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Wednesday, November 28, 2012
OSU '12: In eyes of commit, recruit, coach

By Brad Bournival

Urban Meyer
Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes went on a historic journey in 2012, and recruits certainly noticed.

The dynamics of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer’s first season with the Buckeyes weren’t like many others in the Big Ten or in the nation.

The two-time national champion inherited a squad that went 6-7 that wasn’t bowl eligible and had a roster full of players he didn’t recruit. Add to that question marks at some key positions and Meyer’s 12-0 season was the stuff of legend.

BuckeyeNation decided to make a call to an Ohio State commit, another to a Buckeyes target and finished with a high school coach to get their feelings on the season.

We started with Day 1 and the ESPN All-Access series, moved toward the midpoint of the season and finished with their perspective on Ohio State’s 26-21 win over Michigan to close out undefeated.

Here’s what they had to say: BN: What did the All-Access series do in terms of opening recruits’ eyes to the Buckeyes?

Commit Johnny Townsend: “I was surprised at the intensity Urban Meyer has. That was brought to light by the ESPN All-Access show. I really got to see how great he his and how he coaches his players. It was eye-opening to me.”

Recruit Marcelys Jones: “I knew Ohio State was going to be a good team. They’re a real energetic team. It was good to see.”

Shaker Heights (Ohio) coach Jarvis Gibson: “I think that helped quite a bit because it showed the people on the outside who Urban Meyer was internally. It’s difficult to say if it gave them an edge or not. With or without that All-Access, once you sit down with Coach Meyer, he gets the edge from the first time he speaks with you.”

BN: On Oct. 6, Ohio State beat Nebraska 63-38 at the midway point of the season. When did you start thinking the Buckeyes had a chance to go undefeated?

Townsend: “I thought about it then. That’s where I saw that something special. Coach Meyer said there was something special. That’s when I knew something was on the horizon.”

Jones: “I never thought they couldn’t go undefeated. You have hard workers on their team. I knew it was possible.”

Gibson: “I have to be honest. I didn’t know that they’d go undefeated. It was more as time went on. Just listening to the coach as time went on, he said they had holes to fill and they weren’t a good football team. To his credit, he took kids who weren’t his recruits, who didn’t fit his system, and he molded them in a very short time span and went undefeated.”

BN: All three of you were at The Horseshoe to see Ohio State wrap up the season 12-0. What did it mean and how can the Buckeyes use it with recruits?

Townsend: “The sanctions they had might have hurt recruiting last year, but now for 2013 and after that everything is back to normal. The classes will do nothing but get stronger and stronger.”

Jones: “It means a lot to the team. It means a lot to Ohio, too. It was a good game. We all left with a good feeling about the Buckeyes.”

Gibson: “I think it means a lot. Like I said earlier, if he can go 12-0 with kids that don’t really fit the mold, just imagine what happens when he gets the kids in that fit his system. If I’m a kid, I want to be a part of that.”