<
>
Insider

Meyer building defensive line foundation

2/4/2013

Urban Meyer builds in the trenches to win championships.

One look at how Florida completely dismantled Ohio State from a defensive standpoint in the national championship game after the 2006 season shows the blueprint.

He piles up defensive linemen in recruiting and wears the competition into submission with a rotating front.

Four defensive linemen from Meyer’s first national championship team were future pros as Derrick Harvey (Jacksonville, Denver, Cincinnati), Ray McDonald (San Francisco), Jarvis Moss (Oakland, Denver) and Joe Cohen (San Francisco, Miami, Oakland, Detroit) found their way to the NFL.

On his second national championship team, defensive linemen Jermaine Cunningham (New England), Carlos Dunlap (Cincinnati) and Justin Trattou (New York Giants) all advanced to the NFL.

Harvey and Moss were first-round picks, and Cunningham and Dunlap were selected in the second round.

With the Buckeyes, Meyer wasted no time in going for the jugular defensively as the 2012 recruiting class had four ESPN 150 selections across the front in Noah Spence, Adolphus Washington, Se’Von Pittman and Tommy Schutt. The first three all play defensive end, and Schutt is a defensive tackle.

Throw in four-star defensive end Jamal Marcus -- now a linebacker -- and it was easy to see where Meyer was staking his claim.

The 2013 recruiting class has defensive tackles Joey Bosa, Billy Price, Michael Hill, Donovan Munger and Tracy Sprinkle and defensive end Tyquan Lewis.

Bosa is an ESPN 150 senior. Price, Hill and Munger are ESPN 300 choices.

Add it together and in 14 months of recruiting, Meyer has landed five ESPN 150 selections and three ESPN 300 choices.

The next step is the important one as John Simon, Garrett Goebel, Nathan Williams and Johnathan Hankins are all gone from the team -- Simon, Goebel and Williams are out of eligibility and Hankins declared for the NFL.

That leaves a lot of holes to fill from a lot of names that are either new to the team or will be players with little college experience.

If history repeats, however, don’t be surprised to see the 11 names playing for the Buckeyes to continue on at the next level.

Some of that has to do with the fact Meyer will go two deep, and most of that has to do with the fact that defensive linemen historically excel in Meyer's schemes.