Ohio State Football: Is John Simon the Best Player Urban Meyer Has Ever Coached?
Urban Meyer hasn't been coaching for very long—the guy's still only 48, after all—but he's been around some great teams and great players in his time, and that legacy's going to continue apace for as long as he's at Ohio State.
To that end, during one of Meyer's weekly radio shows on 97.1 in Columbus, he fielded what he called a "softball" question about defensive end John Simon and his leadership. And then, per Eleven Warriors, Meyer dropped a rather substantial compliment for Simon:
Urban calls John Simon one of the greatest players he's ever coached/been around— Alex 11W (@alex11w) August 30, 2012
The O-Zone caught this as well, quoting Meyer as saying Simon was "as good as I've ever been around."
Now, there is a difference between "one of the greatest" and the greatest. And considering the caliber of player Urban Meyer had at quarterback while he was at Florida...
...we're probably not going to see Tim Tebow's throne get usurped. But let's take a look at some of the other greats that Meyer has coached.
Alex Smith, Utah QB, 2003-2004
Yes, Urban Meyer did coach a No. 1 overall NFL draft pick. And despite Smith's spotty track record in the NFL, he was an absolute beast in college.
In his senior year, Smith threw for 2952 yards, 32 touchdowns, four interceptions and registered a sensational 176.52 passer efficiency rating. That would have been third in the nation last season behind only Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin III. Add in over 600 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns—and an undefeated season to boot—and Smith was an absolute legend.
Reggie Nelson, Florida S, 2005-2006
Nelson was a two-year player for Meyer, spending one year of eligibility at Coffeyville C.C. and leaving Florida early after his junior year. That early entry to the NFL was justified, since Nelson turned in an unholy 2006 season.
Nelson delivered big hit after big hit over the course of his Florida career, and that reputation led to this iconic scene of Georgia WR Mohammed Massaquoi lying down instead of running a route toward the oncoming Nelson (the video of this has sadly been scrubbed from YouTube, but it was oh so real). Nelson was the heart and soul of that championship-winning defense.
The Brothers Pouncey, Florida OLs, 2007-2010
Rarely do you see a pair of twin brothers play football for the same school, much less both dominate. But that's what happened with brothers Mike and Maurkice Pouncey.
Maurkice started most of his true freshman season at right guard, then ended up at center over the next two years, before winning the Rimington Award in 2009 and joining the NFL thereafter.
Mike, meanwhile, spent time at defensive line as a freshman before rejoining the OL and taking over at center for Maurkice in 2010. He, like Maurkice, was a first-team All-American in 2009 and ended up being a first-round NFL draft pick.
So, John Simon isn't on Tim Tebow's level—which is probably a good thing for the sanity of all involved. But would you rather have him than any of the other guys listed? Tough to say no, isn't it?
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