Urban Meyer explains why he hired Kevin Wilson, and the vetting process

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Thursday February 02, 2017

It didn’t take long for Kevin Wilson to land a new job after his departure from Indiana amid allegations of player mistreatment, but Urban Meyer backs it.

Wilson joined Ohio State’s staff as offensive coordinator last month, and Meyer opened up on the topic for the first time at Wednesday’s Signing Day press conference, saying Wilson was thoroughly vetted.

That was immediate. I went to (OSU AD) Gene Smith, and Gene Smith talked to (president Michael) Drake because, like anything, there's stories that get thrown out there,” Meyer said. “I talked to Kevin myself at great length. I talked to others that knew him that were there. Gene Smith did, as well.

“I already knew just because I knew the guy, but I wanted to hear what goes on and whether it's a disgruntled player, whether it's an issue with the trainer, whether it's an issue with some — I just needed to find out, and so did my bosses.”

Indiana athletic director Fred Glass would only cite “philosophical differences” when it was announced Wilson resigned back in December. But it was the first time in decades the Hoosiers reached two straight bowls, so it was more than just that. ESPN and the Indianapolis Star reported there were instances of rushing players back into playing while recovering from injury.  

Glass said there was no “smoking gun,” but that it was an issue they had discussed in previous years as well. For Meyer, everything checked out OK.

It was rather quick, and it came back everything was good,” Meyer said. “There was some misunderstandings, philosophical differences, which I understand that. I wanted to know what they were, and we proceeded.”

As for where Wilson will help on the field, Meyer immediately said it’s about throwing the ball better. The Buckeyes have struggled in the passing game for two straight years since Tom Herman left after the 2014 national title.

Wilson’s Indiana offenses were among the most explosive in the Big Ten, and Meyer said he never liked playing the Hoosiers.

“I was going through all our stats, we led the Big Ten in offense this year. I think there's three or four out of five years, in scoring offenses,” Meyer said. “No. 1 in 3rd down conversions. Where before we wanted to be 250-250 (yards). I believe we were 250 rushing. We were only 213 passing, and we want to be 250-250.

“I'm going to be perfectly clear, though, this is the Ohio State offense, and we're going to enhance it and make it better. … We have to get back to that, and we have to play with better tempo. That's where Tom Herman really enhanced our offense. He brought a tempo to us. And I know Coach Wilson and (new quarterbacks coach) Ryan Day are very much used to that.”

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.