The Ohio State Buckeyes did not spend an inordinate amount of time wallowing in the mediocrity that often times inherently affects college football teams who say goodbye to national championship winning coach. When the post-Jim Tressel era arrived in Columbus, Ohio there were speculations swirling around what the state of the program might be. Tressel chose to stand by his players and in doing so spurned authority by breaking rules, and what started as some simple gifts to players and tattoos resulted in the end of an era and a postseason reprimand for the program. With the sweater vest gone what would happen to the Buckeyes?
The Buckeyes, as college football fans have seen, are just fine. It is very rare for such a coach to be succeeded by a coach who can be equally as effective on the field, off the field and on the couches of recruits. The scenario is not completely incomprehensible — especially if you hire another national championship winning coach who has also coached Heisman Trophy winners and been under the scrutiny of leading one of the most easily recognized college football franchises. There is really no other way to put it than the Buckeyes did not just get lucky with the success they have had since Tressel abdicated his spot on the sideline; they got lucky with the man they hired to replace him.
The timing was perfect, the fit was perfect and the man for the job was perfect. Of course all of the Buckeye faithful are now aware of what the people at Utah, Bowling Green and Florida already knew. In all aspects of the game of football, Urban Meyer is a winner. This offseason Meyer is proving once again how effective of a recruiter he is as he and his staff are dominating the Big Ten in recruiting this offseason.
When some coaches loath the thought of spending an unreasonable amount of time away from their families on the road recruiting teenagers to come play for them only to be snubbed by many Meyer embraces it. Meyer attacks the task of recruiting with the same assertiveness that he expects his defensive linemen to attack offensive ball carriers with. Meyer’s aggressiveness in recruiting annually pays off.
This season Meyer is once again putting together a top five recruiting class. Meyer obviously has his eyes on some offensive talent as he is still in the process of integrating his offense in Columbus — an exciting transition that season ticket holders at the Horseshoe are undoubtedly eagerly awaiting. While big athletic wide receivers and tight ends are players that Meyer would love to have on his team offensive targets are not all that Meyer seems to dwell on. Actually Raekwon McMillan seems to be the front-runner for the star of the Buckeye recruiting class. McMillan is an outstanding linebacker, and it turns out with the departure of Ryan Shazier the Buckeyes are in need of a great linebacker.
Meyer did not settle for recruiting players alone this offseason. He was able to hire defensive line coach Larry Johnson away from Penn State to coach the same position in Columbus. Johnson is not only well regarded as a coach he is also known as one of the best recruiters in the Big Ten.