COLUMBUS — New Ohio State cornerbacks coach and special teams coordinator Taver Johnson met with reporters for the first time. He provided updates on himself, his players, and his first couple of weeks back at Ohio State again. Here are the highlights.
+ It’s a crazy process coming back to Ohio State, but now that he is here he is ready to go out and attack. He was surprised to receive a call from Urban Meyer and he couldn’t be more excited.
+ What made him leave OSU? “I felt at the time I needed to venture out.” You have to take different stages in college coaching. Was it right or wrong? It was a great learning experience. Wouldn’t change it. There’s been bumps and bruises, but it allowed him to come back here.
+ There is pressure to continue what Kerry Coombs has done, but there is no intimidation in getting it done. He knows he has some big shoes to fill.
+ They still have to talk about the position as a staff regarding practice reps, rotations, etc.
+ Johnson was a little surprised he was asked back. There was nothing personal and there was no grudges, but when you tell Urban Meyer no, you don’t expect another opportunity.
+ When you walk in the door here every day you go 100 mph in everything they do. It challenges you as a person and challenges you as a coach.
+ You have to have the talent to rotate and he believes that talent is here now.
+ You can’t have doubts about leaving jobs because you teach your players to not have regrets. He is very excited to be back.
+ Talented group and smart individuals. They have football smarts to them. They are very serious about what they do. They come here to work. They have fun, but they are serious about their craft. They help the young guys come along as well. They hold each other accountable, and that goes beyond coaching.
+ Ohio State feels different than it did when he was here before. Rooms and hallways have changed, but the urgency has as well.
+ There is a different level of talent top to bottom here now than when he was here in the past. There were talented guys at Ohio State in the past, but they have them in more numbers now.
+ Meyer’s staff has done a great job of keeping up to date on how they recruit players. They evaluate what the recruits are interested in, and they hit those points with recruits and parents. “They have hit it on the nail with a lot of them and with the parents.”
+ Shaun Wade has been healthy and doing everything since Johnson has arrived. He’s excited to see what he can do. The room wants to compete. Can’t wait for practice on Tuesday.
+ The differences between Tressel and Meyer? Tressel was a mild-mannered guy in the public, but he was fired up behind closed doors. Meyer, what you see is what you can. He is fiery as well. “Both really, really unbelievable competitors.”
+ He’s not worried about accolades or respect from making players successful. As long as his players are successful, that’s all that matters. He’s known Kerry Coombs for almost 20 years. He would visit him at Colerain and pick his brain.
+ He’s moving into a place about two blocks away from his old house. Same neighborhood. Can’t wait until his house is finished and his family moves here with him.
+ There is a challenge working here because there is a demand for perfection, but perfection is really hard. But if you are striving to be perfect, you can get pretty close to it.
+ What has changed with cornerback play over the decade or so? The finish at the ball. Guys do a great job of not panicking when the ball is approaching. They can get better at some things when a receiver is getting into a route, but he likes the way they finish when the ball is in the air.
+ Right now, the new coaches are learning the scheme and adding input to where they can maybe help or tweak some things. It’s been great from learning from Greg Schiano as well.