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Signing day comments from Ohio State coach Urban Meyer

By Marla Ridenour Published: February 5, 2014

Here are some comments from Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer from his weekly radio call-in show on 97.1 The Fan and his signing day press conference:

On last-minute addition, defensive end Darius Slade of Montclair, N.J., who had been committed to Michigan State, and his connection to new assistant head coach/defensive line coach Larry Johnson Sr.: "Darius Slade, I didn't know much about him or who he was," Meyer said at the press conference. "That's Larry Johnson's contact, I guess they've known each other for years and years. (Miami Dolphins defensive tackle) Jared Odrick, who Larry Johnson coached at Penn State, there's a nephew or something. I watched film on him. 'Do we want to take this kid?' I'm thinking, 'Sure."

On who will have the final say in defensive calls of his co-defensive coordinators, Luke Fickell and newcomer Chris Ash: "Right now Luke will," Meyer said at the press conference. "Who has the ultimate say on -- how do I say this? On offense some people would say you need one coordinator. There's certainly one way to go about it. Who has the alternate say on offense. If someone said Tom Herman, I might raise my hand and say I'm not quite sure that's correct at certain times. So Ed Warner at times does. I do. Once again, some people might disagree with that. So Luke Fickell's the defensive coordinator, co-coordinator when there's third down or some type of pass I want a real strong back end presence and that's what we've got."
On upgrades to the linebacking corps: "The linebacker position is one that we’re going through an overhaul right now," Meyer said during his press conference. "Far too many mistakes have been made, either lack of development or whatever. It’s just not where we need to be."

On the four linebacker signees: “The guy I’m as excited about as anybody is Sam Hubbard. He’s 230 pounds now. He played safety, that showed his athleticism,” Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan. “Raekwon (McMillan) is kind of a grown man for his age. He’s doing well. Kyle Berger got hurt, but he might have been the top player in the state of Ohio. Dante Booker was player of the year in the state of Ohio. I’m really anxious to get him here.”

On back-to-back state titles won by Hubbard at Cincinnati Moeller and Booker and athlete Parris Campbell at St. Vincent-St. Mary: "That’s what’s so appealing to me about Dante Booker and Parris Campbell," Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan. "Parris Campbell is kind of an unknown player. He’s only 16 years old. I was at the state championship watching Dante Booker a year ago as a junior. He dominated the game, that’s when we started jumping all over him and he committed to us fairly soon."

On the recruiting rankings, which had OSU's class in the top five: "I think we finished No. 2 or No. 3 in the country," Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan. "Some people say, ‘That’s not important where you finish.’ It is. We’re all competitors. As long as you’re keeping score we’re going to try to do the best we can."

On offensive lineman Jamarco Jones from De La Salle High School in Chicago: "I got the phone call last night from Jamarco (Jones). That was the one, I’m going to be 50 this year and I acted like a 12-year-old when I got the phone call," Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan. "We needed him. He’s a great young man."

On Jones' recruiting visit to Michigan State over the weekend: "We actually want players to take visits. I’d rather it not be the week before Signing Day," Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan. "One thing I know about Jamarco now is he wants to be a Buckeye. His comment to me was, ‘Coach, I just want to make sure.’ You’re talking about someone’s life. You’re talking about a big-time decision."

On Jones and replacing four starters on the offensive line: "He’s big. We need long players," Meyer said on 97.1 The Fan. "We’re losing (LT Jack) Mewhort. Darryl Baldwin is going to be the right tackle this year. (Backup RT) Kyle Dodson might go inside. (Brady) Taylor from Columbus (Bishop Ready) is a 6-5, 290 guy. Jamarco is 6-5, over 300. That’s what’s most impressive about him. We want athleticism, we want guys who can block second-level players. We want to be an extremely athletic team because we go fast."

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