Tuesday Press Conference Updates

Updates from Ohio State's press conference on Tuesday morning.

Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer, quarterback Cardale Jones and safety Tyvis Powell met with the media on Tuesday morning to discuss the Buckeyes' 42-20 win against Oregon in the CFP National Championship.

URBAN MEYER

  • Urban Meyer begins by thanking Bill Hancock and the College Football Playoff. Said everything about their experience was perfect.

  • He did add, though, that things can get better. “Any conversations about the playoffs, about this great game, the first thing needs to be the student athlete. I feel that happening. I see that happening and it’s the right thing. I have an incredible athletic director that played college football, understands the players, and I think that’s the big reason our players play so hard, because they know that we respect what they do.”

  • Meyer said he hasn’t discussed NFL early entry possibilities with Jones yet. He joked that it’s incredible that they’re even talking about Jones and the NFL. “This is why we do what we do… it’s never too late to change. Some guys change when they’re 50 years old, it’s too late. Other guys change when they’re going through the journey like we all did when we’re 17 to 21 years old, 22 years old in his case. Very proud of him. But we have not had that conversation yet.”

  • Asked about what his team will look like next season, Meyer said, “Well, I think we’ll be very good.” He added that Ohio State and its coaching staff will have to watch for complacency. Meyer called strength coach Mickey Marotti his right-hand man and said they would meet today to start getting ready for this season.

  • Meyer noted that Jones’ brand has never been stronger and might never be as strong as it is right now. He’s trying to make sure Jones is protected from any unnecessary outside influences, people who might want to take advantage of him. “The human element is very dangerous if those talented individuals open up to people that have their own desires or they’re trying to gain something from it.”

  • A question about the difficulty of repeating as national champions drew a laugh from Meyer. “Tough questions, man. We just won a championship.”

  • Meyer was asked about coaching in the NFL. “Not right now. Not right now. I’ve got a commitment to Ohio State and these players. I love what I’m doing. Not right now.”

  • When asked about Ezekiel Elliott, Meyer said he loves the Elliotts and Ezekiel's parents have had Thanksgiving dinner at his house the last two years. He added that they almost walked away from his recruitment because of the involvement of Stacy Elliott but everything got worked out. Said the intentions were good. “His dad’s issue is that he loves his son so much that he was right in the middle to the point where it drove us nuts. Obviously we’re glad that we did not walk away because Zeke is a wonderful guy.”

  • As you can imagine, Meyer is eager to hit the recruiting trail on Thursday. “If you can’t recruit to this, you’re officially a bad recruiter, and not just because of the championship. There’s s much going on in our program right now on the positive side, and it’s not theory, it’s testimony.”

  • Meyer reiterated that recruiting in Ohio comes first, but they have secondary states that they recruit heavily and then cherry pick players in less common places like St. Louis. “You’re going to go find the best players like Ezekiel Elliott who fit exactly what you do.”

  • Meyer said he never considered taking a knee on the final touchdown of the game. “We play to win and we play to be aggressive in what we do.”

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  • Meyer said that the Big Ten still has work to do from top to bottom but it’s getting better. He added that he was cheering for Wisconsin in the bowl game because he knew it would legitimize what his players did in the Big Ten title game.

  • Meyer said Ohio State has always been a physical, offensive line-driven team. He said the offensive linemen sit first class in the plane and positions like quarterback and wide receiver are the ones that eat last at meals.

  • Because it was his first, Meyer said the 2006 national championship will always be really special to him. Didn’t want to compare the three as far as picking a favorite. Still, he added that it meant a lot to win one for Ohio. “Very special, very special.”

  • Meyer not ready to talk about a scenario in which all three quarterbacks come back to Ohio State and what the competition would be like. “At some point, I think I’ll be ready to comment on it and have that conversation. Right now it’s not.”

    CARDALE JONES AND TYVIS POWELL

    While the majority of questions were for Meyer, Jones and Powell represented the Buckeyes offense and defense, respectively, and also addressed the media as champions.

    • Both players were asked about their emotions after the big win and if it had all sunk in yet. Powell immediately spoke about the senior class. “Sending the seniors out with their last victory, that’s the greatest feeling in the world,” he said. The sophomore safety called that group great leaders and great captains.

      Like Powell, Jones called the feeling a dream come true, but focused on the underdog angle, unsurprising from a player who didn’t start until the last three games of the season.

      “This feeling is unreal right now because three or four months ago everybody counted us out,” the quarterback said. “They said that we wouldn’t be here at this point in our careers, in the season, and the way that we were smiling through all that, it was just unbelievable.”

    • Jones was asked about his pending decision about entering the NFL draft. The junior acknowledged that it was odd that he was even in that position, adding that “In my personal opinion, I’m not ready for that level yet.”

    • The press conference’s final question was directed to both players about Meyer’s impact on them and on the program.

      “Coming in and learning the things that he taught about us just being selfless and like playing for each other, I mean, that’s just something that I’m, going to take with my for the rest of my life,” Powell said.

      Jones commented on Meyer’s attention to detail with his personnel. “The way that Coach Meyer motivates, teaches and demands the best out of each player in different ways is unbelievable,” Jones said.

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