Earlier today, it was reported that Ohio State is hiring Notre Dame RB coach Tony Alford to replace Stan Drayton, who recently bolted for an opportunity to coach at the professional level. While It won't be a very easy task to match the success that Drayton had in Columbus in the running back's room and on the recruiting trail, Alford is one guy that could come pretty close, and maybe even exceed those results.
As we all know, a big key to Urban Meyer and Ohio State's recruiting success is to have a coaching staff who is relentless and can cover multiple areas on the recruiting trail. Just last season alone at Notre Dame, Alford recruited plenty of states around the country. He mostly spent his time in Florida, but also was the primary recruiter for prospects from states like Connecticut, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Alford played a big hand in Notre Dame landing another top 15 recruiting class for the 2015 recruiting cycle. He was the point man in the pursuit of Irish commits Tevon Coney, Nicco Fertitta, and Dexter Williams. He also had a hand in Josh Adams and Aliz'e Jones making South Bend their newest home.
The five highest commitments that Notre Dame nabbed when Alford was the main recruiter would be running back Greg Bryant (four-star, 45th overall player in 2013), defensive tackle Louis Nix (four-star, 66th overall player in 2010), wide receiver Tai-ler Jones (four-star, 87th overall player in 2010), running back Dexter Williams (four-star, 94th overall player in 2015), and running back Tarean Folston (four-star, 104th overall player in 2014). Four of those five were prospects from the state of Florida and one (Jones) is from the state of Georgia.
Those aren't the only guys worth mentioning that Alford help bring to the gold and blue. Some other notables would be Everett Golson and current San Fransisco 49er Aaron Lynch. Also in 2013 he locked up Mike Heuerman, the younger brother of former Ohio State and soon to be NFL tight end Jeff Heuerman. In 2014, he reeled in Corey Holmes, a four-star prospect from St. Thomas Aquinas (FL), a program that Ohio State is noticeably trying to build a pipeline with.
Ever since the departure of Stan Drayton to the Chicago Bears, there has been plenty of negative talk with the whole Mike Weber situation, as well as the effect it would have on '16 RB Kareem Walker, who committed to Ohio State during the National Championship game. While spending his time with Brian Kelly and the Fighting Irish, Alford was the primary recruiter for both of those prospects. That may not patch up all concerns, but it could surely help the situations a bit.
All in all, it wont be easy to replace Stan Drayton and the success that he had in the recruiting department. Drayton was ranked as the 14th best recruiter in the country according to the 247Sports recruiter rankings, and he was also the best recruiter in the Big Ten. However, the recruiting success that Tony Alford has had in the past, he shouldn't have any problem fitting right in with Ohio State. Alford finished as the 54th best recruiter in the country this past cycle, and was widely considered one of Notre Dame's best recruiters.