Recruiting never stops, and if you take a day off, you fall behind. Join us every night for a daily recap of Ohio State recruiting news, insight on what’s happening behind the scenes, and for a glimpse at what’s coming next.
Urban Meyer wants spring football in Ohio to help player development
In Ohio, football season is the most anticipated and welcomed time of the year. One possible reason that is the case? Because, unlike other parts of the country, in Ohio there’s just one football season.
Urban Meyer would like to see that addressed. Speaking at Ohio State’s signing day press conference on Wednesday, Meyer said one reason he’s not fond of the early signing period is that so many Ohio prospects develop late because they miss football activities that students in other states receive. That lack of development may help explain why the Buckeye State isn’t producing the talent it used to.
“The thing that happens in Ohio — this early signing really bothers you because Ohio is traditionally a late-developing state. When you start, the other states … four years of — for example, in high school in Texas, you go at noon, there’s a football class, shoulder pads, it’s a football class. And then you go have lunch, you come back as a coach to evaluate two hours later and they have football practice, and that’s in March or May, whenever spring football is.”
That is not the case in Ohio, and it’s affecting Ohio’s output. The Buckeyes aren’t going to take fliers on in-state kids when they can sign a more developed, more college-ready prospect from Florida, Georgia or Texas.
— Bobby Carpenter (@Bcarp3) February 3, 2017
Meyer is speaking from a personal point of view, too.
“My son plays high school football here and he’s not doing anything football-related until summertime,” Meyer said. “As a result, four years of that and you get a little more of an advanced player at times. Then other times you get to Darron Lee, you get to Josh Perry, you get these phenomenal football players that take maybe a little bit more time to develop. Does that make sense?
“What bothers me, and I’m so glad it didn’t happen, is an early signing in June. (That) would not be good because we have to see some of those guys play and perform their senior year.”
While it doesn’t seem like the powers that be are in any hurry to implement spring football in Ohio, having Urban Meyer’s support may help move it along.
Want to play in the NFL? Warm weather alone isn’t enough
If you take a minute to review the Buckeyes’ 21-signee recruiting class you’ll notice that those 21 players come from nine different states. Of those nine states, you’ll notice another unusual trend (at least for Ohio State recruiting): California, Florida, Georgia, Texas and Nevada are among them.
More than half of the players (11 of the 21) that the Buckeyes signed on Wednesday are from traditionally warm-weather states. If you’re going to make it to the NFL, you’re going to have to play in the cold at some point and it seems that today’s recruits are getting the message.
Ohio State signed 11 guys from warm-weather states. I liked this quote from CB Shaun Wade, who's from Florida. pic.twitter.com/CyPN66NuHu
— Nick Piotrowicz (@NickPiotrowicz) February 2, 2017
The transition from one part of the country to the other is also something that the Buckeyes have to consider when they’re looking at a prospect. In the 2015 recruiting cycle, Ohio State opted for Joe Burrow at quarterback rather than offering California’s Travis Jonsen (he ended up signing with Oregon), and the experience playing in Ohio’s weather played at least a small part in the decision.
“It’s hard to simulate, obviously, so it’s hard to project that,” Ohio State director of player personnel Mark Pantoni said Wednesday about playing in potentially inclement weather. “When we did recruit Joey Burrow, who was not a very a highly recruited guy, there was a lot of emphasis placed on him versus the other one or two kids we were recruiting: This kid has played in Ohio, he’s played in the cold, he knows what the rivalry means. That really helped Joe’s stock in our eyes. In that case, him versus a kid who maybe we saw as an equal talent in Texas or whoever it was, Joe got (an) extra bonus in our eyes for those reasons.”
Houston, we have a problem
What’s the problem? Here’s the problem.
Signing day was Wednesday. Saturday? It’s the first regional camp of 2017 for Nike’s The Opening.
Eight of the top 10 players in Texas will be on hand in Houston for the event, including a number of players who already hold an Ohio State offer.
Which Buckeyes targets could secure their spot in this summer’s premier recruiting competition?
- Defensive Back • BJ Foster • Angleton, Texas • ★★★★★ (Will not compete)
- Defensive Back • Anthony Cook • Houston • ★★★★★
- Defensive End • Max Wright • Katy, Texas • ★★★★
- Wide Receiver • Joshua Moore • Yoakum, Texas • ★★★★
- Tight End • Mustapha Muhammad • Missouri City, Texas • ★★★★
- Wide Receiver • Brennan Eagles • Houston • ★★★★
- Tight End • Malcolm Epps • Houston • ★★★★
The Buckeyes had a huge year in Texas last year, and they’re hoping to repeat that with a number of these names for 2018.