Urban Meyer has signed a quarterback in every recruiting class since he’s been at Ohio State, and once — 2015 — he even signed two.
Rarely do the Buckeyes get their top target at the position, which is why they always have to be prepared for other options.
They put a lot of eggs in Deshaun Watson’s basket a few years ago, but given how Watson turned out, that much effort can be forgiven.
No other position in recruiting matches what goes on at quarterback, and for good reason.
“You have to have one every year,” Meyer said on Monday. “That’s setting yourself up for disaster if something goes on down the road. So you always have plan A, B, C and D. And we do.”
Right now, ‘Plan A’ is Emory Jones, who is committed to the Buckeyes. He is currently looking around at schools in the south, which has led Meyer to enact Plans B through D, as Ohio State has seriously begun to woo three other quarterbacks in the last couple of weeks.
OSU hosted 2018 quarterbacks Matthew Baldwin and Adrian Martinez last weekend and will host Jarren Williams this weekend. Meyer can’t speak to specific players, but the position is unlike any other in sports.
“Yeah, it’s — quarterback is a unique position,” Meyer said. “Offensive guard, you can take two of them. Receivers, you can usually take two or three guys. Those are all critical spots. The quarterback, that’s the position. So, yeah, it’s just a lot of time and a lot of effort spent on that position.”
Adding to the uncertainty during this recruiting cycle is that this is the first year of the early signing period, which runs from December 20-22. This means that Ohio State’s Plan C or D or E may not feel like waiting around for the Buckeyes, and will instead choose to sign somewhere else in December while there are still plenty of spots available.
This fact is not lost on Meyer even a little.
“The other thing you’re going to see is the guy you keep on the back burner and try to flip him at the end, he signs on the 20th, you don’t have those guys either. It’s going to be an interesting year,” he said.
Not knowing what Emory Jones is ultimately going to end up doing, the Buckeyes can’t afford to sit back and wait for him to decide. They haven’t moved on from Jones, but they have certainly prepared for what may be inevitable. Plans B, C, and D are in full effect right now for Ohio State because they can’t finish the 2018 class empty handed.
Meyer said this is going to be an interesting year, but what will also be interesting to see is if the Buckeyes will take a commitment from another quarterback while Jones is still committed, and will they let him sign in December if Jones hasn’t moved on yet?
Ohio State needs one quarterback, but Meyer thinks the Buckeyes could sign two this year if things fall properly.
“Possible, possible,” he said. “The issue that’s going to come up here is the early signing period. And you still don’t know who is going to declare for the draft a month later. Mark [Pantoni] just keeps wanting to talk to me about it — and I said, give me some time. But we don’t have much time.