Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer challenges Big Ten rivals to improve their recruiting
By Dan Wetzel
Urban Meyer is so competitive that he once put together an epic 25-1 run at Florida, which included capturing his second national title in three seasons. Yet when he finally lost the 2009 SEC title game, the distress from the meat grinder was so intense he wound up in the hospital with heart problems.
Meyer then quit, for a day, only to return for another season. He quit again, took a year off, accepted the Ohio State job, went 12-0 and signed a consensus top-three recruiting class in his first full-year effort.
The man knows only one way to go, full-throttle and with fists closed. He’ll apologize for none of it. He’ll expect the same from everyone else, including, apparently, his peers in the Big Ten, who he doesn’t think are pulling their weight. Forget just coaching his team, he’s concerned about the other 11 programs, too.
Speaking on the Bishop and Rothman Show on 97.1 FM in Columbus on Thursday, Meyer called out most of the Big Ten after many conference schools fared poorly in recruiting this year.
The Big Ten, Meyer said, has to step it up.
“It’s not only important, it’s essential,” Meyer said. “It has to happen.”
And that is about the most Urban Meyer thing Urban Meyer could say, even if it will likely go over like a SEC banner flapping on a Midwest campus.
While Michigan also signed a highly regarded class, Nebraska (17th) was the only other Big Ten school to rank in the top-35 classes nationally according to Rivals.com. Other than the Wolverines and Buckeyes, only Penn State landed a coveted five-star recruit.
Meyer’s Buckeyes recruiting class this year is ranked third nationally by Rivals.com (AP)Compare that to the SEC, which saw 13 of its 14 schools rank in the top 31, according to Rivals.com. As a group, the SEC signed 14 of 33 recruits ranked as five stars by the website.
While recruiting rankings don’t guarantee future results – predictably, every Big Ten coach claimed he was pleased with the players he brought in on Wednesday’s National Signing Day, no matter what Rivals.com had to say – Meyer himself is concerned the conference isn’t as competitive as it should be.
And he isn’t afraid to address it, both publicly on the radio and privately in an upcoming coaches meeting.
“I don’t know enough about what goes on in the other programs. I know I have a lot of respect for the tradition and their historical success they’ve had,” Meyer said. “But we do need, as a conference, to keep pushing that envelope to be better.
“And I think all our conversations, we’re going to have a Big Ten meeting here in a week … and our whole conversation needs to be, ‘how do we recruit?’ When you see 11 of the SEC teams in the top 25 in recruiting, that is something we need to continue to work on and improve.”
Meyer is absolutely correct, of course. How this goes over with Meyer’s peers, though, is anyone’s guess.
You can read the rest of Yahoo’s article HERE.