Meyer Addresses RAS Camp

Prior to Austin Mack's commitment to OSU, Urban Meyer addressed the RAS campers about Ohio State's 2014 season.

Just minutes before the commitment of four-star wide receiver Austin Mack, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer spoke to the campers at the Redefining Athletic Standards camp in Fort Wayne, Ind., on Sunday.

Meyer, who showed up at the camp with OSU wide receivers coach Zach Smith to accept Mack's commitment in person before the ceremony, spoke to the campers for about 12 minutes. Much of his talk reflected on the 2014 season, but he also discussed Ezekiel Elliott's practice habits and the maturation of quarterback Cardale Jones.

What follows is an overview of some of Meyer's talking points:

The loss to Michigan State (1:55 mark)
As he has mentioned before, Meyer said the 24-game win streak to start his Ohio State career masked some of the problems within his program. "Deep in my heart, I knew something quite wasn't right as we prepared to play a very, very good team called Michigan State... we lost the game. The sun wasn't going to come up in Ohio. You guys have all been there. It was terrible. It was awful. We have a chance if we win this game, because Alabama lost (in the Iron Bowl), we were going to go play Florida State for the national championship of college football. Deep in my heart, I knew we weren't ready for that."

Blame, Complain, Defend (2:50 mark)
Meyer said blaming others, complaining and defending yourself are the natural ways to react when something goes wrong. In the offseason, OSU worked to establish a culture that eliminated those practices and he said it paid off with the way the Buckeyes handled the Virginia Tech loss in 2015.

Ezekiel Elliott (4:45 mark)
Meyer said that Elliott is the best tailback in the country. He said Elliott was OK as a true freshman but improved because of his work ethic. "He's the best practice offensive player that I've ever had. I've had Tebow, Percy Harvin and some other great ones. He's phenomenal at practice. He's the guy that finishes every run 25-30 yards downfield and works on making the safeties miss. If you watch the Oregon game, our first touchdown, he wasn't that good when we got him. He was a kid that worked himself into being that good."

Cardale Jones (5:45 mark)
Meyer said Jones was a knucklehead growing up but began to transform when he enrolled at Cleveland Glenville. He credited Jones for not falling apart or transferring after J.T. Barrett won the starting job. After Barrett's injury, Jones survived against Michigan and then dominated Wisconsin. "Here it is. Here's our boy. I look over and Cardale Jones is now the starting quarterback of the number whatever-ranked team in America fighting for a chance to play in the College Football Playoff against our rival game up by seven points against obviously a very talented team. We run the ball once. It's now third down. We call a pass play. He throws that ball and it almost hits me on the sideline, like he's never touched a football before in his life."

Cardale Jones vs. Alabama (9:30 mark)
After dismantling Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game, Jones faced the biggest test of his career to that point in the Sugar Bowl against Alabama. "The Wednesday before we go play Alabama, as I'm jogging off the field with our offensive coordinator, I look at him -- and I've coached Alex Smith, the first overall pick who starts in the NFL now, one of the best quarterbacks in Tim Tebow and some other great quarterbacks -- and I looked at my offensive coordinator and said, 'I've never seen a quarterback have a better practice or be more prepared. I don't know if we can win this game, but we have the right guy pulling the trigger in this game, and that's Cardale Jones."

Bouncing back from disappointment (10:00 mark)
Citing the example of Jones, Meyer concluded his talk by telling players that even if they don't perform well at the camp, it's important to avoid blaming others or becoming discouraged.

Buckeye Sports Top Stories