Urban Meyer said Ohio State has to seize momentum when it has it in when it comes to recruiting during a bye week.
Coming off two big wins over then-nationally ranked Wisconsin at home and currently ranked Northwestern on the road certainly doesn’t hurt. Then again, neither does having the nation’s longest winning streak at 18 games.
While the computers haven’t taken notice and writers are skeptical of a weak conference and not-too-strong nonconference schedule, the future is buying in and it’s buying in big time.
Coming off a third-ranked class in 2013, this year’s installment is ranked ninth and can close strong once again with a handful of ESPN 300 stars eyeing the Buckeyes.
What’s the common denominator? Winning.
“Urban Meyer’s success throughout his career definitely has a big effect on recruiting,” said Ohio State ESPN 300 cornerback pledge Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech). “For recruits to know that they have a chance to play for a national championship and also get a chance to play at the next level gives Ohio State a boost when it comes to recruiting prospects.”
Playing for national championships was the recurring theme among Buckeyes commits who were asked about what attracted them to Columbus.
Athlete Malik Hooker (New Castle, Pa./New Castle) hadn’t been to a game before the season and saw all he needed in Meyer and the Buckeyes, saying the two-time national champion coach is a proven winner and the team’s success is something that can’t be ignored.
For players such as outside linebacker Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller), who was committed to Notre Dame for lacrosse, seeing a winning tradition and promising future made the choice to flip schools and sports easy.
“Personally, I know that the success Urban Meyer has had was a key factor in my decision, he said. “All of these great high school athletes are competitive and want to play somewhere that they will be successful, so the success he has had plays a major role in recruitment.”
ESPN 300 outside linebacker Kyle Berger (Cleveland/St. Ignatius) pointed to the winning atmosphere that Meyer and Ohio State both foster, and wide receiver Terry McLaurin (Indianapolis/Cathedral) lauded the program for pushing players to become better.
Or as quarterback pledge Stephen Collier (Leesburg, Ga./Lee County) put it, winning breeds winners.
“I think the fact Coach Meyer has had so much success shows just how important a good coach is to a program,” Collier said. “It definitely affects recruiting just because you know with Coach Meyer you’re going to win games and have a chance to play for a national title.”
All the Ohio State commits mentioned talk about a united front as the self-titled “Dream 14” class pushes forward.
All are heavily involved in recruiting and use the 18-0 mark as a point of emphasis while pushing the product even more.
“Basically, OSU is the whole package: A great education, unbelievable coaches, a winning program, campus atmosphere and the best food on a college campus,” Berger said. “OSU has it all and is the best program and college to prepare us for the ultimate goal, a successful life.”
The Buckeyes have stayed home with six Ohioans in the class, but currently count 12 pledges from 10 other states to once again prove an undefeated record and Meyer’s pull reach far beyond the state’s borders.
“It’s drawing kids from all around because every competitor wants to win,” Lancaster (Ohio) offensive tackle and Buckeyes commit Kyle Trout said. “I tell them it’s a great fit for you if you like hard work, a close brotherhood and crystal balls. We are going to win and it’s going to be a great ride.”
With Iowa (4-2), Penn State (3-2), Purdue (1-4), Illinois (3-2) and Indiana (3-2) up next before a game at Michigan (5-0). that winning streak might reach the twenties before a trip to Ann Arbor, Mich.
“Coach Meyer puts together one of the best coaching staffs in the nation,” Collier said. “But they don’t care about just wins; they also want to help you become a man. There’s no place like The Ohio State University.”