Two Minute Drill: Urban Meyer Update

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Last updated: 01/11/2013 1:56 PM

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Football
Two-Minute Drill: Notes from Urban’s Presser

By Brandon Castel

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State has come a long way in the last year.

It was a little more than 365 days ago when Urban Meyer first introduced himself and his coaching staff to the 2012 Buckeyes. He didn’t know it at the time, and they certainly didn’t either, but it would turn out to be a special team and a special year.

That group when undefeated in Meyer’s first go-around with the Buckeyes, but not the spotlight returns to Columbus for year two of the Urban Meyer era. Ohio State’s head coach said he likes where the program is right now a lot more than he did at this time last year.

Here’s a complete rundown of what Meyer had to say during his press conference on Friday, which includes the much-anticipated return of tailback Carlos Hyde.

The Highlights

* Meyer said everyone is coming back other than Johnathan Hankins. He said they will ask Carlos Hyde to take on a leadership role as a senior.

* Meyer said Jack Mewhort is the best leader they have coming back and will probably have to take on John Simon’s role as the heart and soul of the team.

* Meyer said he is constantly thinking about Alabama and other teams at the top of college football, trying to figure out what Ohio State has to do to get there. He said other programs probably feel that way about the Buckeyes.

* Meyer said incoming freshman QB J.T. Barrett is doing well in his recovery from knee surgery. Will start throwing soon, but still won’t be running for a while. They aren’t worried about that part of his game.

The Offseason

* Meyer said he's very satisfied with where they are at right now. A year ago they were just trying to put a staff together while doing 5am workouts because people were late for meetings.

* The mantra for this team going forward is "truth" and "fundamentals." Meyer said they have to get "a lot better" for next year and the players are going to hear that during today’s team meeting.

* Meyer said they can't even look ahead to next year right now. They have to figure out who's going to play D-line. Those guys aren't good enough the way they are right now to have OSU on that elite level.

* Meyer said they did a lot more things with the young guys during the season because they knew they wouldn't have those 15 bowl practices.

* Meyer said he hopes freshman QB J.T. Barrett brings something they need at the QB position: a grinder. A guy who works hard and lives quarterback all day long.

* Meyer said Braxton Miller and the WRs took a big step in 2012 but are still nowhere near the level they need to be. He said if they take a similar leap this offseason, then they will be getting close to the level Ohio State needs from its passing game.

Keeping the Band Together

* Meyer said he thinks some of his assistants will make good head coaches, but he's glad it didn't happen after one year.

* He said it was important to keep his coaching staff in tact. Really asks for a 2-year commitment from his assistants.

* Meyer said there is a lot of chaos in college football right now. New coaching staffs coming in trying to "steal" their recruits. Have to keep recruiting them hard until Signing Day. (He’s looking at you, Trey Johnson).

Reaching the Pinnacle

*Meyer was at the BCS title game, said the most fundamental team in the country won. Best at tackling and leveraging the ball on defense.

*Meyer said he thinks about Alabama and catching the best 24/7. Said some others are probably thinking about how to catch OSU.

*Meyer: "Would you rather be the underdog or the favorite? We want to be the favorite every time. It means you have a pretty good team."

Leadership Void

* Meyer said there will be two walls inside the WHAC devoted to the 2012 Buckeyes, and also a banner in the trophy room.

* Meyer said loss of Boren/Simon leaves a "huge void." They are looking at guys like Jordan Hall, C.J. Barnett, Christian Bryant, Philly Brown and Carlos Hyde to fill that void.

* Meyer also mentioned LB Ryan Shazier, but said Jack Mewhort is already a leader. They mayask him to take on that role as the heart and soul of the team.

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