It's National Signing Day, which means Urban Meyer stopped by a 97.1 The Fan table set up in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center to talk everything Buckeye football with Paul Keels and Jim Lachey. The new staff additions, Ryan Day (quarterbacks), Bill Davis (linebackers) and Kevin Wilson (offensive coordinator/tight ends) also stopped by.
Meyer noted the finishing to the 2017 class isn't nearly as hectic, which allows him to turn the focus to the 2018 class without scrambling to add the finishing touches to the present class, like in years past.
On new linebackers coach "Billy" Davis:
- Known him for 24 years.
- "The combination of Luke Fickell and Greg Schiano was a combination of two unselfish guys. They obviously did a great job. I'm hoping we continue that."
On Kevin Wilson:
- Hit the ground running in recruiting.
- "Once you put that Block 'O' on your shirt, you go to the front of the line."
- Cited Wilson's reputation as a spread godfather that earned him recognition with national recruits.
- "We struggled this year," Meyer said before he noted they led the Big Ten in efficiency and finished second in scoring.
- "We want to throw the ball better."
- The 2014 offense is the target: 250 yards rushing, 250 yards passing.
On the returners:
- "We have a bad taste in our mouth," for probably the first time of the Meyer era.
- "We have very strong leadership," but noted they need more from the 2015 class.
- Strength coach Mickey Marotti compares the current roster to an Oreo cookie. It's tough at the top and bottom but soft in the middle (2015 class).
THE NEW FACES
Ryan Day's first impression of J.T. Barrett: "Fiery competitor."
Bill Davis on his transition from analyst to full-time coach:
- Davis focused on giving the defense a "leg up" on the opposing offense each week.
- Stepping away from a hands-on role helped him relax after multiple years as a NFL defensive coordinator.
- It also helped him reconnect with his family, including his five children. "They're the ones who suffer the most from this."
On the defense he's taking over:
- "The communication." It's a well-oiled machine.
- "Accountability." Davis said he's never seen a unit this "tight, linear, and well-organized."
- "The personnel and what they do the best... that's what you want to maximize." He has experience with multiple schemes, but Ohio State's is "already set."
- "I love recruiting."
- "In the NFL, you're always getting told who you're coaching," whether you like them or not.
- "It's amazing you can get this many first-round players if you work hard enough."
Kevin Wilson on hopping into recruiting:
- "We got a whirlwind introduction into [Ohio State's] culture."
- Ohio State didn't recruit a tight end in this class, which allowed him to help other coaches with visits in Las Vegas (Tate Martell and Tyjon Lindsey) and California (Wyatt Davis).
- Allowed him to scout 2018 tight ends. "Not the most crucial position, but if you have balance at tight end it helps the run game."
- Familiar with recruiting Ohio during his time rising the coaching ranks, starting with Miami in 1990.
On fixing the offense:
- "My first question is, 'How can [I] be a positive addition?" It's easier to tear things down than build them up.
- First thing was building a relationship with players and coaches. "We don't need to be best friends ... but we're going into a foxhole together. ... It's about earning the right to connect with your group."
- "I'm starting very slow, not worrying about the play calls. There's a lot we're doing well. It's just a matter of changing it to make it better."