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Ohio State brings Taver Johnson back as assistant

The former Buckeye assistant from 2007-11 returns for a stint under Urban Meyer.

NCAA Football: Cotton Bowl-Ohio State vs Southern California Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

“I am really pleased to have Taver Johnson join our coaching staff. I’ve known Taver for a long time, going back to our days at Notre Dame, and I think he is a terrific coach and person. He’ll do an excellent job coaching our cornerbacks and mentoring the young men in our program.”

- Urban Meyer, OhioStateBuckeyes.com

Ohio State made a key signing, though not in the way of recruits. The Buckeyes just recently hired Taver Johnson as an assistant coach. The name might sound familiar, as Johnson is a 23-year veteran in the coaching ranks and previously had a stint with Ohio State as the cornerbacks coach from 2007 to 2011. Johnson left the program after the 2011 season and headed to Arkansas. But now he’s returned under Urban Meyer and will again be coaching the cornerbacks to replace the loss of Kerry Coombs.

The Buckeyes’ secondary has been phenomenal under Coombs, and Johnson will look to replicate that success. Under Coombs, Marshon Lattimore, Eli Apple, Gareon Conley and more have all been very successful in their college careers. Of course, Johnson has experience with that too, he coached another Buckeye legend in Malcolm Jenkins.

“[Post-signing day way too early top 25] 4. Ohio State”

- Mark Sclabach, ESPN

After the most recent edition of National Signing Day, new top 25 rankings started popping up, and ESPN’s Mark Schlabach released his latest poll. Ohio State was slotted into the fourth overall spot, trailing only Clemson, Alabama and Georgia. The Bulldogs arguably lose the most of the four teams, though the Crimson Tide have significant losses as well. The Buckeyes will be without J.T. Barrett and Sam Hubbard as well as key linemen such as Billy Price and Jamarco Jones. Denzel Ward obviously moved on following the season, along with Damon Webb.

There’s still high expectations for the incoming class and even the fresh faces for the upcoming season. Dwayne Haskins and Tate Martell are expected to be the favorites for the quarterback spot in the spring and should spend most of their time competing for the starting role. J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber both return so the transition should be smooth, considering nearly all of the wide receivers return to the program as well.

“Regardless of outcomes in other games, if Ohio State wins three of its final four games, it would clinch a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Head-to-head wins over Michigan State and Purdue don’t matter for the league title. If there’s a tie, the Big Ten would name co-champions. The head-to-head matters for seeding in the conference tournament.”

- Bill Landis, Cleveland.com

Ohio State basketball is in a great position to win the Big Ten championship outright. All they have to do is win the rest of the their games, which of course, is easier said than done. But still, who would have thought the Buckeyes would be in this position leading up to this year? Regardless, Ohio State has four games remaining on their schedule including at Penn State, Michigan, Rutgers, and at Indiana to finish the regular season. Should the Buckeyes drop one, which is certainly possible with the Wolverines, they can still at least clinch a share of the title before the conference tournament.

Then, of course, there’s the Player of the Year discussion with Keita Bates-Diop right in the thick of it. He currently has the best odds to win the award in the Big Ten and could even have a shot at the national version of the award. Should he keep up his play, that will only mean good things for the Buckeyes’ end of the regular season and position Chris Holtmann’s squad for success in March.

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