Urban Meyer moved quickly to fill the latest hole in Ohio State's coaching staff, as running backs coach Stan Drayton departed to take the same job with the Chicago Bears. Ohio State will hire Notre Dame running back coach Tony Alford as his replacement, as first reported by Football Scoop. Irish Illustrated's Pete Sampson added that per Alford, he'll have the title of "assistant head coach" as well. Alford was one of the six possible candidates we'd speculated about previously.
Alford has been with Notre Dame since 2009, serving as a running backs coach, wide receivers coach, and also as recruiting coordinator. He'd become the third recent Notre Dame assistant Urban Meyer has hired while at Ohio State following Ed Warinner and Tim Hinton.
Alford is a graduate of Colorado State, and played there while Urban Meyer coached wide receivers. He was also a candidate for CSU's head coaching job this past offseason that ultimately went to Georgia's Mike Bobo. While he is a Colorado native, Alford also has ties to Ohio, having previously coached running backs at Kent State and at Mount Union.
Alford brings a record of familiarity with power rushing schemes, and perhaps most importantly to Ohio State, a record of being a strong recruiter. He's young, and is thought to have strong relationships with many Ohio State targets, including five-star 2016 recruit Kareem Walker, a major priority for Ohio State's staff.
For what it's worth, Alford also recruited current Ohio State commit Mike Weber. If the Buckeyes want to patch up their relationship with him after a messy exit of Stan Drayton, this may go a long way.