Tennessee isn’t the only college-football program that has been interested in an Ohio State assistant coach recently.
Buckeyes defensive coordinator Greg Schiano’s ill-fated deal with Tennessee made national news this week. But Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said on his radio call-in show Thursday that Schiano wasn’t alone in being pursued.
“We have had two coaches be contacted about becoming a head coach, and one assistant coach just turned down an opportunity to be a coordinator somewhere,” Meyer said on his call-in show on 97.1 The Fan (WBNS-FM).
Meyer did not name the coaches or programs involved.
The introduction of an early signing period for recruits, starting Dec. 20, has accelerated the urgency for schools to hire coaches earlier. It also has made it harder for coaches in transition to stay at their current school after the regular season because they will need to recruit sooner at their new one.
That’s an issue for teams in conference championship games, as Ohio State is.
“I don’t want to have those conversations now because we expect laser focus" on Saturday’s Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin, Meyer said. “I can say this: My staff is very professional. At some point, if you want to leave to be a head coach, those are conversations to have. But the early signing date has moved everything up.
“We’re one of a handful of teams still playing. Everyone else is done. You can see people making coaching changes. Our players deserve the very best, and that’s why I feel so great about our staff" for not jumping to those jobs.
J.T. Barrett, Nick Bosa and Billy Price were honored as the best at their position in individual Big Ten awards.
Barrett won the Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year award for the third time. Barrett has completed 66.2 percent of his passes and thrown for 33 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in leading an offense that ranks fourth nationally in yardage and fifth in scoring. Ohio State has won the Griese-Brees award five times in the past six years. Braxton Miller won it in 2012 and ’13.
Bosa won the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year award. The sophomore from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, leads the Buckeyes with 12 tackles for loss, including six sacks for minus-44 yards. He also has six quarterback hurries.
Bosa keeps alive the Buckeyes’ four-year streak in the Smith-Brown award. Tyquan Lewis won it last year, and Bosa’s brother, Joey, won it in 2014 and ‘15.
Price, a fifth-year senior from Austintown, won the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year award. Price is the only remaining starter from Ohio State’s 2014 postseason run to the first College Football Playoff championship. A three-year starter at guard, Price moved to center this season and anchored a line that has steadily improved.
The two-time captain has started a school-record 53 games. Price is the third-straight Buckeye to win the Rimington-Pace award. Pat Elflein won it last year, and Taylor Decker won it in 2015.