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Greg Schiano's return for another season was a reason to celebrate at Ohio State.

Ohio State football: What Greg Schiano’s return means for the Buckeyes

Austin Ward

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Greg Schiano couldn’t overshadow one of the greatest recruiting classes ever assembled. Instead, when Ohio State dropped the news on National Signing Day that its defensive coordinator would return for another season, it certainly added to the festive atmosphere at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday. Earlier in the week, all signs were pointing to Schiano heading back to the NFL with the New England Patriots, following a successful two-year run with the Buckeyes. Instead, Urban Meyer was able to get one more major commitment for 2018, this coming from a key member of his coaching staff.

The return of Schiano is huge for a number of reasons. First of all, it helps the continuity with the system as Schiano sticks around now to collaborate with Ohio State’s new addition on defense, former Washington State defensive coordinator Alex Grinch. Next, Meyer doesn’t have to go searching for a big-name hire at such a key spot ― or replace multiple defensive assistants after already losing cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs to the Tennessee Titans. And as Schiano proved yet again with his role in landing 5-star offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere on Wednesday, he’s a tremendous asset to Ohio State as a recruiter.

The Buckeyes likely would have been able to make a splashy hire given all they have to offer, from a loaded roster to rising salaries and the chance to compete for championships while learning under Meyer. But the ideal scenario was to keep Schiano in charge of the Silver Bullets heading into another season where the College Football Playoff is again well in reach, and that qualified as a huge victory for Ohio State.

Ohio State-Buckeyes-football-Nicholas Petit Frere-recruiting
Greg Schiano was crucial in the recruitment of offensive lineman Nicholas Petit-Frere. (Andrew Ivins/247Sports)

In the short term, Schiano is overseeing the cornerbacks in offseason conditioning drills and meetings. But that will not be the plan moving forward once Ohio State completes its staff, with that final spot still expected to be filled with a cornerbacks coach. When he laid out his timeframe and what he’s looking for on Wednesday, Meyer suggested he’ll choose a coach with a background in that position and could announce him in the next week or so. That then would either allow Schiano to shift to a broader, defensive CEO-type position or perhaps maybe he could lend a hand with the linebackers in addition to his duties as a coordinator.

No matter how that shakes out in the months ahead, simply having Schiano on staff for a third season is kind of hard to believe. It was shocking in some ways that Ohio State was able to hire him in the first place. Now the Buckeyes are in position to keep on reaping the benefits for at least one more season, thanks to Schiano’s contributions to an incredible signing day, a top-to-bottom victory for a program that has it all rolling.

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