Urban: 'The NFL doesn't come in and say they want a good zone cornerback'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Tuesday April 04, 2017

Ohio State can make its case as “DBU” right now, and Urban Meyer points specifically to the cornerback development.

Since Meyer and assistant Kerry Coombs arrived in 2012, the Buckeyes have had three corners drafted, including two in the first round. Coombs said the Buckeyes can go six or seven deep at the position in 2017. Meyer wouldn’t go that far, but he knows how good OSU has been there, and how they play it.

“We have job description for corners, and that’s play man-to-man,” Meyer said. “If we want to help them out, we play man-to-man. It’s amazing what our corners do. Coach Coombs, we’ve been very good on defense the last two years, and it starts with corners, because it frees you up to do everything else. Keep recruiting, keep developing.

The NFL never has come and said, ‘We’re looking for a really good zone corner.’ They want man-to-man guys, and so do we, and that’s what we ask our players to do. They wake up and play man-to-man, they go to sleep playing man-to-man. That’s why they get so good at it.”

Meyer said the defensive line is the strength of the defense right now, but the Buckeyes have had problems in the trenches on the other side.

Citing several misses in recruiting, Meyer said it set last year’s offensive line back, and it was evident when the Buckeyes allowed three sacks and 11 tackles for loss in the Playoff against Clemson.

“More than a few. Can’t do that,” Meyer said of misses. “What happens is you have a year like we did last year. A true freshman should not play. That’s because there were some players didn’t develop, some things happened, dog ate my homework, whatever it is. That should not happen. Very disappointed in that. We can’t miss again.”

Offensive line can be the toughest position to predict, because you don’t know players will grow. Meyer has three factors he looks at in recruiting, but they need to develop better when they get to Columbus.

“No. 1 is toughness. If you have to worry about the toughness of a lineman, you’ve made a horrible mistake,” he said. “You have to be athletic, able to move, get leverage on players. And you have to be the ultimate grinder. If you’re not that, it’s called a miss. There are some young guys coming on, but we had two classes in there that didn’t turn out.”

Ohio State’s spring game is April 15.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with CoachingSearch.com and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News, MLive.com, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to chris@coachingsearch.com.