Meyer Gets His Guys



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Last updated: 01/14/2014 1:03 PM
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Meyer Gets His Guys
By Rob Ogden

Urban Meyer has completed his defensive staff.

According to a report from's Pete Thamel, Meyer finalized the hirings of former Arkansas defensive coordinator Chris Ash and former Penn State defensive line coach Larry Johnson.

An Ohio State spokesman could not confirm the report.

Ash will take over as Ohio State's co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach, a position vacated by Everett Withers last month, the report states.

Johnson, a Penn State assistant since 1996, also reportedly accepted a deal to join Ohio State's staff Tuesday morning, and will take over the position vacated by Mike Vrabel.

Ash is familiar with the Big Ten having been of Bret Bielema's staff at Wisconsin, where he served as defensive coordinator in 2011 and 2012.

Ohio State ranked No. 110 nationally in passing yards allowed this past season. In his final year at Wisconsin, Ash's secondary ranked 23rd in the same category.

Arkansas ranked 72nd in the category in its three-win season of 2013.

Both Johnson and Ash are considered to be among the most respected assistant coaches at their positions.

Johnson, regarded as one of the nation's top recruiters, coached six future first-round picks on the defensive line, including Courtney Brown, the No. 1 overall pick in 2000.

He was offered to retain his same job under new Penn State coach James Franklin but declined.

Ash earned $550,000 last season at Arkansas. Withers was just ahead of him at $585,000 before departing Ohio State.

Ash was on the staff at Iowa State with Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman in 2009.

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