"Great defense ... I think that's what we all felt like we got back to this season. So it's one focus, one fight, one team and just one idea about being the best defense in the country."
Landing former Penn State assistant coach Larry Johnson in the offseason could be regarded as one of the most important moves in college football leading up to the 2014 season. After Mike Vrabel moved on to coach linebackers in the NFL for the Houston Texans, Ohio State needed to come up with a solid replacement. They did that and more with Johnson's hiring.
Johnson was an assistant coach at Penn State for 18 years, but chose to jump onto Urban Meyer's staff after being offered the position. In his first year, he helped Ohio State's defense reach a level fans hadn't seen in quite some time and helped the Buckeyes win their first national championship since 2002. With Johnson still on staff, there are plenty more dream-like opportunities that could be on the horizon for Ohio State.
"...the "underrated" label that has long been attached to Conley is outdated and no longer applicable. He is one of the league's best orchestrators for one of the league's best teams, and he serves as the guiding, steadying influence on an emotional roster."
Former Ohio State point guard and current Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley has a special place in Buckeyes fans' hearts. After helping lead the 2006-07 Ohio State team (along with Greg Oden) to the national championship game against Florida, Conley entered the NBA draft and was selected fourth overall by the Grizzlies. Since then, Conley has been a consistently good to great player for Memphis and has often been viewed as an underrated point guard in the NBA.
Jonathan Abrams of Grantland says no more. Conley has established himself well before now as a talented point guard that helps keep Memphis in contention for the playoffs and possibly a championship. Whether or not that comes to fruition, Conley has been a mainstay for the Grizzlies and Abrams does a great job of detailing how Conley came to be so reliable. It's a great article and I recommend any Buckeye fan that is fond of Conley to read it.
"Ohio State has no presence in Louisiana at all. Maybe it's because Meyer has never signed a prospect from Louisiana, even dating back to his time at Florida."
Ari Wasserman of the Northeast Ohio Media Group took a look at Urban Meyer and his recruiting tactics and noticed that he hadn't signed a prospect from the state of Louisiana, even while he coached at Florida a couple of years ago. It's an interesting find, and a bit peculiar that with all of the recruiting coach Meyer does in his time at schools that he's never really taken serious efforts in trying to land a prospect from Louisiana.
Wasserman does note that a big part of that may be because of the job Les Miles has done there in his time at LSU. The high school areas surrounding Baton Rouge, and the entire state of Louisiana has been combed over by Miles at a constant rate to try and find the best talent available. I'm curious to see if Meyer continues not to reach out to the state to see if he can make any sort of connections. All it takes is one or two names, and your program could have the foot in the door.
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer was named Phil Steele's 2014 coach of the year on Wednesday, earning the honors after wrapping up a Big Ten championship, a Sugar Bowl victory, and a national championship. Meyer wasn't selected for any of the other coach of the year awards, after TCU head coach Gary Patterson was awarded the honors by the Associated Press.
It's nice to see coach Meyer get more recognition for the coaching job he did in 2014, with Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett being sidelined to injury and having to roll into the postseason with a third-string quarterback who hadn't started a game in his college career.