Ohio State Football: Why Urban Meyer Must Land a Star Quarterback for 2015
USA TODAY Sports
Nobody could successfully argue with Urban Meyer's track record on the recruiting trail.
Through three recruiting cycles in Columbus, the Ohio State head coach has brought the Buckeyes a trio of top-5 classes, including the nation's second-ranked class in 2013 and No. 3 class in 2014, per 247Sports. Even in 2012, when Meyer arrived on campus with two months to go until national signing day, he managed to turn what was at the time an unimpressive class into the country's fifth best.
But in his first two-and-a-half years at the helm at Ohio State, one position in particular has seemed to elude the two-time national champion head coach. And it happens to be the most important on the football field.
Despite his successful track record with the likes of Josh Harris, Alex Smith, Tim Tebow and Braxton Miller, Meyer still hasn't managed to attract a star quarterback to Columbus during his time with the Buckeyes. Sure, 2017 commit and all-everything sophomore Danny Clark waits in the wings, but there remains a two-season gap between Miller's departure and Clark's arrival in Columbus.
Jay LaPrete/Associated Press/Associated Press
It's not that Ohio State has failed to add any signal-callers since Meyer arrived, as the Buckeyes have signed Cardale Jones (2012), J.T. Barrett (2013) and Stephen Collier (2014) in the past three classes. But Meyer is yet to have landed a big-name, blue-chip quarterback at OSU, with the Buckeyes having missed on the likes of Deshaun Watson and Kyle Allen a year ago. And while Barrett may have been Ohio State's top choice in 2013, he lacks the athleticism and star power that have made Miller and Terrelle Pryor such successes in Columbus the past seven years.
But fortunately for Meyer and the Buckeyes, one of their top quarterback targets in the 2015 class remains uncommitted. And all recent indications are that the up-and-down recruitment of Fort Lauderdale American Heritage 5-star quarterback Torrance Gibson has hit another peak for Ohio State.
Although it seemed as though the Buckeyes had ended their pursuit of the Sunshine State star just weeks ago, that no longer appears to be the case. With Ohio State's big "Friday Night Lights" camp approaching on Friday, Gibson informed Cleveland.com on Monday that he is currently planning on making his first trip to Columbus for a visit.
"Yeah, it looks like I'm visiting," Gibson said. "I will know for sure if I am going (later Monday afternoon)."
Gibson later confirmed his impeding visit, via his Twitter account:
It's official I will be visiting The Ohio State University this week! 🙌🅾 #BuckeyeNation 🔴⭕️— Torrance Gibson (@quick_tg6) July 22, 2014
That bodes well for the Buckeyes, who have remained at the forefront of Gibson's recruitment despite having yet to receive a visit from the highly touted prospect. At 6'4" and 200 pounds, Gibson is an athletic freak comparable to Miller and Pryor who could conceivably step right in and make an immediate impact in Meyer's spread offense.
Landing Gibson won't be an easy task, however, as the dual-threat quarterback has already taken multiple trips to Tennessee and Auburn and has also shown a strong interest in LSU. Nearby Miami (Florida) also remains a factor in Gibson's recruitment, but his upcoming trip to Columbus shouldn't be seen as anything but a positive sign for Ohio State's chances.
And with no clear succession plan in place for Miller's departure, that could make this upcoming weekend one of the most important in the Buckeyes' 2015 recruiting cycle. Ohio State does already have 3-star prospect Joe Burrow committed to its upcoming class, but the addition of Gibson would make an unparalleled splash across the college football landscape.
But don't expect a commitment from Gibson this weekend—or anytime soon for that matter. With some of the nation's top schools chasing after him, Gibson appears intent on allowing his recruitment drag out all the way until national signing day.
But for a program with one star on his way out the door, the wait to add another would be well worth it in Columbus. Meyer and the Buckeyes may have not added a star signal-caller since Miller arrived in 2011, but Ohio State's upcoming weekend could go a long way toward changing that.
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