It’s safe to say Urban Meyer doesn’t get Michigan’s recruiting strategy these days.
The former Ohio State coach is surprised that the Wolverines are no longer major competitors for the top talent in Ohio, where coach Jim Harbaugh has struggled to beat the Buckeyes to top recruits.
“If you look a their history, and I know their history very well, two Heisman Trophy winners from Ohio, great players from Ohio,” Meyer told David Briggs of the Toledo Blade. “Coach [Ryan] Day and myself and our recruiting guy, we monitor them. Even to this day, I’ll ask, ‘what’s going on [at Michigan]?’ That usually was a street fight when we first got there, with Brady Hoke and even coach Harbaugh. It was a street fight, because they were into Ohio everywhere.”
Now, Meyer doesn’t feel the same about the competition.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “I don’t feel the street fight at all.”
For the third time in five years, Michigan didn’t sign a single player from Ohio as part of their 2020 recruiting class. That’s hard to fathom, and goes against what has historically been successful for them.
We know Meyer likes to take shots at Michigan, but this doesn’t seem like one of them. It genuinely surprises him that the Wolverines aren’t playing in Ohio, and it puzzles him too.
Urban Meyer may not be in college football currently, but the Meyer coaching legacy may be living on.
Urban’s son Nate has spent the past two years as a baseball player for the Cincinnati Bearcats. However, he is now switching sports and will be a member of the Bearcats’ football team as a walk-on, Yahoo Sports reports. Nate Meyer is joining the football team with an eye towards a college football coaching career.
Nate played high school football and baseball at Bishop Watterson in Ohio. He appeared in 23 games as a freshman for the Bearcats baseball team and actually made a catch that sent them to the NCAA Tournament. He appeared in 10 games during his canceled sophomore season and batted .250 (3-for-12). He had two doubles and five RBIs in his college baseball career.
Interestingly, this is the same career path Urban took.
Urban Meyer was a 13th-round pick by the Atlanta Braves in 1982 and played two seasons in their minor league system before going to college. Urban played defensive back at Cincinnati and then began a college football coaching career.
Oh, and if all that doesn’t sound familiar, Urban majored in psychology in college, which is what Nate changed his major to after his freshman year.
According to Yahoo, Nate has already participated in video conference calls with Cincinnati’s wide receivers group and is most likely to see playing time on special teams. He will be playing for Luke Fickell, who was a defensive coordinator under Urban at Ohio State prior to taking the Cincinnati job.
When Derrick Henry threw a jump pass for a touchdown in the third quarter of the Tennessee Titans’ divisional playoff game at Baltimore on Saturday night, many football fans immediately thought of Tim Tebow.
During his career at Florida, Tebow became known for running the jump pass to perfection on short-yardage and goal-line plays, including one to clinch the 2009 championship game. That’s certainly where Urban Meyer’s mind went.
After Henry’s touchdown pass, Meyer, who coached Tebow at Florida, tweeted “A Tebow”.
— Urban Meyer (@CoachUrbanMeyer) January 12, 2020
That’s exactly what it was.
Here’s a look at Henry’s touchdown pass.
DERRICK HENRY. JUMP PASS TD. UNBELIEVABLE.pic.twitter.com/vob58imLn6
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) January 12, 2020
Here’s Tebow’s against Oklahoma for comparison:
That touchdown pass gave Henry more TD passes this postseason than Tom Brady. Henry also had a 66-yard run to set up his touchdown pass.
Urban Meyer isn’t the only impressive football coach in his family.
Meyer’s son-in-law Corey Dennis, who is married to Urban’s oldest daughter, is set to be promoted to Ohio State’s quarterbacks coach, according to a report from Pete Thamel. Dennis would replace Mike Yurcich, who left to become Texas’ offensive coordinator.
Sources: Ohio State planning to elevate Corey Dennis to QB coach. He replaces Mike Yurcich, who left for Texas for $1.7 million and to become the play caller. Ryan Day will remain heavily involved with the OSU QBs and continue to call plays.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) January 1, 2020
Dennis played wide receiver at Georgia Tech from 2011-2014 and met Nicki Meyer there (she played for the school’s volleyball team).
Dennis has been with Ohio State’s football program since graduating from Georgia Tech. He began as an intern in 2015, served as a graduate assistant on offense in 2016 and 2017, and he was promoted to senior quality control coach prior to the 2018 season.
Dennis, who played quarterback in high school, has helped out with Ryan Day in coaching the team’s quarterbacks. LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State, was asked about the report of Dennis’ promotion. Burrow praised Dennis as a great person, hard worker, and excellent recruiter.
Joe Burrow was asked on a teleconference today about Corey Dennis, the newly promoted OSU QBs coach. pic.twitter.com/4BO4nQrvk4
— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) January 2, 2020
- Corey Dennis
Urban Meyer said recently that he has no immediate plans to return to coaching, but that is not going to stop teams at the NFL and collegiate level from pursuing him. As you might expect, the Cleveland Browns are one potential suitor.
The Browns have “strong interest” in hiring Urban Meyer as their next head coach, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic reported on Thursday.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) January 2, 2020
If Meyer were to give coaching in the NFL a try, the Browns have always seemed like a logical fit for him. The 55-year-old is from Toledo and his first head coaching job was at Bowling Green. He most recently coached at Ohio State, where he won a national championship. It goes without saying that Meyer has strong ties to Ohio.
However, taking the Browns job would be a big risk for Meyer. He has no experience coaching in the NFL, and Cleveland’s front office is not exactly a model of stability. Meyer would face a lot of pressure to win right away with the Browns, and that would be no easy task given the current state of the franchise.
Meyer said last month that he believes he is “done coaching,” but many believe it is only a matter of time before he’s back. In addition to the Browns, he has also been linked to arguably the most prestigious coaching job in the NFL. If Meyer does get the itch to return (even if it’s not until 2021), there will be plenty of teams interested in him.
Urban Meyer’s daughters are upset with an ESPN anchor for taking a dig at the former Ohio State head coach while reading a highlight on Saturday night.
Meyer attended the Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal game on Saturday in Arizona between his former team and Clemson. Towards the end of the game, ESPN showed Meyer on the sidelines. That clip was included in ESPN’s highlight package after the game, and anchor John Anderson decided to crack a joke while reading it.
“Look at Urban Meyer. He was going to spend time with his family, went to this game instead,” Anderson joked.
That was a reference to Meyer leaving his job at Florida supposedly to spend time with his family, only to go coach Ohio State the following season. I’ve made a joke about it in the past. So have others. Anderson did on Saturday, and the Meyer family did not find it to be funny.
Nicki Meyer, Urban’s oldest daughter, took issue with the comment, calling it “bad” and telling ESPN to “have some class.” Nicki’s husband Corey Dennis is on Ohio State’s coaching staff, which helps explain why the family was there.
How is this type of commentary even acceptable? The entire family including grandkids went to support my husband and the buckeyes. We had the best week in AZ. @ESPN have some class. This is bad. I’d @ this guy but don’t know who it is. Pass it along friends https://t.co/rqAtv4pdGh
— Nicki Meyer Dennis (@Nicki_07) December 30, 2019
Urban’s younger daughter Gigi also commented to say the family was at the Fiesta Bowl all week.
— Gigi Meyer (@GG_40) December 30, 2019
And Urban’s wife Shelley said she was “deeply offended” by the comment, noting Urban was there in a TV capacity and that their son Nate was standing next to the coach.
I am DEEPLY offended by this off-hand rude/ignorant comment by someone who knows NOTHING about our family-We were ALL together this bowl trip-urbans job was limited to a couple hours the 26th/27th and more on the 28th (not that it’s anyone’s biz)-still WAY less than coaching. https://t.co/BgRDvx4cjb
— Shelley eyer (@spinnershells) December 30, 2019
The comment was clearly a joke and jab at Meyer, but his family took it literally and doesn’t care.
Their reaction should not come as a surprise. They have repeatedly shown they are offended by anything they perceive as a slight towards Urban and that they will fiercely defend him. Their loyalty towards him is unwavering.
H/T The Spun
The Washington Redskins are cleaning house after another disastrous season, and they will soon be looking for someone to run their football operations department in addition to a new head coach. Urban Meyer has been linked to the coaching vacancy, but does Washington also want him for a front office position?
Redskins president Bruce Allen is expected to be fired by Monday, and JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington reports that Meyer has been linked to the team in an executive capacity. Meyer has a personal relationship with Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, and he attended a Washington game earlier this month as Snyder’s guest.
The idea of Meyer in a front office role is intriguing, especially when you consider the way he denied having interest in Washington’s head coaching job. Meyer said he thinks he is “done coaching,” which wouldn’t necessarily apply to an executive.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Washington also has interest in former Houston Texans general manager Rick Smith and ESPN analyst Louis Riddick, who was a scout and director of pro personnel for the Redskins for several seasons over a decade ago.
The Redskins have not been to the playoffs since 2015 and have not won a postseason game since 2005. Many view the organization as dysfunctional, which is why they may have trouble attracting top candidates for coaching or executive roles. However, all signs point to Snyder aiming as high as possible.