clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Urban Meyer says relationships are more important in recruiting than camp performances

Even with the pressure to attend additional camps, Meyer says the most important thing a recruit can do is get an endorsement from his coach. 

NBA: Finals-Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

"I don’t care what you do at camps. I want to hear your high school coach say ‘Take him.’ If I have a relationship with that high school coach like I do with these NFL coaches, guess what happens? We take him."

-Urban Meyer via Doug Samuels, Football Scoop

Even with all the hype around satellite camps this offseason, the recommendation from a high school coach is still one of the most important factor in recruiting. Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer said as much to a group of potential recruits at a camp in Columbus over the weekend, emphasizing that worrying about the 7-on-7 or which camps to attend to get noticed means missing the key point involved: achieving buy-in from the high school coach. Becoming a key contributor on the team and being selected as a captain, for example, go much further than being noticed at a satellite camp.

Meyer’s comments echo similar sentiments expressed by Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban last week, in which Saban stated that football is the only sport where the high school coach still matters. He went on to say that satellite camps, like those promoted by Michigan Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh, threaten that balance.

While parents and players alike can be distracted by which camps to attend and being visible throughout the recruiting process, Meyer’s comments emphasize the need to earn the resolute recommendation of the high school coach. While camps may only last a few days, the coach knows the player for up to four years of play, and can offer a more accurate representation of the recruit which goes much further in garnering a scholarship offer.

"He’s a project. The question is how long will this project take for QB’s coach David Lee to mold."

-Tyler Dunne, The Buffalo News

With mandatory minicamp scheduled for the Buffalo Bills this week, former Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones has a lot to prove heading into practice. The minicamp is the last chance for players to impress coaches prior to training camp, which is scheduled to begin at the end of July at St. John Fisher College, and it would seem that Jones has a long way to go. With reporters watching at one practice last week, Jones could not seem to find a rhythm, fumbling snaps from under center and tripping over his fullback on a handoff. And despite his cannon of an arm, Jones’ passing was inaccurate throughout the day.

Nonetheless, Jones has a lot of potential to develop into a strong backup for the Bills this season. He will need to focus in particular on his footwork, but also in communicating plays with his teammates, which Jones recognizes as an area of weakness.

Jones missed some practice time last week, owing to the birth of his son, Owen, in Cleveland. Head coach Rex Ryan apparently forced the decision, stating that Jones would "regret that decision for the rest of your [his] life" if Jones did not head back to Cleveland. Jones had been just minutes away from the practice facility in Buffalo when he turned around redirected back to Cleveland.

Jones is currently projected at the No. 3 spot at quarterback. During training camp, he will compete with fellow quarterbacks Tyrod Taylor, who started 14 games last season for the Bills and is the projected starter this season, andE.J. Manuel, who earned the majority of his starts in 2013 before moving to the bench behind Taylor.

"I’m predicting Ezekiel Elliott will be a breakout star from Day 1 of his NFL career. He has a perfect blend of power, agility, and elusiveness and his skill set is a complement to the rest of the Cowboys offense."

-Nate Burleson,, via 247Sports

Despite initial questions regarding the Dallas Cowboys’ decision to draft former Ohio State Buckeyes running backEzekiel Elliott No. 4 overall in this year’s NFL Draft, doubters seem to have overcome their concerns, and are even projecting Elliott as the top breakout candidate among rookies for the upcoming NFL season. Elliott has, thus far, lived up to the pressure with a strong performance in the Cowboys minicamp, and is expected to carry his momentum into the team’s training camp scheduled to begin in late July in California. Elliott has been a workhorse throughout his career, carrying the Buckeyes to a national title in 2014, and is projected to bring the same sort of power to his professional career.

Especially given injuries to quarterback Tony Romo, the Cowboys will be relying heavily on their running game next season to keep Romo from standing too long in the pocket. The Cowboys enacted a similar gameplan with DeMarco Murray in 2014, when he led the league in rushing with 1,845 yards on 392 attempts in 16 games played.

Despite averaging 118.1 yards per game last season behind Darren McFadden, placing the Cowboys ninth in the league in average rushing yards, the organization does not see McFadden as the future franchise running back. Given multiple injuries throughout his eight-year career, McFadden has never completed an entire 16-game season, and has hit the 1,000-yard rushing mark only twice.