Jon Gruden went on Colin Cowherd’s radio show on Thursday and the topic shifted to spread offenses and how successful they have been. Gruden pointed to how spread teams that play with tempo have been able to find success against great defensive teams in the SEC, and talked specifically about Ohio State’s run to the national championship and gave Urban Meyer incredibly high praise for the coaching job he did this past season.
“Maybe the best coach in the SEC went to the Big Ten,” Gruden said. “Urban Meyer did the greatest coaching job of all time. Winning a national championship with his third-string quarterback, I’ve never seen that before. … What he did at Ohio State, losing a Heisman Trophy candidate and then doing what he did with two different quarterbacks that were backups. Amazing to me.”
Gruden then discussed how he’s been able to be so successful at Ohio State, and what were the issues that Meyer brought on himself in his last few years at Florida — particularly on the recruiting front.
“He is great at recruiting,” Gruden said. “When he gets an Urban Meyer-kind of roster — I think what happened at Florida, he won the national titles, and then he wanted to be the No. 1 recruiting coach in the league and probably signed some players that didn’t fit the Urban Meyer profile.
When he went to Ohio State, I think he learned a little bit from that. He’s looking for guys that fit a certain profile, and he’s going to build his team around those guys. That’s clearly what he’s doing.”
Gruden presents an interesting theory that Meyer got too caught up towards the end at Florida in getting a No. 1 class, so he started recruiting on star rankings rather than getting the players that fit his system best like he was when he was winning titles. It seems like he’s refocused at Ohio State and back to bringing in the best players that work for him, not necessarily the nation’s best overall recruits that may play a different style.