Having transferred to LSU in the spring after losing the competition to be Ohio State’s starting quarterback, Joe Burrow seemingly had little reason to heap praise on Ryan Day.
But Burrow joined the chorus of players who raved about Day on Tuesday after he was named Ohio State’s next coach to replace the retiring Urban Meyer.
“He brought a certain credibility to our room that helped us reach our potential,” Burrow said. “What was unique about him was that he didn’t just know the X’s and O’s. He understood the nuances of being a leader.
“He understood that every person is different and … if you try to coach everybody the same, they will not listen. He not only knew it, but taught it to the quarterbacks. I think that is what will allow him to be wildly successful as a head coach.”
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An Athens native, Burrow took his game to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in May after graduating from Ohio State. A few weeks before, he had been beaten out as the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback by Dwayne Haskins Jr., who had a record-setting season and is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
Burrow, who had a successful season as a starter for the Fiesta Bowl-bound Tigers, said that telling Day that he was going to transfer “was absolutely one of the hardest things about leaving. … I wouldn’t be the player or person I am today without coach Day.”
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Among others who endorsed the promotion of Day was another former Ohio State quarterback, Cardale Jones, who led the Buckeyes to the 2014 national title under the tutelage of Meyer and offensive coordinator Tom Herman, now the coach at Texas.
“Ryan Day is the best thing to happen to the Ohio State offense since the absence of Tom Herman,” Jones tweeted.
Other current and former players took time to acknowledge Meyer’s impact on their careers.
Meyer “took my game to the NEXT level,” former quarterback Braxton Miller said on Twitter.
Former safety Tyvis Powell tweeted that it “was truly an honor to play for not only the best coach in America, but a great mentor as well.”
And former Ohio State linebacker Joshua Perry lauded Meyer's accomplishments on the field and off. It’s the latter, he said, where Meyer “touched people’s lives. He’s placed his athletes in positions to become successful, whether that’s going to ‘the league’ or transitioning into the next aspect of their lives.”
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Among current Buckeyes, running back J.K. Dobbins tweeted: “Thank you for everything @OSUCoachMeyer.”
Punter Drue Chrisman added: “Nothing but love for this man right here. Couldn’t thank him enough for what he’s done for me and my family. The standard he has set here at Ohio State will continue to go on and we’ll be just fine.”
And backup quarterback Tate Martell had a message for both his current and future coach. “Coach Meyer, thank you. Coach Day, let’s do this.” He added later, “Everything’s gonna be all right.”