For the second year in a row, Ohio State finished with the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation per the 247Sports Composite. And for the second year in a row, the Buckeyes led the nation in highest average ranking per recruit.
It’s far from breaking news to report on OSU’s recruiting superlatives, but that doesn’t mean OSU head coach Urban Meyer takes any of it for granted.
“The one thing about here, and I made it clear, you can’t coach here at Ohio State unless you’re an elite recruiter. Just can’t. That’s nonexistent,” Meyer said on Wednesday.
Meyer has mentioned in the past about hiring assistants who recruit like their hair is on fire, and for the Buckeyes, the torches were lit for the entire 2018 recruiting cycle.
If you look at 247Sports’ recruiter rankings — which measure assistant coaches’ ability to sign kids they actively recruited — you can see quite a bit of fire under those Buckeye hats.
In fact, OSU defensive coordinator Greg Schiano ranks No. 2 in the nation thanks in part to his involvement in landing the nation’s No. 1 offensive tackle, the No. 1 center, the No. 2 tight end, and the No. 7 safety.
He’s not alone in the top five, however, as he is joined by running backs coach Tony Alford at No. 5 thanks to the signing of the No. 2 all-purpose back, the No. 3 running back, and the No. 4 weakside defensive end.
Receivers coach Zach Smith comes in at No. 14 due to the signing of the No. 2 middle linebacker, the No. 5 athlete, and the No. 13 wide receiver.
The fire looks even brighter when you just confine the flames to Big Ten recruiting, where five Buckeye assistants rank in the Top 6. Schiano and Alford rank No. 1 and No. 2, with Smith at No. 4, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa at No. 5, and defensive line coach Larry Johnson at No. 6.
Depending on the recruiting targets at certain positions, sometimes a typically outstanding recruiter can sometimes dip in the rankings, which happened to former cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs, who came in at No. 30 after being No. 3 in the B1G last year.
All nine Ohio State assistants finished in the Top 62, which puts them all in the top half of the rankings. Offensive coordinators Kevin Wilson and Ryan Day made the top half just based on the signing of two players each. Linebackers coach Bill Davis came in at No. 59 on the basis of his secondary involvement with all three of OSU’s linebacker signees.
All of it is ample reason for a happy head coach.
“So once again I want to thank our staff,” Meyer continued. “I’ve had some great staffs, it’s hard to say — as far as recruiting staff, this is one of the best I’ve ever been around. Even this morning we had our session this morning and Coach Schiano and I have been on the phone for a couple hours and went right at it. And a couple, Coach Johnson and there’s Coach Day, we had our entire staff.”
Recruiting is the lifeblood of a program, and that’s why there are so many resources dedicated to it. The Buckeyes have a large staff solely engaged in every aspect of recruiting, but if his assistant coaches can’t execute the message the program is trying to sell, then there are going to be issues.
“I’ve heard the old days, ‘He was a guru of this or a guru of that.’ If he’s not a great recruiter, you can’t coach here,” Meyer said. “Recruiting is the name of the game and our coaches all did a very good job and I’m very proud of them.”