Ohio State Football: Latest Gator Bowl News and Updates

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst IDecember 14, 2011

Ohio State Football: Latest Gator Bowl News and Updates

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    Ohio State's Gator Bowl showdown against the Florida Gators is just weeks away in the unofficial Urban Meyer Bowl.

    Most of the news surrounding Ohio State has been about the effect Meyer has had in the two weeks since his hire as OSU's next head coach.

    Not much has come out specifically about the Buckeyes' plans for the Gator Bowl, but the news that has come out of Columbus has been nothing but positive for the Buckeyes.

    Here is a look at the major stories around Ohio State.

Schutt, Pittman Commit to Ohio State Within Hours of Each Other

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    Ohio State's recruiting class for 2012 had been anything but special for the past few months before Meyer's arrival.

    Not too many top-tier prospects wanted to come to Ohio State because they had no idea who would be the next head coach nor what penalties the NCAA would slap Ohio State with.

    That all changed this past weekend as Meyer hosted a group of stud recruits including DT Tommy Schutt, then-Michigan State commit Se'Von Pittman and OT Jordan Diamond, among others.

    Monday, Schutt announced he was coming to Ohio State, and Pittman, a native of Canton, OH, decided just hours later he would come too.

    Those two commits alone jumped Ohio State's class to No. 9 on Scout.com.

Another Big Recruiting Weekend on the Horizon

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    Ohio State's recruiting has been pretty good in the last few years of the Jim Tressel era, but these last few weeks have generated more buzz than OSU has on the recruiting trail in years.

    Five-star prospects Cyrus Jones and Noah Spence, sudden fans of the Buckeyes, will be in town this coming weekend in the last recruiting weekend before the dead period that accompanies the bowl season.

    Jones and Spence are from states where the Buckeyes have gone to in past years but have not been able to reel in players of that caliber that often.

    It's unlikely that either player commits right after that weekend, but considering each could commit at their respective high school All-American games, Ohio State gets a chance to make a big statement in where these young men will play college football.

Could Everett Withers Coach at Ohio State?

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    Ohio State's new staff under Meyer already has incumbent staff members Luke Fickell and Stan Drayton, with Mike Vrabel's future uncertain.

    Tom Herman was hired a week ago to be the QB coach and at least have a share of the offensive coordinator job.

    The latest buzz is that interim North Carolina coach Everett Withers will be named to Meyer's staff as a co-defensive coordinator alongside Fickell.

    Withers' track record is very impressive considering the defenses he has had at North Carolina in the past.

Charlie Weis Leaves Florida for Kansas

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    Florida's coaching situation became more tenuous when offensive coordinator Charlie Weis left Gainesville after one year to become the head coach at Kansas.

    Weis' pro-style offense has had its ups and downs this season, largely due to the instability and lack of production at the QB position.

    He will not coach in the Gator Bowl, meaning RB coach Brian White will take over the playcalling duties while the Gators look for their third offensive coordinator in three years.

    That could technically play into Florida's advantage because White's playcalling tendencies could be very different from Weis'.

Tom Herman: Ohio State's Mensa Coach

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    Ohio State's newest offensive coach Tom Herman is among the rising stars in college football coaching, though most people haven't heard of him.

    What most people don't know either is that Herman is actually a member of Mensa, which is the society for people with very high intelligence.

    Bruce Feldman's blog post which is linked to above gives a great insight into Herman's mind and the advantage that can provide.

    He will obviously be coming into a great situation, having a surplus of talent to work with at Ohio State compared to that at Iowa State.

    What he does with Braxton Miller is going to be a fun adventure.

Brionte Dunn Reaffirms Commitment to Ohio State

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    It seemed for the past few months that Ohio State commit Brionte Dunn would jump ship to Michigan much like OT Kyle Kalis did months before when Jim Tressel left Ohio State.

    But Dunn looks like he has dropped that stance and is fully committed to Ohio State once again.

    Dunn seemed a little hesitant to stay onboard when Meyer came because of his history with spread offenses and how he doesn't typically use power backs.

    Meyer, however, said in his introductory press conference that he has not had the opportunity to use big backs like he says he wants to do.

    Dunn can be that guy, and time will tell if he comes to Columbus as an early enrollee or not.

Taylor Graham Transferring

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    Taylor Graham is planning on transferring out of Ohio State after being the fourth QB last season behind Braxton Miller, Joe Bauserman and Kenny Guiton.

    The redshirt freshman has requested and received permission to seek a transfer.

    He might not be a fit for Meyer's offense, especially with Miller coming on strong and growing so much over the final weeks of the regular season.



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