Would Urban Meyer leave NFL for Notre Dame job?
Speculation immediately began on Monday regarding whom Notre Dame might look to after Brian Kelly’s shocking departure. One name came up more than any other: Urban Meyer.
Meyer is inevitably linked to most big college football jobs that open up, but the Notre Dame position is different. Like most big programs, the Fighting Irish have the resources to attract and pay a big name. For Meyer, however, there’s a personal angle to the Notre Dame job.
As long ago as 2008, Meyer, who was then coaching Florida, described the Notre Dame position as a “dream job.”
Urban Meyer says Notre Dame is "still my dream job; that hasn't changed." Meyer to Notre Dame would make the USC rivalry interesting again.
— USC Football News (@USCFootballNews) December 12, 2008
It wasn’t a one-off thing, either. In 2017, Meyer’s wife Shelley told “The Eleven Dubcast” podcast that Meyer had laid out three dream jobs when the couple first got together. One was Ohio State, which Meyer ultimately held from 2012 to 2018. Another was Michigan, which is no longer a consideration. The other was Notre Dame.
We already know, then, that Meyer has had strong feelings about Notre Dame. We also know that he’s struggled in his first year in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He’s had to deal with a very unflattering scandal. At least at certain points, he has not appeared to have the respect of his locker room.
If Meyer wants an out from the NFL, the Notre Dame job would represent the perfect opportunity. The Fighting Irish would likely want him, but even with his recent scandal in mind, there is nobody else potentially available with Meyer’s resume at the college level. One has to wonder if his position with Jacksonville is even all that secure.
If Meyer were to leave the NFL so quickly and after one bad season, he would have to endure that criticism and blemish on his resume. That happened to Nick Saban in Miami, but Saban has mostly rendered the label forgotten with his immense success at Alabama.
Meyer is already a controversial figure and might never be able to shake that reputation, even if he wins a lot at Notre Dame. That said, if he were ever going to be lured back to college football, this is probably the opportunity that would do it.
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