Urban Meyer long has coached his football teams to send kickoffs deep into the corner of the field, ideally landing between the 10-yard line and the goal line.

But will the Ohio State coach stick with that in the face of a major change in the kickoff rules for 2018? Beginning this season, the receiving team will get the ball at the 25-yard line anytime it makes a fair catch inside the 25.

“As of now, I think so, but to be determined,” Meyer said.

>> Video: Urban Meyer on new kickoff rules for 2018

Since 2012, when a touchback on a kickoff resulted in the receiving team taking possession at the 25-yard line instead of the 20, Meyer has pressed his kickers to pop up kicks toward the left corner of the field and take the chance of tackling the returner before he reaches the 25.

As a result, the Buckeyes have finished in the top 10 nationally in kickoff-return defense in three of the past four seasons: No. 9 in 2014, No. 3 in ’15 and No. 10 last season.

Furthermore, statistics from 2017 show that Ohio State forced opponents to return kickoffs more times (82) than any other team in the nation, giving up an average of 17.4 yards per return. That average includes two taken the distance the other way: a 100-yard return for touchdown by Maryland’s Ty Johnson and a 97-yard return for a TD by Penn State’s Saquon Barkley on the opening kickoff.

Of the Buckeyes’ 104 total kickoffs, 12 were touchbacks, two were onside attempts, and eight went out of bounds, giving the opponent the ball at the 35-yard line.

When receiving the ball, meanwhile, Ohio State ranked 17th last season in return yardage, averaging 24.2 yards on 28 attempts.

The NCAA enacted the rule change for a fair catch as a way to reduce the chance of multiple high-speed collisions that occur with more frequency on kickoffs than any other play. Meyer indicated that it will lead to a coaching conundrum from week to week.

“It depends on the team you’re playing,” he said. “If you can create an advantage, we’ll return it. If not, you fair-catch it.

“It remains to be seen how people handle it, because we’re very unique on our kickoff style. It’s going to be interesting to see teams’ philosophy against us.”

Last year’s best

The top 10 college football teams in kickoff-return defense in 2017:

 SchoolGKORTBYdsTDAvg. 1 Michigan 12 37 32 555 0 15.00 2 Kansas St. 13 38 43 630 0 16.58 3 Bowling Green 12 44 18 735 0 16.70 4 New Mexico 12 9 39 151 0 16.70 5 UTEP 12 11 21 186 0 16.91 6 Iowa 13 37 32 632 0 17.08 7 Tulane 12 34 21 587 0 17.26 8 Fla. Atlantic 14 23 77 399 0 17.35 9 Stanford 14 26 58 452 0 17.38 10 Ohio State 14 82 12 1428 2 17.41