Bill Davis was a between-jobs NFL assistant coach when he came to visit an old friend during Ohio State’s training camp last summer.

That old friend happened to be Urban Meyer.

The visit turned into a volunteer assistant gig with the Buckeyes in 2016, which Davis said he turned down NFL offers to keep. Now he is Ohio State’s new linebackers coach, succeeding Luke Fickell, who became the University of Cincinnati head coach.

From the first day, Ohio State outside linebacker Jerome Baker understood that things would be different. Davis ran his meeting room like an NFL one. In other words, it wouldn’t be Linebackers 101.

“His style is geared toward pro athletes,” Baker said. “You could tell he’d been in the NFL for a few years.

“There are a lot of things he’ll say and you have to really study it and really understand that he (expects) that you understand it. If you don’t, you have to ask a question. He’s not going to keep going back and going over it. If you have something you’re struggling on, you have to go ask him.”

Baker aspires to play in the NFL, where Davis coached for 24 years, so he has no issue with Davis’ approach. Fickell prodded his players hard, too.

“I’ve got to be me,” Davis said. “I have a long coaching background. I’m going to give these guys what I have, my knowledge. I’m going to push them, drive them in my own way.

“Coach Fickell has moved on to Cincinnati. He’s got his way and I’ve got my way. But at the end of the day, the 'backers on the field have to play great football. That’s our jobs.”

Davis, 50, was born in Youngstown and grew up a Buckeyes fan. His father was a coach, and the Davises moved often as a kid.

“We were everywhere,” said Davis, who picked up a bit of a Southern accent along the way.

Davis played for the University of Cincinnati, where he befriended Meyer.

“We knew we’d get into coaching eventually,” Davis said. “That was a bond from the get-go.

“He had a passion for the game like I had a passion. You get like-minded people around you like you pick all your friends. That’s what it was.”

They became so close that Davis was best man at Meyer’s wedding. Shelley Meyer said that in his toast, Davis thanked Urban for his friendship and joked that the guys at the wedding were jealous that Urban got to marry her.

Meyer and Davis’ coaching paths didn’t intersect for the next quarter-century, but they got together when they could.

Now they’ll coach together for the first time. Davis is new to recruiting, but he’s undaunted by the challenge.

“Like I told coach Meyer, it’s a positive,” he said. “You tell me how you want it done, and that’s how you’re going to get it done. I’m a blank slate and he’s going to make it whatever he wants it to be. So I’m attacking the recruiting trail like the rest of the staff is.”

Coaching under a friend can have its issues, but Davis said it won’t be for him and Meyer.

“I know the coaching world,” he said. “He’s the boss. When I’m out here coaching, I’m a position coach under him as a head coach.”