“It is also a program that does a great job at developing good football players into elite football players. Coach (Urban) Meyer doesn’t just want his players to get a degree but he wants to help them start a career and he makes sure that certain things are in place to make sure that happens.”
The first day of the first ever early signing period for college football recruiting was a day of highs and lows for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
- Signing an impressive list of 21 prospects
- Currently ranked as the No. 1 recruiting class by 247 Sports composite rankings
- Missing out on high-profile players, including Emory Jones, who went to Florida, and Jackson Carman who signed with Clemson (more on him in the next story).
- The Georgia Bulldogs could end the cycle with the top-rated class come February.
So, however you feel about the Buckeyes’ haul today, there is an embarrassment of talent in this class, and Master Teague is one of the players to be excited about. One of three running backs in the class, Teague is a four-star talent who rushed for over 2,000 yards as a junior, and is one of two four-star players to sign with the Buckeyes from central Tennessee.
In his first person account of why he decided to attend The Ohio State University, Teague said that the opportunities, both on and off the field, that the school provides were exactly what he was looking for in a university to attend.
In addition, he said that his connection with running back coach Tony Alford was instrumental in his decision, as was the stability of the coaching staff.
“We knew that The Ohio State had solid program,” he said of his family. “It is a program with solid coaches and a winning tradition. There is little chance that there will be a coaching change.”
Clearly this idea of continuity was something that the program engrained in Teague. Unfortunately, Dabo Swinney didn’t get that memo.
“Meyer is 53. Swinney is 48. That’s not such a big age gap, and it doesn’t feel like Meyer’s on the verge of quitting any time soon.”
Just last week, Ohio State assistant head coach and defensive line coach Larry Johnson publicly addressed negative recruiting going around the recruiting trail that he was preparing to retire from coaching in the coming years. In no uncertain terms, Johnson made it clear that this was not the case.
Then, when asked about it in his press conference today, Urban Meyer said that Ohio State doesn’t engage in negative recruiting, and he rarely hears about any directed at his team since he doesn’t spend much time on social media.
I bet he’s going to hear about this one. As mentioned above, the No. 1 player in the state of Ohio, Jackson Carman, chose to play his college football at Clemson University, and when doing interviews following his commitment ceremony, the offensive lineman let slip that Clemson coach Dabo Swinney had told him that Meyer was on the “back end of his career,” implying that the OSU coach would be hanging it up before Carman was done with his college career.
Carman said that while this wasn’t a major factor in his decision, it was something that was in the back of his mind throughout.
It’s interesting to me that two highly sought-after recruits like Teague and Carman could somehow get such disparate views of the state of the Buckeyes’ coaching staff. Is this a case of Swinney’s negative recruiting influencing Carman more than he knows or is admitting? Is it a case of being recruited by different assistant coaches leading to different impressions? Or is it just high school kids making major life decisions for their own reasons and justifying them afterwards?
Whatever the case may be, I doubt this will be the last we hear of this, and as Kirshner and Brown note in their article, losing Carman is a big miss for the Buckeyes. He is an immediate, difference-making presence on an offensive line that always seems to be searching for depth. Meyer and company still have until Feb. 7 to wind up this class, so they could find an impact o-lineman by then, but it probably won’t be one as good as the one that got away.
“(T)he Ohio State men’s lacrosse team was tabbed No. 8 in the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook preseason poll while three players – Ben Randall, Tre Leclaire and Ryan Terefenko – were named to the magazine’s preseason All-America team.”
Despite all of the focus on the football team lately, there are other OSU teams that are prepping to kick off their seasons with high expectations as well. One of those teams is the men’s lacrosse squad, which will begin the season ranked No. 8, their highest position to open a season since 2014.
OSU is one of four Big Ten lacrosse teams to begin the season in the top-11, along with No. 4 Maryland, No. 7 Rutgers and No. 11 John’s Hopkins. (Yep, John’s Hopkins is in the B1G for lax).
After two exhibition games in January, the team will officially open the season at Cleveland State on Feb. 3.
Three Buckeyes were named to Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook’s preseason All-America team, with Cincinnati native Ben Randall claiming a first-team spot. The defenseman scooped 50 groundballs last season and added 13 caused turnovers to help make the Buckeyes the conference’s best defensive unit.
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