Urban Meyer Feels the Need for Speed
By Michael Chung
Speed! It is indefensible and un-coachable, you either have it or you do not. A player running a 4.33 will always outrun someone with a 4.42.
In the famous 1986 movie Top Gun the main character—called Maverick played by Tom Cruise— quotes a memorable line to his co-pilot named Goose saying, “I feel the need, the need for speed.” Fast forward 27 years and you can imagine Urban Meyer quoting the same line to Buckeye nation.
The Ohio State recruiting world was a-buzz when Brooklyn, NY star athlete Curtis Samuel pledged to become the 17th member of the 2014 class and Canton Ohio’s Eric Glover-Williams became commitment #1 for 2015. They were prospects for which Urban Meyer reserved a place. Why were Samuel and Glover-Williams must gets? In one word: SPEED! Samuel has been clocked at 4.36 in the forty-yard dash. Look for those numbers to improve once Mickey Marotti gets a hold of him.
Golver-Williams’ father told Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch “He’s fast, quick, agile – just a speedster,” Glover-Williams’ father, Jerry Williams, said. “He ran a 4.3-something at Ohio State’s camp.”
Teams with speed win. The B1G saw this in the 1980’s when faster teams from the south and west would be too speedy for the bulky power of the B1G. The three yards and a cloud of dust turned to thirty yards and a mist of dust but instead of massive B1G linemen blowing open running lanes, fast WRs, RBs, TEs, and QBs from the south and west were leaving B1G players behind with their cleats.
The B1G has caught up as witnessed in January 2003 when an overconfident and defending champion Miami squad felt they were too fast for the B1G hulking players of the Buckeyes. What the Hurricanes were not expecting were B1G players who could run stride for stride with them. All of a sudden, this big powerful B1G team was every bit as fast as the southern Hurricanes and the Buckeyes prevailed bringing the title back to the B1G. Everyone wants and needs speed.
The benchmark use to be 4.5 in the forty-yard dash but Urban Meyer is setting the bar higher recruiting players who run or have potential to be sub 4.4.
Looking at Meyer recruits, one sees speed, serious speed. Dontre Wilson was once an Oregon Duck commit but with Chip Kelly bolting to the NFL, Wilson soured on the flashy uniforms of Nike U. and came up north to play for Urban Meyer.
The Ducks know a thing or two about recruiting speed and Wilson has been clocked at 4.33. He has been drawing rave reviews as a true freshman and do not be surprised if he is playing significant minutes this season.
Floridian James Clark has been clocked at 4.38 while Curtis Samuel logged in a 4.36 at The Opening and Mike Mitchell turned heads running a 4.39 the year before. Eric Glover-Williams has hit sub 4.4 marks at an OSU camp.
Players not recruited by Meyer but run a sub 4.4 are: Bradley Roby 4.26, Braxton Miller 4.32, Dorian Grant 4.32, Devin Smith 4.33, and Ryan Shazier at 4.35.
Then there are players who are likely to join the sub 4.4 club. They are Terry McLaurin and Parris Campbell, both have been clocked at 4.41 or better. They most assuredly will be sub 4.4 and Campbell is only 16 and it would not be surprising if he is sub 4.3 or 4.2 by the time he hits 20.
Jalin Marshall has been clocked as low as 4.42 while Ezekiel Elliot also scores a 4.42. Both are eligible to be in the sub 4.4 club as they just stepped on campus and have a full year under Marotti.
Philly Brown and Evan Spencer have both registered 4.4 and could join the sub 4.4 club by the end of the year. There is just some serious speed on this OSU team.
“Speedy” OSU Targets for 2014
Urban Meyer will always have an eye out for speed. TE Mike Gesicki was clocked at 4.52 at an OSU camp. Though not sub 4.5 or 4.4, at the TE position, this is serious acceleration.
WR Johnnie Dixon has been clocked as low as 4.39. RB Derrell Scott messaged me saying his fastest 40 time was 4.37.
Everyone else with OSU offers at the “speed” positions also seem to be around the 4.5 mark but with time, development, and hard work, could mature into a speedier runner and join the club.
Ohio State will not longer be thought of as a big powerful football team out of the B1G conference, but one who has serious speed that will be the envy of the nation: north, south, east, and west. Do not be surprised if TOSU will be referred to as The Ohio Speed U. This is how Urban Meyer is recruiting.