Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
With 24 of the nation’s most sought-after high school football recruits heading to Columbus in the fall to join what was already one of the most promising teams in the nation heading into the 2013 season, I’ll go ahead and say what everyone else is thinking.
I don’t miss Jim Tressel. Not even a little bit.
The events that unfolded on Wednesday’s National Signing Day provided all the evidence I needed to solidify coach Urban Meyer as the most feared and ruthless recruiting powerhouse in all of college sports, nailing down his second consecutive top-five recruiting class at OSU. Many would argue that this year’s class, which finished No. 1 in Scout.com’s rankings and No. 2 in Rivals.com’s rankigns, is the best in the nation.
And he’s just getting warmed up.
Not to say that Tressel couldn’t do his fair share of recruiting, or that he failed to deliver national championship-caliber teams, but I would say that from the day Meyer walked through the door of Tressel’s old office, football recruiting at OSU soared to new heights.
Here’s the statistic from Wednesday that catches my attention the most: Meyer’s 2013 class includes 13 players from states outside Ohio. Most of these players are from states residing in the southeastern region of the country – territory that the SEC traditionally sweeps with dominating fashion.
I look at these players, such as five-star safety recruit Vonn Bell from Rossville, Ga., who chose OSU over Tennessee and Alabama, and what I see is this: a pattern of highly touted players choosing to pack their bags and follow Meyer to Columbus rather than punch their ticket to an SEC school and join forces with without a doubt the most impressive conference in college football for the past decade.
Meyer’s healthy ties to recruiting areas in SEC territory gives him a clear advantage that Tressel never had and gives the Buckeyes new talent that Tressel could have never persuaded to make the trip north.
Ultimately, it would appear that playing for Meyer is a much more attractive sell to players from all parts of the country, not just Ohio recruits who have grown up as Buckeye fans.
When Tressel held the reigns, big-name recruits from outside Ohio were few and far between. With Meyer, it’s becoming business as usual.
I don’t know about you, but that’s something I can get used to.