Two-Minute Drill: Updates From Urban Meyer's Call-In Show
By Brandon Castel
Ohio State Urban Meyer sat down for an hour-long chat on the Ohio State IMG Sports Network Wednesday afternoon. He provided updates on his team heading into the offseason, as well as offered his thoughts on the Buckeyes’ 2014 recruiting class.
Here’s a rundown of what Meyer had to say on National Signing Day 2014.
Urban Meyer on 2014 Signing Class
* Meyer was excited about finishing No. 2 or 3 in the country in the recruiting rankings, “people say rankings don’t matter, but it does. Any time you’re grading something, we want to win.”
* The most exciting moment of the week for Urban Meyer was finding out 4-star offensive tackle Jamarco Jones was going to sign with the Buckeyes.
* Meyer: "I got the call last night from Jamarco. I'm 50 and I was acting like a 12-year-old. We needed him."
* Meyer said he encourages players who feel they need to take a visit somewhere else to be sure of their decision, however, he wishes it wouldn’t be so close to Signing Day.
* Meyer said that’s what happened with Jamarco Jones, and now, “one thing I know about Jamarco now is Jamarco wants to be a Buckeye.”
* Jones was an important get for the Buckeyes because they need long players on the offensive line like Jack Mewhort and Taylor Decker. Meyer mentioned Jones and Brady Taylor as two long guys who can play tackle.
* Meyer said LB Kyle Burger may have been the best high school player in Ohio. He also said he's as excited about Sam Hubbard, who's up to 230 pounds after playing safety in high school, as anyone else in the class.
* Meyer said he expects Hubbard to be a guy who can come in and help them right away because of the program at Cincinnati Moeller that produced him.
* Meyer said he went to the state title game to watch LB Dante Booker, but Parris Campbell dominated the game and caught Meyer's eye.
* Meyer pointed out Campbell is still only 16 years old. He said he's excited to get him on campus and see what he can do.
* Meyer said he expects Glenville DB Erick Smith to come in ready to play. “If he doesn't, that's a problem.”
* Meyer raved about Curtis Samuel. Thinks he has another Dontre Wilson type: “You know how I love speed on the perimeter.”
* Meyer said Noah Brown is a guy who could help them at that flex TE spot. He’s a little different than the other guys they have at TE, more of a movement guy.
Urban Meyer Team Updates
* Meyer on replacing Carlos Hyde: “Ezekiel Elliott is going to be hard pressed for him not to go attack that spot, unless he changes who is.”
* Meyer said RB Rod Smith is “at his last call.” He said there's no tomorrow for Rod Smith. Also said it's time for Bri’onte Dunn and Warren Ball to step up.
* Meyer mentioned he expects Darryl Baldwin to be the team’s right tackle heading into spring camp. Also means Taylor Decker would officially slide over to left tackle.
* Meyer said there will be substantial changes on the defensive side of the ball, specifically on pass defense.
* Meyer was a little disappointed they didn't have more contribution from last year's freshman class. Said he was disappointed in his coaches and some of the players.
* Meyer said LB is the one position that's still not up to OSU standards. He said they need these four freshmen to be ready.
* Meyer expects these guys to come in ready to play. “These four linebackers are playing. I told our LBs coach that. They're going to be on the field.”
Chris Ash Updates
* New OSU co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash said it's been "a whirlwind” since he took the job at Ohio State. They sent him out to evaluate 2015 kids right away.
* Ash said biggest part of the process in him coming here was changes needed on defense. He said Meyer laid out his vision for the defense before he took the job.
* Ash said he met with Luke Fickell once before he took the job, but they still don’t know each other very well.
* Ash wants to build an “Ohio State brand” on defense. He said it's going to be a mesh of ideas on defense, not a carbon copy of his Wisconsin or Arkansas defenses.
* Ash said what he heard from Meyer and Fickell about their defensive philosophy mirrored his own.
*Ash on the defensive staff working together: “You don't have to be best friends, but you have to be on the same page. You have to eliminate any conflict you have.”
* Ash said they have to be strong in all units on defense. They need better play in the secondary, but also better pass rush. “Whether you're talking about run defense or pass defense, it's about team defense.”
* Ash: “If I'm part of a defense that's happy it gave up 30 points, we're not going to be very good. I'm going to be very upset.”
* Ash said he wants to evaluate his defensive players for himself, not base it off evaluations that were done in the past.
Larry Johnson Sr. Updates
* New OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr. said he felt it was time to move on from Penn State. He looked at some other jobs, but wanted to play for a national title.
* Johnson said he felt good walking into a room with guys like Noah Spence and Tommy Schutt who already knew him.
* Johnson said he hopes his brand as a coach and a person speaks for itself. Now he wants the players to see him in action.
* Johnson said his goal is to be the best person he can and the best defensive line coach in the country.
* Johnson called Braxton Miller “a nightmare” for a defensive coach. He said he told Braxton he's just happy he doesn't have to face him again.