During his time at Ohio State, Urban Meyer has often been reticent to discuss specific recruits or situations involving recruits.
Even when a rule was passed that allowed college coaches to discuss early enrollees who had signed a midyear agreement, Meyer has typically declined to discuss those players until they show up on campus.
So when Meyer was asked about critical comments made by Kentucky signee Landon Young to SECCountry.com, it was at least somewhat surprising when Meyer jumped into the fray.
“Sure I can (discuss Young), they're signed,” Meyer said.
His reaction came out measured instead of defensive, with Meyer saying he wished he would have offered the Lexington native sooner in his recruitment.
“We had a lot of respect for him as a player – a lot,” Meyer said. “I was very disappointed in our staff that we didn't offer earlier. About the treating him bad, we don't do that on purpose. If that's his feelings… I went back and talked to our staff about it, because we don't want that to be out there.
“But when you have one out of 650 that say someone’s treated bad, you know? But I know we did not offer early, but we did want to offer him. Afterward, he really grew into a great player and I think we missed on him early on. I was very upset with our coaching staff, the recruiter in that area and the position coach. So that's the way we do our business here. Yeah, we do address that. I don't want that out there.”
The firestorm was created by the interview Young did with SECCountry.com, in which he accused Meyer of handling his recruitment in a rude fashion.
“It may not be the best thing, but actually, I was at Ohio State having a private meeting with Urban Meyer. I had gone up to camp there, and they had treated me like a piece of meat, just treated me like crap,” Young said. “By that time, I was a four-star tackle. I weighed about 270 [pounds], and I was 6-7.
“I wasn’t even on their radar. I came back up after they offered me. Four straight days, I got (offers from) the University of Cincinnati, Alabama, Auburn and then Ohio State. I went up and said, ‘Coach (Meyer), what was the reason that you all of a sudden offered me?’ He said, ‘We looked at your tape, and it was pretty good and I saw interest in that.’ I said, ‘Well coach, back when I was just committing to Kentucky and keeping my options open, I came up to a camp and sent you my film and everything, and you didn’t even reply. It seemed like y’all just deleted it.’
“He said, ‘Well, if you look back at that time, you were how big?’ I said, ‘6-7, 270, just like I am now.’ He said, ‘Well, you were an insubstantial tackle, an insubstantial player,’ so he was saying I (didn’t) even amount to being able to be recruited by Ohio State as a four-star tackle. He said, ‘Now what offers did you have?’ I said, ‘I had my one from Kentucky,’ and he said, ‘Well, you were an insubstantial player with insubstantial offers from an insubstantial school.’
“That sort of put me on a bad note because that’s the team I’m committed to. He called me a bad player at that. That doesn’t usually sit well with kids. I may not have been the best, but saying I was an insubstantial player sort of hit me the wrong way.”