www.baltimoresun.com/sports/ravens/os-recruiting-chris-hays-column-urban-meyer-ohio-state-florida-20120425,0,2498502.column

baltimoresun.com

The Prospector: Urban Meyer makes first Florida mark as Ohio State head coach

Chris Hays

The Prospector

4:13 AM EDT, April 25, 2012

Advertisement

About the same time late last year that Urban Meyer was hired as Ohio State’s head football coach, I speculated that Meyer’s former presence in Florida could work toward the advantage of the Buckeyes’ recruiting in the Sunshine State (The Prospector: It just got more difficult recruiting Florida with Urban Meyer at Ohio State, Dec. 1, 2011).

In fact, a day after he was hired, Meyer was already on the phone to then Florida State commitment Dante Fowler to try and convince him to consider the Buckeyes instead of the Seminoles, or, as it turned out, the Gators. Fowler, of course, signed with the Gators, but the writing was on the wall as for Meyer’s intentions.

The red-coats were coming.

Many of us so-called experts said Meyer’s hiring at Ohio State would not make much of a dent in the Florida talent pool and schools like Florida, Florida State and Miami would still have their regular shots at landing the state’s top prospects.

I still disagree and even though it’s taken Meyer a little longer than I expected for him to make his first mark in Florida turf, he landed a big one on Monday in Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Joey Bosa.

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Bosa, the 24th-ranked player in the country by 247sports.com and the son of former Miami Dolphins defensive end John Bosa (1987-89), told Christy Cabrera Chirinos of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel he fell in love with OSU on his first visit, and then this past weekend’s visit to the Buckeyes' spring game just solidified his thinking.

"The first time I went up there last weekend, right after leaving, I had that feeling that everyone told me I'd have when I found where I wanted to go," said Bosa, who also attended Florida's spring game April 14th. "I told myself to wait it out, but the feeling didn't go away. So I went up [again] for the spring game and it felt right at the moment."

The red coats are here.

Bosa is the No. 19-ranked player in the Sentinel’s Florida Top 100 and could move up with the next rankings update this week.

Meyer has more Sunshine prospects ... big ones.

Next up for Ohio State? Probably Naples Barron-Collier TE Mike Heuerman. But after that, maybe CB Vernon Hargreaves at Tampa Wharton? Could it be S Leon McQuay at Seffner Armwood? Orlando’s Marcell Harris, a safety at Dr. Phillips. Fort Lauderdale University WR Jordan Cunningham?

Somebody will pop again for the Buckeyes, it just seems inevitable. Jacksonville Bishop Kenny WR Ahmad Fulwood is committed to the Gators, but schools won’t leave him alone. Alabama was in town Monday, and Ohio State also has an offer out to the No. 10-ranked player in the Sentinel’s Florida Top 100 .

Sure, Florida schools will always have plenty of prospects to pick from their own home state, as nearly 400 players sign to NCAA Division I-A schools every year, but the big dawgs are going to be targeted by Ohio State more so than ever before.

Florida-dominated rosters won Meyer two national titles at UF. While he may be considered many different things to many different people, the one thing he is not is stupid. He goes after talent wherever it’s located. He raided California several times while at UF.

Ohio State has 23 known offers to Florida 2013 prospects right now, and the number will grow with spring practice set to start here May 1.

Yep, the red coats are definitely coming, and Urban Meyer is on the lead horse.


Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at chays@tribune.com. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting.