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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Meyer keeps pumping out great classes

By Brad Bournival

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- One of Urban Meyer’s keys to victory isn’t that difficult to figure out. While he is having almost unprecedented success as a first-year coach at Ohio State -- there have only been two other coaches to start with 11 consecutive wins at the school -- it all begins in the recruiting world.

Meyer has long been known as a tireless recruiter and will work until the last possible second to either flip a prospective commit or land the big name. His recruiting class in February ranked sixth -- the highest it has been since 2008 -- as his resume no doubt brought some of the bigger name recruits from other programs.

Taylor Decker, Kyle Dodson, Se’Von Pittman, Joey O’Connor, Tommy Schutt, Armani Reeves and Camren Williams were all destined for other universities before becoming Buckeyes nine months ago. Meyer had similar success at Florida as the Gators were almost always in the upper echelon of the class rankings.

The Buckeyes are enjoying an 11-0 season to this point and Meyer can join Carroll Widdoes as the only other coach to win his first 12 games with a victory over Michigan this weekend.

In recruiting, the Buckeyes are holding down the No. 6-ranked class in the country, but have plenty of room to move up the ranks. Led by five-star cornerback Eli Woodard, Ohio State has six other ESPN 150 players in the likes of running back Ezekiel Elliott, cornerback Cam Burrows, athlete Jalin Marshall, defensive end Joey Bosa, tight end Marcus Baugh and offensive tackle Evan Lisle.

Currently, the class has 12 athletes ranked a four-star or better.

By staying close to home and poaching the states that Meyer used to get standout athletes from, Meyer is continuing to build on an already strong tradition with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State has never had a problem getting good athletes to sign. Jim Tressel was able to recruit at a high level based on a national championship. Meyer, who already has two of those under his belt, will likely continue that as his team keeps winning.

Ohio is a hotbed for football, as is Florida, a state he continues to recruit. If what the Buckeyes have done so far in a season in which they can’t go to a bowl game is any indication, Ohio State and Meyer should be able to keep grabbing some of the top recruits in the nation.