For the second time in his career, Urban Meyer has abruptly announced his retirement from football. The Ohio State Buckeyes seemed prepared for this announcement, though, and quickly introduced current offensive coordinator Ryan Day as the new head coach.
Day has a five year, 22.5 million dollar contract and acts the part of a man prepared to lead one of the top programs in the nation. He served as interim head coach during Meyer’s three game suspension earlier this season, going 3-0 during that time.
Day spoke to the media on Tuesday, and he was clear about one way the new coaching staff would change their approach to finding success: recruiting the state of Ohio.
“To the high school coaches in Ohio: We have the best coaches and some of the best high school programs in all of America here at Ohio,” Day said. “And it will continue to be our first priority to recruit Ohio football players.”
Due to Urban Meyer's success in the SEC and the continued success of the Buckeye program, Ohio State has spent a great deal of time recruiting the south in recent years. They have had the presence to pull players from Florida, Georgia, and Alabama to their program that has regularly dominated the Big 10.
Given their focus on recruiting the south, Mark Stoops’ staff has found great success in stepping in and stealing high school talent from Ohio that was overlooked by Meyer and his staff. In the last three seasons, Vince Marrow has brought in multiple star players that helped lead the Kentucky Wildcats to their best season in decades this year.
If Day refocuses recruiting on in-state players, it could slow down Kentucky’s progress on recruiting in the state of Ohio. On the surface, Meyer skipping down should only help the Kentucky staff. But increased attention from Day and his staff could make a significant difference.
“Every young football player in the state of Ohio should dream about one day becoming a Buckeye,” Day said. “And it’s our staff’s responsibility to make sure we recruit them at the highest level.”
Your move, Stoops and Marrow.