Herman Earns Big Ten Recruiter of the Year
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Tom Herman come on down.
Ohio State’s first-year offensive coordinator earned the praise of OSU head coach Urban Meyer on National Signing Day for the job he did down in the state of Texas. Apparently Meyer wasn’t the only one who took notice.
Rivals.com has named Herman, a 37-year-old native of Cincinnati, as the Recruiter of the Year in the Big Ten. Herman helped the Buckeyes land a 2013 class that was rated No. 1 in the country by Scout.com and among the top three by every other major recruiting service.
Rivals had Alabama as the No. 1 class, yet again, and went with Crimson Tide receivers coach Mike Groh as the National Recruiter of the Year for the 2013. Herman was named as one of the Top 25 recruiters in the country among assistant coaches.
“The job that Herman, Ohio State's offensive coordinator, did by going to Texas and grabbing three of the state's top 20-ranked prospects, including five-star linebacker Mike Mitchell – Texas' No. 1 ranked prospect – gets the nod as this year's most impressive feat.
“While Mitchell was a monumental pull, convincing Rivals100 running back Dontre Wilson to leave his Oregon commitment, spurn the in-state Longhorns and come to Columbus to play slot receiver was more impressive. Add four-star quarterback J.T. Barrett to his total, and even though Herman did not get to pad his stats with in-state pickups, his was the Big Ten's best in 2013.”
It almost had to be someone from Ohio State or Michigan, but most national media outlets have been quick to praise the job by Wolverines’ defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.
The 63-year-old former Baltimore Ravens defensive coordinator was also named to the Rivals Top 25 for recruiters in the 2013 class. He helped head coach Brady Hoke and the Wolverines pull four-star cornerback Ross Douglas, four-star linebacker Ben Gedeon and four-star safety Dymonte Thomas from the Buckeye State.
Even Meyer called Mattison one of the top recruiters in college football from their days together at Florida, and he was the Rivals.com Recruiter of the Year in the Big Ten last season.
He was also the National Recruiter of the Year on Scout.com, but it was hard to argue with the job Herman did creating new inroads in a talent-rich state that had not been a major source of talent for the Buckeyes before Meyer hired the former Iowa State offensive coordinator to coach his offense in Columbus.
"I knew very well Tom had a background in Texas and I knew he's a good recruiter, because I did the homework before we hired him. Very good recruiter,” Meyer said of Herman, who was a graduate assistant at Texas under Mack Brown and the offensive coordinator at Rice before he took the job at Iowa State.
“Tom Herman did an excellent job down in Texas, an area that traditionally has not been strong for Ohio State. I wish I could claim I had more experience in Texas. Texas was a new one. Tom Herman's footprint on that that really helped us.”
Rivals also named OSU defensive line coach Mike Vrabel as one of the Top 25 recruiters in college football. The 14-year NFL veteran helped the Buckeyes land 5-star defensive end Noah Spence in last year’s class.
He was also instrumental in plucking guys like Joey Bosa out of Florida, Tyquan Lewis out of North Carolina and Michael Hill out of South Carolina, along with helping the Buckeyes flip cornerback Gareon Conley away from Michigan.
Those were the only two Ohio Stats assistants named to the Rivals Top 25 list, but safeties coach Everett Withers was also named to the list of 10 top recruiters from the Big Ten.
“Everett Withers from start to finish, his effort on Vonn Bell, as good as I've ever seen,” Meyer said of the 5-star safety out of Georgia who picked OSU over Alabama and Tennessee.
“The octopus approach, surround him, wrap your tentacles around him, and every person in his family, his coach, the people, support group, and the way he closed that, the way we finished that with that young man, and the way we handled it on campus.”
Along with being the closer on Vonn Bell, Withers also helped the Buckeyes flip four-star linebacker Trey Johnson from Auburn and four-star safety Jayme Thompson from West Virginia.
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