Urban Meyer’s Role With the Football Team
Former Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was announced last month as having a new assistant athletic director role in the OSU athletic department. His job will be multi-layered across the entire department. There will be fundraising, mentoring, and perhaps most importantly to Meyer, an infusion of his Real Life Wednesday program throughout the department.
As both Meyer and head coach Ryan Day have said, however, he will also continue to have a role within the Ohio State football program.
“I think the first thing is he’s built this over the last seven years,” Day said. “The culture that he’s built is amazing. We’ve kept so much in place. That’s been part of this thing. The philosophies that he has and I have are in line. His footprint is on this and will be for a long time.
“The second thing is, he’s got his office across the way. Coming off the road, we’ve been on the road recruiting and everything, but he’s still going to be very much involved with real life Wednesday programs, our academics, most importantly be a great resource for me moving forward.”
When you bring in four new defensive coaches and two new coordinators as Ryan Day has done this winter, you can expect some changes defensively.
When Everett Withers was the defensive coordinator, he had his style. When Chris Ash came in, he changed things to his preference. Over time, so did Greg Schiano. Now with Greg Mattison and Jeff Hafley at the helm, changes will once again be the order of the day.
One of the changes will be how Ohio State defends the pass, particularly the notion of being strictly a press-man team at cornerback. The Buckeyes were a bit more multiple last season than they had been in the past, but under Hafley, it appears there will be even more mixing of coverages.
“I think spending the last seven years in the NFL I watched a lot of these [Ohio State cornerbacks],” Hafley said. “I’ve studied them as I got ready for the draft and the combine and I’ve watched them play press and they’ve done a great job. They’ve been coached well and they’ve obviously been very talented.
“I’m a big believer in playing press, but I also believe you have to change it up. So we’ll be some press, we’ll be some off, we’ll be a little bit of everything, but it’s a good question because I know how much they’ve pressed here. But we’ll continue to do some of that, and we’ll do some other stuff, as well.”
Getting to Know Fields
Ohio State will be starting a new quarterback this season, which means there is a large unknown for the Buckeyes.
The job will most likely be won by sophomore Justin Fields or redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin, and neither has ever played in a game on the Ohio Stadium turf.
While the two quarterbacks may largely be an unknown to Buckeye fans, they are not an unknown to OSU’s freshman receiver Garrett Wilson.
Wilson was a year behind Baldwin in high school at Lake Travis in Austin, Texas, so he knows him very, very well and thinks very, very highly of him. As a mid-year enrollee with Fields, Wilson has also gotten to know the newest Buckeye signal caller.
So what does he think?
“He’s a humble kid,” Wilson said. “It took probably two days before he started opening up to at least me, but he’s a super cool kid. I like him a lot. He knows what he wants. He’s come here and he’s grinding. He’s working just like everybody else, doesn’t expect anything. He’s a hard worker and he’s going to be a good player.”
What was Wilson’s reaction to the news that Justin Fields was going to be a Buckeye?
“I’m always happy when I find out someone’s coming to Ohio State,” he said. “I’ve heard of him for the last couple of years. Obviously, I’ve seen some of the highlight tape and stuff like that, so I mean he’s a baller. I was excited to add another quarterback to the room.”