- Jared Shanker, ESPN Staff Writer
At his news conference last Tuesday announcing his intention to sign with Ohio State, ESPNU 150 defensive end Adolphus Washington had a bit of a slip when he mentioned playing for Urban Meyer in 2012.
Asked if he knew Meyer would be the next coach, the Cincinnati Taft lineman answered, "I hope so."
On Monday, Washington got his wish.
ESPN sources say Meyer will take over at Ohio State and for many of the Buckeyes' top commitments, it's news they have been hearing for a while. Since former coach Jim Tressel resigned under pressure in May, Meyer -- an Ohio native who was a graduate assistant at Ohio State in the late '80s -- has been discussed as the eventual replacement. Three-star Lancaster (Ohio) linebacker Luke Roberts heard the rumors of Meyer coming to Columbus back in the summer.
"When rumors started spreading he'd be the next coach at Ohio State, I was a little hesitant to believe them," Roberts said. He added that Meyer's arrival is "good for the program."
Roberts is still planning to graduate high school in January and enroll at Ohio State for the spring quarter in March. The coaching change has done nothing to switch up those plans.
Much like Roberts, Pickerington (Ohio) North's Pat Elflein, the No. 22 offensive guard in the country, heard about the rumors immediately following Tressel's resignation. Elflein has called the past few weeks "crazy" as the rumors picked up about Meyer moving to Ohio State.
Luke Fickell, who was the interim coach this season, was Elflein's lead recruiter, so Elflein said he has a lot of questions for Meyer, but there is no chance of a decommitment.
"I'm gonna ask some questions to see what [the new staff] is all about," Elflein said. "I want to know about offseason and in-season workout schedules and what not -- every team has a different goal with workouts -- and offensive and defensive schemes."
Offensively, Meyer likes to run the spread option, which he had unprecedented success with in the SEC at Florida. That offensive scheme has three-star Upper Arlington (Ohio) receiver Frank Epitropoulos intrigued.
"I'm very excited to play for Coach Meyer," Epitropoulos wrote in a text message. "He has had success with his offense and I see that carrying over here at OSU."
Epitropoulos, who lives in the shadow of Ohio Stadium in the Upper Arlington area of Columbus, echoed the same sentiments of a lot of commitments when he said he hopes Luke Fickell and some of the other assistants remain on the new staff.
Three-star Glenville Cleveland safety De'Van Bogard said he'll be a little sad to see some of the members of the previous staff go.
"You commit with those coaches," Bogard said. "They got you and offered you, but it's also a good thing to see new coaches. You just got to bond with them and let them get to know you and you get to know them."
Roberts committed to the coaching staff in July, but he said more so than anything he committed to Ohio State.
"I've built a relationship with [linebackers] coach [Mike] Vrabel and Coach Fickell especially," Roberts said, "but I committed to the university and not a group of coaches."
Four-star Jeannette (Pa.) safety Demetrious Cox said he doesn't have too many initial thoughts on the hiring, but thinks the hire has Ohio State going in the right direction. Cox has Ohio State among his leaderboard and unofficially visited the Buckeyes for their final home game of the season.
"That is a great move for Ohio State and hopefully he could get the program back to the top of the Big Ten," Cox said.
448dTom Luginbill and Craig Haubert