With the news of Urban Meyer’s retirement breaking on Monday, one immediate question was about whether there would be any recruiting fallout from that news.
Meyer said on Monday that new head coach Ryan Day will now go on the road recruiting as the head coach. Meyer would still meet with recruits on campus potentially, because he has prior relationships with them.
"After we get out of here, it's going to be a sprint to get out on the road recruiting and get into some homes,” Day said. “The response so far has been very enthusiastic."
“Ryan Day has probably been their best recruiter in this 2019 class,” 247Sports Ohio analyst Bill Greene said. “They lost Zach Smith, who was a good recruiter, prior to the 2019 class, Kerry Coombs left, who was a great recruiter, and so Ohio State needed Day to step up and he’s been great. I think he will be fine in that area. It’s too much to expect him to be Urban Meyer, one of the best recruiting head coaches in the country, but he’s going to do well as a recruiter.”
With the staff remaining intact, the area recruiters and position coaches who the Buckeyes’ 2019 class has built their relationships with will still be in Columbus. As a result, the seniors committed to the Buckeyes who have reacted thus far, have reacted positively to Day’s hiring.
Oak Park quarterback Dwan Mathis, who committed to Ohio State in June, quickly responded to any questions about that commitment by reiterating that he would be signing with Ohio State on social media. Mathis will sign on Dec. 19, the first day of the early signing period.
Day served as Mathis’ primary recruiter.
He was also the primary recruiter of two five-star commits, wide receiver Garrett Wilson and offensive lineman Harry Miller. Wilson tweeted that he was “1000% committed” almost immediately following the news breaking.
Several other members of Ohio State’s class, like four-star St. Louis (Mo.) Cardinal Ritter wide receiver Jameson Williams and Fort Wayne (Ind.) Wayne athlete Craig Young have also stated they will remain firm in their commitments to the Buckeyes.
“The early reports are good right now, but we will see if all the kids do sign (early),” Greene said. “One trouble spot for them for the past month or so has been Jordan Battle (a four-star safety out of St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale). That one seemed dependent on whether or not he would play for Urban Meyer. Both Ohio State and Alabama have in-home visits with him tonight, so that could be pretty telling. I think that will be a tough one for them to hang onto.”
Several of the Buckeyes’ junior commitments, including quarterback Jack Miller, have reiterated their commitments.
The top-ranked prospect in that class for Ohio State is Cincinnati St. Xavier offensive tackle Paris Johnson, a five-star who verbally committed to the Buckeyes in June.
“Paris and I want to thank Coach Meyer and his wife Shelley for their kindness and generosity during the recruitment process and beyond,” his mother Monica Johnson said. “They have truly made us feel like family. While we are disappointed in this morning’s announcement, we are continuing to process the news.”
Under the current NCAA rules, seniors who have taken official visits to Ohio State may now take a second official there because of the coaching change.
Juniors like Johnson and Miller can take unofficial visits to any school of their choice, but cannot take official visits until the end of the spring.
Allen Trieu covers Midwest football recruiting for 247Sports. He has been featured on the Big Ten Network on its annual Signing Day Show. His Michigan and Michigan State recruiting columns appear weekly at detroitnews.com.