser Bullets: Urban Meyer Discusses Ohio State's Class of 2018, First-Ever Early Signing Period

By Dan Hope on December 20, 2017 at 10:54 am

While Ohio State's recruiting class of 2018 isn't necessarily complete yet, Urban Meyer met with the media to discuss the Buckeyes' first 20 signings of the Early Signing Period of the Wednesday morning.

While the Buckeyes are set to travel to Dallas on Saturday for the Cotton Bowl, Meyer was almost entirely about the Buckeyes' new recruiting class on Wednesday.

Here's what you need to know from Meyer's signing day press conference:

  • Meyer was impressed with the sense of urgency his coaching staff and recruiting staff demonstrated to get the class of 2018 locked up between the Big Ten Championship Game and the Early Signing Period.
  • "Special thanks to the parents of these incredible families. This is a heck of a group."
  • "We all have to remember that there's one person that really counts in this ... It's the player. The player's making a life-changing decision."
  • Meyer said he couldn't "imagine that we'd have this many signed" on Early Signing Day.
  • Meyer said he doesn't know yet which players will declare for the 2018 NFL draft. 
  • Meyer has had to tell players that he wasn't sure if he had a scholarship for them yet because he doesn't know which players will leave for the NFL yet. As a result, some players have held to tell Meyer that they are signing with other schools because those schools told those prospects they would pull their offers if they didn't sign.
  • The positive of the Early Signing Period is that the coaches don't have to continue "babysitting" recruits who are already committed; they're signed now. The negative is that it rushes the process. 
  • On landing late-developing Ohio kids late in the recruiting process in the past: "Those kids won't be available. They're signed." 
  • "You're squeezing a recruiting process into a small time frame."
  • Quarterback signee Matthew Baldwin is a "monster competitor" from one of the best high schools in the country.
  • Meyer was "dead-set against" the Early Signing Period, but after seeing the players Ohio State has already signed: "Dead-set against what? That's unbelievable."
  • Is it a problem if you only have a few Ohio kids in the class? "It is a problem." Meyer said some of the in-state players they were going to recruit had academic issues.
  • While Ohio State isn't necessarily done signing players today, Matthew Baldwin will be the only quarterback Ohio State signs today. Meyer has not ruled out the possibility of signing another quarterback after the Early Signing Period.
  • Meyer usually thinks he has a good idea of which players will declare for the NFL draft, yet has been "shocked" in the past, so he isn't banking on anyone leaving or coming back. Doesn't want any players to rush their decisions, especially now that the NFL's process of giving players feedback has improved over the last 10 years.
  • Meyer does not expect any players to skip the Cotton Bowl, with the only departures being tight ends A.J. Alexander, who was put on medical scholarship, and Kierre Hawkins, who transferred from the program.
  • Pickerington North product Alex Williams could play tight end as well as defensive end. Meyer started recruiting him more aggressively after finding out that Alexander and Hawkins would not return.
  • Meyer said he doesn't believe in the negative recruiting tactics that some other schools use, such as the rumors propagated by other schools that defensive line coach Larry Johnson would retire.
  • Meyer gets "extremely upset" when he hears that Ohio State committed a minor violation on the recruiting trail, like the secondary violation Ohio State had to report after Micah Parsons took photos on the set of College GameDay. "Everyone in our program should know the rules."
  • Will Meyer be coaching when he's 65 years old? "No" was his gut response, but he quickly changed his response to "Maybe."
  • Ohio State was "absolutely relentless" in its pursuit of Josh Proctor.
  • "Jeremy Ruckert might be the best tight end prospect that I've ever seen or recruited."
  • Ryan Day had an opportunity to be head coach in the SEC but decided to stay at Ohio State. Day was rumored to be a candidate at Mississippi State.

Stay tuned with Eleven Warriors for continued coverage of Early Signing Day.

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