The Ohio State Buckeyes weren’t eligible to play for the BCS national championship this year, but wrapped up an undefeated season anyway. Coach Urban Meyer says that success, combined with the fact that his coaching staff maintained consistency, went a long way in building a recruiting class ranked in the top three in the nation by some services.
Urban Meyer joined 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland with The Bull and The Fox to discuss his great recruiting class, recruiting in Ohio, why signing day should not be earlier, how recruiting has changed since he’s been coaching, backing up a 12-0 season and how having an undefeated season helped build this year’s recruiting class.
Did signing day go even better than you anticipated?:
“It was. You hit three out of three right at the end, at closing time, and usually it’s one out of three or two out of three. … Usually there’s a bad situation and you’ve got to sign later on.”
How do you balance recruiting nationwide as opposed to in Ohio?:
“There’s no balance. You go after every player you can in Ohio. We got behind the eight-ball a little bit last year when our rival and some other schools were coming in here because we’ve got great players. I’d say they’re the best-coached players in America. … We weren’t ready and were kind of slow to offer guys. I’m usually much slower to offer guys than other people, because I like to get to know them. And they started to commit elsewhere. … I surely would much rather have more than half our class from Ohio.”
Do you think there should be two national signing days? Maybe one earlier and then the one we have now?:
“I’m more of a player’s guy. I think that would be easier on coaches, but coaches get paid to go recruit. You’re thinking young men, at the end of the day, all that matters is that young person has a chance to go wherever he wants to go. And if he commits early and there’s a coaching change, is that really fair to that kid? I take a much different approach. Yeah, it’s a pain in the butt. We had people recruiting our guys non-stop. … I’m mixed. I tend more to leave the calendar the way it is.”
How has recruiting changed? And what impact has there been from people covering it 24/7?:
“It’s chaos. That part of it, I can’t say I’m real comfortable with, and that’s the social media — rumors. The players, once you get them, they’re a little different nowadays. I don’t want to say they’re entitled, but here’s some 18-year-old kid, I was watching TV, and they were saying, ‘Boy, he’s got a great future in the NFL.’ … He’s 18 years old. He’s got to learn to shave every day before he can go to the NFL.”
On backing up last year’s 12-0 season in his second year at Ohio State:
“Well, we have a great spring practice and do the best we can to beat Buffalo in that Aug. 31 opener. That’s what we’re going to try to do.”
Did the undefeated season help in recruiting?:
“Oh sure. I think the fact that we’re going to be preseason highly ranked, I call it Flavor of the Month. Sometimes Ohio State’s the Flavor of the Week and sometimes they’re not. How you finish the season is big. Sometimes teams are doing great and then you get smacked in the bowl game and you have to fight the momentum issue. The consistency of coaching staff — the fact that we didn’t lose any coaches — the stars lined up.”