Preview and postgame sections for the 2009-10 season here.
Not everything on Buckeye Fans Only is posted on Twitter, and vice versa. For the most updated daily news, be sure to follow us here and also on Twitter. Check out our Twitter feed and see our most recent 777 Tweets HERE. Get updates via SMS by texting follow buckeyefansonly to 40404.
The (red) story links, or the 'read more' graphic, will open new (pop-up) windows to the source of the article, audio or video, so you can read/hear/see the rest. If your browser is set to block pop-ups, please set it to always allow them from our site. You will not get any annoying advertising pop-ups, of any kind, generated by this site...ever.
Buckeyes QB Drills under the direction and watchful eye of new Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman February 29, 2012
Start of spring practice: March 28
Spring game: April 21
What to watch:
•Urban renewal: The mood has improved around Ohio State's program from the moment Urban Meyer stepped to the podium Nov. 28. After putting together his staff, signing an elite recruiting class and ticking off some of his Big Ten coaching colleagues, Meyer finally gets a chance to work with the players on the practice field. After a lackluster final season at Florida in 2010, Meyer says he's refreshed and recharged, and it'll be interesting to see how he attacks practices.
•The new offense: Ohio State fans can't wait for a new offense after suffering through a 2011 season that featured some extremely questionable play-calling. Meyer's offensive system is well-known throughout college football, but the interesting thing this spring will be how Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman blend their ideas. Herman is a dynamic young coach who impressed a lot of folks at Iowa State. But Ohio State is a different animal, and expectations will be high for quarterback Braxton Miller and the unit.
•Fickell back on defense: After spending last season as Ohio State's head coach, Luke Fickell returns to an assistant role on the defensive side. And for the first time, Fickell will be the Buckeyes' primary defensive playcaller. Ohio State's defense took a step back last season and will be looking to regain its traditional form. Fickell will work alongside co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers and look to identify some leaders to complement defensive lineman John Simon...
Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes Already Dominating Michigan
February 17, 2012 Source: The Ozone - "Per Scout, last player w/OSU+UM offers to commit to UM was Dymonte Thomas: 9/10/2011. Last 11 guys with OSU+UM offers all committed to OSU." "That's a pretty alarming statistic," I thought to myself. "It's almost Tressel versus Carr-ian," which is now an adjective, by the way. Then I thought to myself, "No way Ohio State is destroying Michigan like this in recruiting. I mean, I know it's bad, but it can't possibly be this bad, can it?" Turns out, it's even worse.
Dymonte Thomas committed in September of 2011, but didn't get an offer from Ohio State until December. That means you have to look even further back to find the last guy who committed to Michigan with an Ohio State offer.
That puzzling outlier happens to be Kansas City defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins, who committed to Michigan on August 8th of last year.
Since then, seven players have committed to Michigan in either the 2012 or 2013 class, and none of them had Ohio State offers at the time.
By contrast—and when I say 'contrast', I mean con-freaking-trast—there have been twelve players with Michigan offers who have committed to Ohio State in that span. Those players:...
The extreme polarity of the turnaround would almost seem like an anomaly, but when twelve players in a row commit to Ohio State over Michigan, how can such consistency be labeled an aberration?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Urban Meyer is never going to lose a recruit to Michigan, but I think the early evidence is clear that he's going to win far more than he's going to lose...
Lisle Explains Buckeye Decision February 29, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - Like Cameron Burrows, Jalin Marshall, Eli Woodard and Billy Price before him, Centerville offensive tackle Evan Lisle has become yet another highly-rated prospect to commit to Ohio State for the class of 2013.
Lisle, 6-foot-5, 260-pounds, pledged to Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer nearly one week after receiving his Buckeye offer.
"I have committed to Ohio State, and I can't tell you how excited I am," Lisle stated Tuesday evening. "I just know that Urban Meyer and his coaching staff are going to lead the Buckeyes to a national championship and I want to be a part of it. Everyone I know is so excited about my decision."
With offers from the likes of Alabama, Michigan, Miami of Florida, Notre Dame and others, Lisle was clearly a highly-desired prospect. He decided to commit early and not even visit other schools.
"I loved everything about Ohio State, so there was no reason to wait," he explained. "My entire family loved Ohio State and it's close to home for me. I have been a Buckeye fan since I was a little kid, so this is a dream come true for me. The academic side of Ohio State is also great, and that means everything to me."
Lisle will be ranked as one of the top-five players in Ohio in the initial ratings, and is also one of the top offensive linemen in the Midwest.
Meyer made improving the depth of the offensive line, and especially the tackle position, his top priority once landing the head coaching position.
Since taking the job, Meyer has added four-star tackles Kyle Dodson and Taylor Decker to the class of 2012, and now four-star Lisle to the 2013 class.
Top-rated lineman commits February 29, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Evan Lisle had scholarship offers from schools across the country, but the Centerville offensive lineman was waiting for one in particular.
“Once I got the Ohio State offer last week, it made things pretty easy,” Lisle said last night after becoming the fifth commitment to the Buckeyes’ 2013 recruiting class.
OSU beat out Notre Dame in the end, said Lisle, who also had been offered by Alabama, Michigan, Oklahoma and Nebraska. At 6 feet 6 and 275 pounds, he fits the mold that new OSU coach Urban Meyer is seeking in linemen.
“I think they are looking for tall, lean, athletic, intense players,” Lisle said. “I will get into guys and hit. And I am one of those guys who loves football. I’ve loved it since the second grade.”... “Lisle is the No.?1 offensive lineman in the state,” Kurelic said...
Big Ten spring ball: 12 teams, 12 burning questions February 25, 2012 Source: Sporting News - Weather reports be damned, Big Ten spring football opens on Tuesday—with Indiana and Northwestern getting started four days before Illinois and Purdue do likewise, and the rest of the league following in short order. Here we address a Burning Question facing each of the conference’s 12 programs. We begin with the six in the Leaders Division...
Ohio State: Will one (Urban Meyer) plus one (Braxton Miller) equal one?
We know what you’re thinking—yes, our math is state-school shaky. As was Miller’s play at quarterback for much of his freshman season, though he began to play with impressive poise and confidence as the games wore on. Regardless, Buckeyes fans are counting on the marriage of Meyer and Miller being blissful from the start. Miller does seem tailor-made for the offense that Tim Tebow (at Florida) and Alex Smith (at Utah) ran so wonderfully, but he still has to prove he can pull it off. And it’s never a given that a coach and a quarterback will stay on the same page—especially in an oddball situation like this one, with OSU having no bowl bid to chase...
Flipping recruits? Nah, perhaps the best phone call Urban Meyer made was one to the Charlotte, NC home of former North Carolina defensive coordinator and interim head coach Everett Withers to lure him into becoming the co-defensive coordinator at Ohio State. He’s probably not quite head coaching material yet--but if the folks in the Triangle area would have been realistic with the situation that he was thrust in, Withers should have gotten just as much consideration as Larry Fedora to stay on as the head man in Chapel Hill. Though you’d be foolish to call his stint as the head man at UNC as supremely successful, you do have a man that has led a BCS level program as an assistant.
Aside from that, if we just look at the body of work that Withers has on his resume, you can see why Meyer wanted him on staff. He directed a very talented secondary for Jeff Fisher with the Tennessee Titans, and also worked under Mack Brown at Texas among other stops before his time as defensive coordinator and director of the secondary with the Tar Heels. During that time, Withers worked with and developed several NFL draft picks and all ACC performers, including first round NFL draft pick Robert Quinn. The Carolina defense got it done year after year under his tutelage, and OSU will be in good hands with him and Luke Fickell working together to keep the Ohio State defensive machine churning...
(ii) What should the realistic expectations be for Urban Meyer in 2012?
If Ohio State fans have any say about it, they’ll expect Meyer to win every game resulting in a split national title vote despite not going to a bowl. In addition to that he’ll be expected to single handedly improve the state economy, fix the education system of all of the central Ohio schools, and reverse global warming. Even if he comes close to all of this, including being considered for the Nobel, Pullitzer, and several humanitarian awards, the local throng will more than likely still complain about the play calling and call for his resignation. Such is the life of the head coach of the scarlet and unenviable.
All jokes aside, things set up very favorable for Urban and staff. The schedule is watered down in both the non-conference and a down Leaders division and league. If the Buckeyes can find a way to sneak one away at Wisconsin, dodge flopping shoelaces with Michigan coming to town, and keep away from a few let-downs, there should be a good shot at winning nine or ten games. You could argue more, but history has shown that the installation of a new staff and scheme to go along with no post season will wear on the team in some spots to keep bigger things from occurring. But to foreshadow--look out for 2013...
Above All, Meyer In Search of Competitive Fire February 23, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Excuse Urban Meyer if he wasn’t watching Adolphus Washington’s jump shot during his stop at Cincinnati Taft back in January. Meyer was on hand, along with defensive assistants Luke Fickell and Mike Vrabel, to watch one of the top players in Ohio State’s 2012 recruiting class on the hardwood. But he was not there looking for a two-sport athlete.
“I don't know how he shoots, I don't really care,” Meyer confessed. “I just watched the way he plays, bangs, moves guys around. I like to see a guy's face. He's very upset when it doesn't go his way.”
Meyer and his staff landed a lot of talent in their first recruiting class together, including some big names down the stretch. They did not have nearly as much time as they would have liked to analyze and scout some of the players they signed, especially some of the late out-of-state additions to the class.
The one thing Meyer did look for in every guy hey went after was an insatiable drive to win. “Without question that’s the No. 1 thing we look for, that I look for,” he said.
“Go out and recruit a player. Height, weight, size, speed, 40-yard dash and those things are all measurable. The immeasurable is will he reach across a checkers table and try to squeeze the air out of your body if he loses? We want guys like that.”...
During his 26 years as a college coach, and his one year away from the game working with ESPN, Meyer has concluded it is that type of ferocity and competitive nature that translates to every level of football, from Pee Wee to the pros.
“I notice a lot of pro scouts, pro head coaches, pro assistant coaches, the really good ones, that's all they want to know. At the end of the day, will that kid compete at the highest level, do what it takes to win a game,” he said. “The great ones that I see going on to the National Football League were doing the same thing they did in college. It's amazing. They did the same thing in high school. They're competitors.”...
Herman Wants Points By Land Or By Air February 23, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - When it comes to coordinating the Ohio State offense, Tom Herman is ready to hit the ground running. Unless, of course, throwing turns out to be a better option. And speaking of the option, expect to see some of that, too.
In five years as an offensive coordinator in the NCAA Division I FBS, Herman has already proven he knows how to craft an attack that can move the ball in a variety of ways, and the Cincinnati native knows there will be no time to waste when spring practice rolls around.
“I wouldn’t expect it from our fan base,” he said. “We’ve got to do a great job and already have the pieces in place. If that means we’ve got to run four football plays but we run them so well that it’s going to look efficient and well-organized, hard-nosed, tough football then that’s what we’ll do. As we learn and grow and our players understand then we’ll start adding piece by piece by piece, but to expect a grace period would be foolish for me.”...
As a matter speaking, it could be said of Herman he is willing to look far and wide for yards and points.
“The field is 120 yards long and 53 and a 1/2 yards wide and the defense only has 11 human beings to cover that much grass, so we’re going to use space and numbers to our advantage, put stress on the defense in terms of using the quarterback in the run game and have him be a viable option,” Herman said. “We’re going to take advantage of any of the mismatches we can create out there in space with our athletes on the opposing athletes.”
While Ohio State fans could see a variety of new things when their team has the ball, there is one tenant from the Jim Tressel era that will not change. Protecting the ball, something some accused the previous regime of over-emphasizing, will remain paramount.
“It is one of Coach Meyer’s five things in his plan to win: Win the turnover battle,” Herman said. “Our job as an offensive unit is do not turn the football over. We’ve got to play great defense, we’ve got to win the turnover battle, we’ve got to score touchdowns in the red zone, but as you move forward I think you make two first downs in a drive and you possess the football for a long period, that’s a good drive. You have a monumental shift in the field position.
“Any drive that ends in a kick is a good drive for us. It’s OK to punt. It’s OK to be safe and sound with the football.”...
Gordon Gee: Bowl ban was coming ‘no matter what’ February 19, 2012 Source: Ohio State Lantern - Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee disagrees with the penalties that were administered to the university's football program for NCAA rules infractions and seems to think the NCAA tried to make an example of OSU...
"First of all, the NCAA — if we would have given up five bowl games, they would have imposed the sixth on us because they were going to impose a bowl ban. This was Ohio State. This was (the NCAA's) moment in time, and they were going to impose a bowl ban no matter what we did."
Gee, who focused his comments mostly on the bowl ban and not the reduction of nine scholarships over the next three seasons, said the university's communicative efforts with the NCAA indicate that OSU has been and continues to be "overly compliant in some ways."
"I'm a lawyer," Gee said. "I take a look at precedent. There's no precedent for a bowl ban for us."
In a Sunday email to The Lantern, Stacy Osborn, the NCAA's associate director of public and media relations, said, "The committee stands by the report it issued."
Under the subheading, "Committee Rationale," the Committee's report said:
"The enforcement staff and the institution were in agreement as to the facts of this finding and that those facts constituted violations of NCAA legislation. Further, as previously mentioned, the former head coach was made aware that football student-athletes sold athletics awards, apparel and/or equipment to the tattoo parlor owner, but failed to report the information to athletics administrators. As a result of this failure, the former head coach permitted football student-athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics competition while ineligible."
Michael L. Buckner, a college sports lawyer and shareholder of Michael L. Buckner Law Firm in Pompano Beach, Fla., told The Lantern that while he does not subscribe to the idea the Committee on Infractions tried to make an example of OSU, he disagreed with the Committee in the Buckeyes' case.
"Under the Committee's logic, Ohio State played ineligible student-athletes in the Sugar Bowl. I have a few problems with their rationale," Buckner said. "(The Committee) is trying to inject themselves in the judgement of the reinstatement staff and the Committee on Reinstatement. That's not in their purview. Their purview is to look at violations."
Buckner said that since the Committee's final report indicated it was Tressel's responsibility to report the violations of the student athletes, harsh punishment should have been assessed to "The Vest," and not the program he was forced to resign from on May 30...
"The Committee did not indicate that Ohio State knew, or should have known, that coach Tressel was not being fully honest," Buckner said. "So how is that Ohio State's fault? Why should Ohio State be punished with a bowl ban? So from my perspective, the Committee should have been harsher on coach Tressel."...
Former OSU coach Earle Bruce also took issue with OSU's punishments...
"The bowl ban should have affected the players responsible for the rules violations," Bruce said. "If they wanted to suspend a bowl game, why didn't they do it last year and get the people that were involved in it," Bruce said. "If you had the seniors on last year's team already getting big punishments and take away the bowl game, it wouldn't have been anything."...
From Voorhees (Eastern), N.J., the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Woodard made his choice known via Twitter. In anticipation, his Twitter following rose from 880 about an hour before to 1,008 by the time he hit tweet with this message:
“After much prayer and consideration, I'm proud to commit as a student-athlete to The Ohio State University!”
Moments earlier his preamble tweets had included: “Thanks to God for this opportunity,” Woodard tweeted in the prelude to his announcement. “Thanks to all the schools that offered me, all the great coaches I met during the recruiting process.
“Thanks to my coaches & teammates. Thanks to my parents for supporting me thru this process. Just ready to go from recruiting to preparation.”
He joins Cam Burrows, the first member of the 2013 class, as prospective cornerbacks who have been ranked among the national elite by rivals.com, which has Burrows as the seventh best overall prospect in the country and Woodard No.28.
Burrows, from Trotwood (Madison), Ohio, tweeted soon after Woodard’s announcement: “Congrats on @EliWoodard_9 becoming a part of #BuckeyeNation let's start a dynasty and shock the world!”
Woodard had already received scholarship offers from at least 16 other schools, including Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska (among many others).
"To be completely honest, I always knew I was going to go to Ohio State. Since I was a little kid I loved watching them play. Then to see how coach Meyer and his coaches work, I felt real comfortable there and it made me want to become a Buckeye even more." - Eli Woodard
"Special Time To Be A Buckeye" February 16, 2012 Source: Bucknuts - The future U.S. Army All-American is the fourth commit for Coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes in the class of 2013, joining five-star athlete Jalin Marshall and four-star safety Cameron Burrows and four-star defensive lineman Billy Price.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound Woodard has been an Ohio State lean throughout the recruiting process, and chose the Buckeyes over offers from the likes of Alabama, California, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Rutgers and Wisconsin.
Woodard says his latest trip to Columbus this past weekend sealed the deal.
“I knew once and for all after meeting the new coaches, and my mother and sister who hadn’t attended the visit in August got to see the campus for the first time which was big for me,” Woodard explained. “We sat with Coach Meyer and were able to get his perspective on everything which is really exciting, and it’s a special time to be a Buckeye! So I just knew that now is the time!"...
“I also know that it’s a blessing to be able to join an already highly talented team and I’m up for the challenge of doing my part to contribute early.”...
2011 Season Highlight Reel - Junior Yr - Eli Woodard
Woodard Makes Four for 2013 February 16, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - Woodard, a 6-1/185 corner back from Eastern High School in Voorhees, New Jersey, has been an Ohio State fan since he was a young child. After taking many summer trips to Columbus for junior football camp, things started to get more serious for him in the past year when he visited twice last summer and multiple times since for football games last season.
The latest visit, to Columbus this past weekend, sealed the deal for the four-star prospect, as he got the opportunity to sit down face to face with Urban Meyer for the first time and confirm the decision he anticipated making for a while. He made his decision public via twitter, where he chose the Buckeyes over offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Rutgers, Michigan, Cal, Miami (FL), Maryland, Nebraska, UNC, and others.
Woodard joins Cam Burrows as the second defensive back in the class, as well as Jalin Marshall and Billy Price, who round out the 2013 haul at this point in time. Together, Burrows and Woodard make what is likely to be the most outstanding corner back tandem in the nation and hopefully what will turn in to many nightmares for opposing quarterbacks.
The Woodard pledge was a huge pick up for Ohio State, as they now bring in two of the best defensive backs in the nation, an effort to rebuild a unit that will be thin this upcoming season.
Ex-OSU, NFL star Byars cherishes ties to Dayton (& Ohio State) February 16, 2012 Source: Dayton Daily News - "'My four years at Ohio State were the best years of my life,' he said. 'I absolutely adored them.'...he gave a detailed account of that teenage trip that he called 'the worst college visit of any I took'; his first college recruiting trip to Michigan at the request of Bo Schembechler..."
Marotti's Offseason Program In High Gear February 15, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - Urban Meyer doesn't tolerate his players taking plays off, and that mind-set is prevalent in his strength and conditioning staff when it comes to workouts as well. New director of football performance Mickey Marotti and several players talked about the progress of those workouts this afternoon, and it's safe to say the Buckeyes have learned that loafing will not be acceptable.
"It feels like they're exercising everything," senior linebacker Etienne Sabino told a gathering of reporters Wednesday...
In other words, no stone is unturned – mentally, physically, emotionally or gastro-intestinally – in the Ohio State offseason program when it comes to making the Buckeyes better.
"At the end of the day we go home and we're exhausted, but it's a great feeling," Sabino said. "Speaking for myself personally I feel like I put everything I had into it (each day). I might go home exhausted and complain, but deep down inside I'm very happy about it."
Sabino's words have to sound good to Marotti, who was with new head coach Urban Meyer at Florida and followed him to Ohio State after his November hiring. The new czar of workouts in Columbus had some rather blunt assessments of the shape the Buckeyes were in when he first arrived, but now a month into the offseason program, he's starting to see the desired effect.
"It's not even close," Marotti said when asked to compare the team's shape from day one to now. "You expect that. It's something new and all of a sudden a month later, they understand who we are, what we're about, what we're trying to accomplish. It was very evident from day one that they knew my expectations and my staff's expectations and I know they knew Coach Meyer's expectations. Once you know what is asked of you, you just do it. We push them hard."
The Buckeyes work out five days a week under Marotti and fellow coaches Rick Court, Kenny Parker and holdovers Jeff Uhlenhake and Anthony Schlegel. Though some players choose to put in extra work at the conclusion of the week, Marotti said none should be required if players are doing what is asked of them by the coaches. Marotti described his program as a "hybrid" style that combines Olympic lifting, power lifting, strength training, speed training and more...
The Buckeyes have had a few weeks to get acclimated to life under a new strength and conditioning program under Mickey Marotti. During February the lights of the WHAC are turned on early and turned off late as players have a chance to work out with the S&C staff for a limited amount of hours.
During that time there is a combination of weight lifting, speed training and other techniques to get ready for spring practice that is rapidly approaching. Players have been shedding pounds (or adding weight), dropping body fat and getting quicker and stronger.
Ohio State media has not had the opportunity to check in on the new practice structure but on Wednesday we had a chance to catch up with the man in charge of all the February work to get his thoughts on how his new team is reacting to these new challenges. February 15, 2012 Source: BuckeyeGrove.com
Marotti talks about how off-season is going - Part One Source: BuckeyeGrove.com
Marotti talks about how off-season is going - Part Two Source: BuckeyeGrove.com
Marotti talks about how off-season is going - Part Three Source: BuckeyeGrove.com
Two-Minute Drill: Marotti Working Buckeyes Hard February 15, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Mickey Marotti is not messing around. Ohio State’s new strength and conditioning coach, who also happens to be an assistant athletic director, is making the most of his first off-season in Columbus. In fact, he says he is trying to maximize the “genetic potential” of his new players. Here is a two-minute rundown of what Marotti had to say, along with comments from seniors John Simon and Etienne Sabino.
Competitive Excellence: Marotti confirmed what Urban Meyer said earlier: every drill is competitive. Every one has a winner and loser.
LB Etienne Sabino said, “The biggest thing that our coaches try to emphasize now is that everything we do is to win.”
They also track "loafs". If a player loafs twice, he has to wear a lavender shirt around the WHAC.
Marotti doesn't want to single anybody out who is excelling, but did mention CB Bradley Roby because everybody knows he's doing well.
Table Training: They have assessed everybody on their flexibility and body fat, have done some strength assessments as well.
There seems to be a serious focus on nutrition and diet with Marotti at Ohio State.
One of the first things Meyer and Marotti did was hired a nutritionist for the training table, and body fat has decreased across the board.
Marotti said they re-did the whole menu at the Fawcett Center. Players now have individualized nutritional plans. Before, they mostly ate what they wanted.
Sabino said he is down to 235 pounds this off-season. Played in the 240’s last year.
Simon said his body fat hasn't changed. He's at 270 now, says a few more pounds wouldn't hurt him...
It’s Not Just a Color February 16, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Marotti Employing Unique Motivational Techniques; People who know color will tell you that lavender is a pale tint of violet. People who know OSU strength coach Mickey Marotti will tell you that lavender is something you want to avoid...
Who will play 'Percy position' for OSU? February 13, 2012 Source: ESPN - It's a receiver/running back hybrid, better known as "The Percy Position" because of Percy Harvin, who stood out for Meyer at Florida. Harvin recorded more than 400 rushing yards and 400 receiving yards in each of his three seasons with the Gators, topping out at 764 rush yards and 858 receiving yards in 2007. He scored 10 touchdowns in 2007 and 17 in 2008.
Although Meyer didn't really find another Harvin in his final two seasons at Florida -- Jeff Demps filled the role at times -- he knows what an effective and dynamic hybrid player can do for his offense. And while Ohio State addressed numerous needs in its decorated 2012 recruiting class, namely defensive line, the Buckeyes didn't appear to fill the Percy position...
From SI.com: "The question I have is, do we have that dynamic player on offense?" said Meyer. "Where's the Ted Ginns of the world? Were they hiding [last] year? I hope we have those guys. That's a big concern of mine right now."...
There are some hybrid candidates among returning players: Jordan Hall...has a similar size profile to Harvin's. Don't be surprised to see Hall's role increase under Meyer...Corey "Philly" Brown...Like Hall, he fits the size/speed profile Meyer usually wants for this spot...Devin Smith...might be better suited as a wide receiver rather than in a hybrid role...
Billy Price Makes Three for 2013 February 13, 2012 Source: Eleven Warriors - It was just two weeks ago that Austintown Fitch DL Billy Price told Jeremy that he wouldn't decide on a college until his senior year was over. Apparently, that timetable changed as Price confirmed to Elevenwarriors.com that he has committed to Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes after a weekend trip to Columbus.
Price, a 6-4/305 two way lineman, is one of the best players in the state for the class of 2013. He was always thought to be a Buckeye lean, but after Tatgate went down and Jim Tressel stepped down as head coach, he was a little more open to hearing from other schools. When Urban Meyer was named head coach, the full court press was once again put on the Youngstown stand out and after the junior's visit to Columbus on Saturday, he knew for sure Ohio State was where he wanted to be.
This is a huge pick up for Ohio State as Price is an excellent player who can make an immediate impact in Columbus. He is set to play defensive line for the Buckeyes, but is talented enough on offense to fill the void there as well if need be. Price becomes the third verbal commit for Urban Meyer in the class of 2013, joining ATH Jalin Marshall and DB Cameron Burrows in what is the ground work for a possible top class in the entire country... to read the other's takes.
Third prospect commits to 2013 recruiting class February 13, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - This afternoon blue-chip defensive lineman Billy Price became the third prospect to commit to the Ohio State recruiting class of 2013. Price, from Austintown-Fitch High School in Austintown, Ohio, said he picked OSU over Michigan State. At 6 feet 4, 280 pounds, Price plays on both sides of the line in high school, but he will major in defensive line play once at OSU.
"I was just really comfortable with Ohio State," Price said of why he opted to make his decision now. "The academics are really strong, and my family is very comfortable with coach (Urban) Meyer and his staff. I got all the questions I had about Ohio State answered, and it was finally time."
More importantly for Ohio State, recruiting analyst Bill Kurelic said, Price's action gives the Buckeyes a sweep of the state's Big Three for 2013, including cornerback Cam Burrows of Trotwood-Madison and athlete Jalin Marshall of Middletown.
"And it's still February 2012," Kurelic said. "This is a huge start for Urban Meyer and his staff, and maybe shows you what's about to come."
And that's absolutely no knock on Michigan or second-year head coach Brady Hoke, who's off to a terrific start, and is building something special in Ann Arbor. I just happen to feel, based on precedent, that Urban Meyer is as close to a sure-thing as there is in the college coaching ranks. He's recharged for now, and that five-year window is a perfect timeframe for him to really maximize all of the potential inherent to a top-shelf program, such as Ohio State.
History shows that everything Meyer touches, from Bowling Green to Utah to Florida, turns to gold practically overnight. Why would anyone think that the Buckeyes, with all of their resources and tradition, would be any different for the coach?
Now, the Wolverines have an obvious mathematical edge since the Buckeyes are ineligible for the Big Ten crown in 2012. However, Ohio State holds the long-term edge at the most important position on the field, quarterback. Sure, Denard Robinson will be a senior this fall, but budding Buckeyes star Braxton Miller is only in the embryonic stages of his college career. By the time he's a junior, Ohio State will be done with its NCAA bowl ban, and the program will be flourishing under Meyer's system.
Five years from now, Ohio State will have won two Big Ten championships to Michigan's one. Both schools, though, will be fixtures in the final Top 25, the Buckeyes in the top 10, and the Wolverines in the top 20...
By Terry Johnson - Ohio State, and it will not be a contest.
Last year's game clearly demonstrates the gap between the two programs. Michigan had more experience on both sides of the ball, and had the advantage of playing within the friendly confines of the Big House. On the other hand, Ohio State started a true freshman at QB, and had to deal with the constant barrage of questions surrounding Luke Fickell's future.
With all of these factors working in Brady Hoke's favor, the game should have been a blowout. Instead, the Wolverines squeaked out a six-point win, in which Ohio State had a chance to win the game on the final series.
If Michigan narrowly defeated the Buckeyes with the deck heavily stacked in its favor, it'll face an uphill climb to win conference championships going forward. The Wolverines have the misfortune in playing in the tougher of the two divisions in the B1G, facing Nebraska, Iowa, and Michigan State. Each of these teams had no trouble shutting down Big Blue's vaunted running game this season, and should continue to do so until Hoke gets the right players to run his system.
On the other hand, Ohio State's situation can only improve with time. Urban Meyer, arguably the greatest football coach in modern history, now roams the sidelines with star-studded staff of assistant coaches. The talent level will continue to improve over the next five years, as the Buckeyes once again signed the top recruiting class in the Big Ten. Given the decline of Penn State, and the recent struggles of Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana, all Meyer needs to do is beat Wisconsin, and OSU will emerge as a permanent fixture in Indianapolis.
Once again the road to the Big Ten title will run through Columbus.
Why To Be Excited: Ohio State
- Urban Meyer's 2012 recruiting class. Yeah, getting a top ten recruiting haul is par for the course at Ohio State, but it was the way this recruiting season went and the attitude that Meyer showed that should make Buckeyes fans very, very happy for what's going to happen in the near future. Going into 2012, there might not be anything at the end of the rainbow with the no Big Ten title or bowl game to play for, but this is a young enough team across the board that this can be a prep season and a slight step back to take a huge leap forward. As is, Ohio State is good enough to be the Big Ten's best team in 2012, but it could be good enough to be the nation's best team in 2013.
Why To Be Grouchy: Ohio State
- A brave face will be put on in Urban: Year One, but it's going to take a lot of coaxing and a lot of work to keep the fire for a full 12 games when there's nothing to play for. The idea of being the Big Ten's best team, even though the Buckeyes can't play in the title game this year, will only go so far. USC was able to buy in and was terrific in 2012, but that came after a year of not getting to go to a bowl. With a trip to Wisconsin and the Michigan game to close things out, it might be another rough end to the season after closing out 2011 with four straight losses. On the field, the offensive line needs to replace three starters including massive Mike Adams at left tackle, and while the team got used to playing without RB Dan Herron and WR DeVier Posey for a long stretch last season, those two helped QB Braxton Miller make the offense go.
What To Work On: Ohio State
- This is a tune-up year for Urban Meyer as he works with Braxton Miller to get the offensive style in place. Forgotten about Meyer's tenure at his three previous spots – Florida, Utah, and Bowling Green – was that the passing game more than held its own with the ground attack. OSU didn't take too many chances last year with Miller, but he showed nice promise and potential as he improved as the season went on. However, the Buckeyes only averaged 127 passing yards per game and have to work on being far more balanced. Defensively, the pass rush has to emerge after an inconsistent and occasionally ineffective season. There's no excuse to not be camped out in the backfield with John Simon at one end.
Meyer calls complaints ‘silly' February 4, 2012 Source: Columbus Dispatch - Defying any would-be critics of his recruiting practices, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told a group of high-school football coaches yesterday that he considers Ohio his recruiting turf and that he will work hard to protect it.
Bristling from a complaint by Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema that Meyer might have stepped over the line in getting some recruits to switch their commitments to the Buckeyes — including one player who previously said he was going to Wisconsin — Meyer told members of the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association that he is only getting started.
"You're (upset) because we went after a committed guy? Guess what? We've got nine guys (assistant coaches) who better go do it again and do it a little harder next time," Meyer said in a Hilton hotel ballroom at Easton packed with coaches in town for a convention...
As he was leaving, Meyer told The Dispatch that any complaints were "silly" and that he would not change how Ohio State does business...
Smith, Meyer Respond To Recruiting Sniping February 2, 2012 Source: BuckeyeSports.com - In the aftermath of two Big Ten head coaches expressing public dismay with the recruiting methods of Urban Meyer, the new head coach and OSU athletic director Gene Smith both released statements Friday defending their tactics.
"I am disappointed that negative references have been made about our football coaches, and particularly head coach Urban Meyer regarding recruiting," the Ohio State athletic director's statement said. "In our league appropriate protocol, if you have concerns, is to share those concerns with your Athletic Director (AD). Then your AD will make the determination on the appropriate communication from that point forward. The ADs in our league are professionals and communicate with each other extremely well. Urban Meyer and his staff have had a compliance conscience since they have arrived."
Meyer's statement came hours later after a regularly scheduled meeting with the league's coaches at the Big Ten offices in Chicago, a meeting Meyer said he was "pleased to take part in."
"We had an opportunity to discuss a number of issues with each other and conference staff, including those that have arisen this week," he said. "It should be noted that my coaching staff is in full compliance with our recruiting efforts, and no one on this staff did anything illegal or unethical. We will continue to comply with NCAA rules and recruit with relentless effort, especially the great state of Ohio.
"I want to thank Commissioner (Jim) Delany for his insight and leadership, and at this point we all look forward to moving past this week and getting ready for the start of spring football."
The two felt the need to respond after Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema had said Ohio State's recruiting tactics in this recruiting class, which was mostly closed Wednesday with National Signing Day, went above and beyond the rules.
"There's a few things that happened early on I made people be aware of that I didn't want to see in this league that I had seen take place at other leagues," Bielema said. "Other recruiting tactics, other recruiting practices that are illegal. I was very up front and was very poignant to the fact. I actually reached out to Coach Meyer and shared my thoughts and concerns with him and the situation got rectified."
Bielema never elaborated on what the illegal practices are.
In addition, Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio told reporters, including the Detroit News, that he was displeased with Meyer's continued recruitment of committed players.
"I would say it's pretty unethical," Dantonio said. "You ask people for a commitment, you ask for people's trust, ask for people to make a commitment to you, but then you turn around and say it's OK to go back after somebody else's commitment. That's a double standard."...
Ohio State football coach talks with Joel Riley at our sister-station 610 WTVN in Columbus.
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer joined Joel Riley Friday morning, touching on a variety of topics. Here are some highlights.
On Meyer's relationship with former Buckeye coach at 610 WTVN's Earle Bruce: "In every part of our program you're going to see his personality. He did things the right way. He did them real hard, he did them real aggressive. It's a little different style of offense but at the end of the day it's still about toughness and it's still about accountability to your teammates."
On the relationship he and his coaching staff have with players: "Most people don't even realize how much we care about these players. From everything to who they're dating, to their families, to who they're hanging around with and then obviously, how they're doing in school."
On how he'll handle coaching this season, with a bowl ban: "I have no idea. This is uncharted waters. This is a situation none of us would ever want to be in but we're in it, so let's move forward. The way I anticiapte it is we're going to try to win every game we play. There's a group of players here that had nothing to do with any of this so I think they deserve the best from us and they deserve the best from this University.
On Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema's accusations about Meyer's recruiting practices: "I've made a few comments about how angry I was. We do our business here. We're a self-contained program, that means we worry about our program and we don't worry about anything else other than doing it the right way and going as hard as we possibly can to represent Ohio State University and that will never change. I don't want to get into 'he says she says' because I just know the way we operate and I know it's the way we've operated for many, many years and that's in full compliance and the letter of the law."
On coaching in the Ohio State/Michigan game: "Coach Tressel has done a great job with that game and we're going to hope to continue and even enhance it. You walk around this facility, (the players) know about that game that's not something I have to reidoctrinate them with, but it's my obligation and responsibility to make sure that we continue that emphasis."
On bringing national championship credentials to Ohio State: "When you start to mention the word championship there's either 'you hope to do it or you've done it.' I've been fortunate to have done it. Our strength coach has done it and there's a lot of guys I've brought with me who have done it so there's a plan in place. These players and players we recruit, we make the comment to them, 'there's a plan in place, we just have to follow the plan.'"
On whether Tim Tebow will come and visit the Buckeyes: "In the off-season I anticipate he'll be around here. We're that close. I'm hoping to get him up here and train. We have that kind of relationship."
Meyer the obvious No. 1 choice when it comes to best new coaching hire February 10, 2012 Source: CBSSports.com - We're not exactly going out on a limb here. Meyer has two national championships to his name and just happened to be available when a Tressel-less Ohio State went looking. Some Bucks have all the luck. So far, Ohio State has barely missed a beat while the best free-agent coach in years eased into the job. In his first 74 days, Meyer maneuvered around a bowl ban, angered some Big Ten peers and landed a top-three recruiting class. He has Bucknuts dreaming that their team might also be No. 1, even if there is no chance to prove it in the postseason...
Some other CBSSports.com coaching categories: Most likely to succeed? Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Most likely to fail?...
Easiest job ahead?...
Most difficult job ahead?...
Most overrated hire?...
Most underrated hire?...
Which school took the biggest gamble?...
Which school made the most boring hire?...
Which school made most intriguing hire?...
The top five coaching hires: No. 1: Urban Meyer, Ohio State Highest ranking: No. 1 on six ballots Lowest ranking: No. 3
This fall will be the only season with Meyer as Ohio State's coach where it will be acceptable for the Buckeyes to stay at home during the postseason. That's because the Buckeyes are serving a one-year bowl ban. Meyer hasn't even coached a game in Columbus and he has already shaken up the Big Ten with his aggressive recruiting that drew complaints from other league coaches. "We will continue to comply with NCAA rules and recruit with relentless effort," Meyer said. After working as a television analyst last season, the 47-year-old Meyer said he's rested and rejuvenated. He better be. He takes over a Buckeyes team that went 6-7 last season. In six seasons at Florida, Meyer went 65-15 and won two national titles. He also previously was a head coach at Bowling Green and Utah, leading the Utes to a 12-0 season in 2004. ...
Ohio State University head football coach Urban Meyer joined EndZones Extra with Sam Pennington and (his daughter) Nicki Meyer on Thursday night recapping National Signing Day, along with giving us a few hints on some of the 2012 recruiting class that we should watch out for this coming fall.
Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer joined Bull and Fox Thursday afternoon and touched on a variety of subjects ranging from the NCAA sanctions to recent accusations that his recruiting practices were illegal. February 9, 2012 Source: Cleveland's 92.3 The Fan
Meyer Admits Bielema Comments Made Him ‘Beyond Angry' February 9, 2012 Source: The Ozone - Urban Meyer is ready to put it all behind him, but Ohio State's first-year head coach admitted Thursday he was pretty fired up when he heard the comments by some of his Big Ten peers last week.
"I was very angry," Meyer said during his appearance on "The Bull and the Fox" show on 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland.
"Whenever you use those terms, something like ‘illegal,' that couldn't be further from the truth. That doesn't happen here, and if it did, we would make a change with whoever did it."
It was Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema who referred to Meyer's recruiting tactics as venturing into "illegal" territory last week. Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio also made a comment about "unethical" recruiting practices, although he later backed off them saying that it was not directed at Meyer or the Buckeyes.
" ‘Well we're pissed because you went after guys who were committed,' " Meyer said as part of his presentation in front of 1,000 high school football coaches at the Easton Hilton.
"Yep, and you know what, I've got nine guys who better go do it again. Do it a little harder next time."...