Hire Of Meyer Brings Buzz To Recruiting

The Ohio State football program has yet to formally introduce Urban Meyer as its next football coach. However, the news that it is all but a done deal has current Buckeyes football commits excited about what the future holds.

The news of the hiring of Urban Meyer to take over the Ohio State football program served as a ray of light for recruits that have lived under the black cloud of NCAA scandal over the course of the past year.

Now with the two-time national champion coach set to take over the storied Buckeyes program, Najee Murray said things are starting to feel normal again in Columbus.

"As of right now," said Murray, a current defensive back commitment out of Steubenville, Ohio, "It is (normal)."

The past year has been a rough one for Ohio State. Not only did the program lose its head coach in Jim Tressel, the Buckeyes also finished the regular season with a 6-6 record, lost to its biggest rival for the first time in eight years and is currently in the midst of an ongoing NCAA violation.

A far cry from the success the program enjoyed for 10 seasons under Tressel, Ohio State is now looking toward a bright future under one of the most highly-regarded coaches in all of college football.

"I am very excited about it," said five-star defensive end Adolphus Washington out of Cincinnati Taft high school, who committed to the Buckeyes Tuesday. "I can't wait to meet him."

Ohio State only has one other commitment in this year's class with a five-star rating and that's Canton (Ohio) GlenOak running back Bri'onte Dunn. The Buckeyes, however, could lose Dunn from the 2012 class if Michigan's current momentum in his recruitment finds ultimate success.

Before landing Washington and wide receiver Mike Thomas out of the Virginia-based Fork Union Military Academy in late October, there was a noticeable stop for Ohio State in its proficiency in landing top commitments in the time since NCAA issues became a factor until last night.

The Buckeyes recruiting, though, could find an instant boost. Picking up a commitment from Lakeland (Fla.) wide receiver Racquan Southward Monday evening – the night before the Meyer news broke – could be a perfect indication of what has yet to come.

Current commitments are excited about playing for Meyer.

"I am looking forward to the new possibilities with Meyer as our new coach," said Luke Roberts, a linebacker commitment out of Lancaster. "People are obviously really excited about it. Living so close to Columbus, I hear everything.

"Everyone in my town is a big Ohio State fan, so everybody seems to be really excited. Coach Meyer has been extremely successful and I think it means a lot for a program like Ohio State to go out and get a big-name coach like Meyer."

Though the excitement continues to grow, the staff Meyer is currently in the midst of putting together has yet to be formed. Meanwhile, relationships that have been forged with the previous staff over the course of the past year are now a thing of the past.

With former head coach Luke Fickell specifically, though, there are reports that he'll be given an opportunity to stay at Ohio State under Meyer. That's something Roberts said he hopes comes to fruition.

"I am going to be honest, I hope Coach Fickell remains on staff and from the most part that's what I have been hearing," he said. "Things still seem to be a little unsure on that front, but I am excited about the opportunity of playing for Meyer.

"It would mean a lot to still have him around. Coach Fickell is the coach that recruited me while Jim Tressel was still the head coach. When he became the head coach after Tressel left, it was a neat thing to be able to have a good relationship with the head coach."

Meyer's introductory press conference is scheduled for 5:15 this evening. What happens in the coming days remains to be seen. Even so, the hiring of Meyer has brought a new buzz to the current recruiting class and could lead to big things with uncommitted prospects.

"I am very excited about it," said offensive lineman commitment Patrick Elflein, who plays for Pickerington (Ohio) North. "I would like to see Coach Fickell stay on staff because he is the one who recruited me and offered me, but I am excited. I don't know much about (Meyer) except his past coaching experiences, but (they've been good)."

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