Does Urban Meyer want to be there?
“Am I fan of that? Not really," Meyer said when asked this spring about satellite camps. “A big lure to Ohio State is getting them here on campus.”
Yet, Meyer and his staff will be at FAU's camp today in Boca Raton for a satellite camp thanks to an invite from Owls coach Charlie Partridge. Why is that?
Simply put, if it helps in recruiting, Meyer is going to do it. This is, after all, the man who said the No. 1 thing he's looking for in all of his coaches is the ability to bring talented recruits -- the currency that you have to start with to win championships -- to campus.
“If it helps us, we’ll do it," Meyer said. "I think we might try one this year. You’ll certainly hear about it if we do.”
And, of course, we did. Meyer and his staff will add some gravitas to a camp hosted by the Owls staff. Why Florida Atlantic? It's just north of Miami, where the Buckeyes have had a strong recruiting presence going back to the days of Jim Tressel, a presence the Buckeyes have extended under Meyer by bringing in the likes of Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Joey Bosa and Plantation American Heritage quarterback Torrance Gibson.
Ohio State has also had a strong relationship with Florida Atlantic in recent years, as one would expect given the fact FAU's athletics director, Pat Chun, spent most of his professional life at Ohio State before taking over in 2012. In addition, Partridge is close with OSU co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash, as the two were teammates at Drake.
And, FAU is more than happy to have the cachet of the Meyer and Ohio State brands drawing players to campus.
"Both schools will benefit," Partridge told the Sun Sentinel in South Florida. "There will be some kids who will attend the camp understanding that Ohio State will be there and then recognize how special Florida Atlantic can become."
According to the Sun Sentinel, as many as 500 prospects are expected for the event, and it's a win-win for everyone involved. The Buckeyes get the chance to see a bevy of South Florida prospects, including commit Malik Barrow and Bosa's brother, Nick, in person, while FAU benefits from having a national championship coaching staff on campus. The players, meanwhile, are coached by name coaches as well.
"We're ready for a huge turnout," Chun said. "Recruiting is so relationship driven. This is going to provide an opportunity for us to build relationships with high school prospects and coaches. The reality for us is if you're going to do a satellite camp, you want to do it with a high-end program. There's no one better than the national champions."
The most notable set of satellite camp visits this summer was undertaken by Michigan, whose "Summer Swarm" tour under new head coach Jim Harbaugh netted a handful of commitments the past few weeks.
Meyer was right with his original comment, though. While a staff can make inroads with a prospect during a one-day visit to his home area, the real work likely won't happen until Ohio State gets prospects on campus.
In the meantime, today the Buckeyes have a chance to say hello in Florida. As long as it nets results, expect the Buckeyes to keep making such visits.