UPDATE: HS coach of Buckeye signee says Urban Meyer didn’t give them any respect


Ohio State, as has become customary under Urban Meyer, had yet another productive National Signing Day Wednesday, with a 27-player haul ranked ninth in the country that included the signing of a former Michigan verbal commitment.

It was what happened the following day, Thursday, that has caused controversy in some corners.

Yesterday evening, the Chicago Bears announced that it had hired Stan Drayton as its running backs coach.  Drayton held the same title at OSU, and in that capacity played a significant role in recruiting Mike Weber.  The Detroit Cass Tech running back, a four-star recruit, struggled with a decision to sign with OSU and UM right up until signing day, ultimately opting for the Buckeyes with a late nudge from Meyer.

And then Drayton left.  And then feelings on multiple levels were hurt, most publicly by Weber’s high school coach.

In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cass Tech coach Thomas Wilcher heavily intimated that the OSU staff had essentially lied to all involved in an effort to get Weber to sign with the Buckeyes, answering “Yes. 100 percent. 100 percent” when asked if he felt he was misled by OSU.  The way everything transpired and the timing of the departure of the man who would’ve been Meyer’s position coach left the recruit hurt.  And his former coach angry.

Mike Weber is hurt. I could feel it through the telephone. I felt it with him. I wanted to just talk with him and talk him through it. I told him to keep calling me, to keep talking to me about it. I don’t want him to be hurting. I want him to understand this is part of the business, this is what they do. This is how they do things. But you shouldn’t be played as a pawn in the business, though. That’s the problem. Kids shouldn’t be played as a pawn in the business.

While Drayton didn’t interview for the NFL job until after signing day, there’s little doubt that the interview was scheduled beforehand. What’s also apparent is that neither Drayton nor anyone else at OSU was transparent with Weber about the possibility of Drayton leaving.

Wilcher was asked by the Plain Dealer if it would’ve made a difference in Weber’s decision, knowing that either Drayton was leaving or that he could possibly be leaving.

I don’t know. I am quite sure it made a difference and it would have made a difference in his decision. It would have made a difference in what he wanted to do. But the most important thing is it would have been up to him and his parents. That would have played a big role in what was going on.

Regardless of how things actually played out, don’t look for OSU to sign many if any Cass Tech players for the foreseeable future.

UPDATE [8:50 p.m. EST]: Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer needs very little help on the recruiting trail to lure the nation’s top prospects. However, a pipeline program from that state up north might be far more unwilling to deal with Meyer after a recent kerfuffle with recruit Mike Weber and Detroit Cass Tech Thomas Wilcher over the departure of running backs coach Stan Drayton.

“I think Urban Meyer will have to step his game up; we’re going to have to talk,” Wilcher told Detroit Sports 105.1, via The Detroit News. “He has come to my school and got the No. 1 athlete two years in a row. You cannot come over here, come up to the north, and walk out of here with your pockets full and not give us respect.

“That’s not gonna happen again, I call tell you that right now.”

A year ago, Damon Webb signed with Ohio State out of Cass Tech. And Meyer will have to patch up the relationship with Wilcher if he wants to land the school’s top prospect for the 2016 class, guard Michael Onwenu, who already holds scholarship offers from the Michigan Wolverines, Miami Hurricanes, Illinois Fighting Illini and North Carolina State Wolf Pack.

(Photo credit: Rivals.com)

Highest-rated signee in Texas A&M Class of 2018, Leon O’Neal, enters transfer portal

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For nearly the dozenth time this cycle, a Texas A&M football player is looking to leave College Station.  And this one was a huge 2018 get.

On his personal Twitter account Thursday evening, Leon O’Neal announced that he has decided to leave the Aggies and continue his playing career elsewhere.  No reason for his decision to enter the NCAA transfer database was given.

“I want to thank Texas A&M for everything,” the defensive back wrote. “Every game was one I’ll never forget. Win, lose or draw The 12th Man never lost [their] spirit. I want to thank my brothers for the love and support. Our bond will last forever.”

A four-star member of the Texas A&M football Class of 2018, O’Neal was the No. 8 player at any position in the state of Texas.  He was also the No. 8 safety in the country.  Most notably, O’Neal was the highest-rated member of the Aggies’ class that year.

O’Neal was part of Jimbo Fisher‘s first recruiting class after taking over as the A&M football head coach in December of 2017.

As a true freshman, O’Neal appeared in all 13 games for Texas A&M football.  Most of that action came on special teams.  This past season, the safety started eight of the 12 games in which he played.

Boise State DB DeAndre Pierce opts to enter transfer portal

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The playing career of one injury-plagued Boise State football player has come to an end.  At least, in Idaho it has.

According to 247Sports.com, DeAndre Pierce has made the decision to move on from the Boise State football program.  A BSU football official subsequently confirmed overnight that the defensive back’s name is listed in the NCAA transfer database.

No specific reason for the parting of ways was given.

If Pierce follows through and transfers away from Boise State football, he would do so as a graduate transfer.  That would allow him to play at another FBS school immediately in 2020.  If that’s the tack he chooses, of course.

Pierce was a three-star member of the Broncos’ Class of 2016.  The California native took a redshirt as a true freshman.  In 2017, Pierce started 11 of the 14 games in which he played.  He earned honorable mention All-Mountain West Conference honors for that season.

Then, the injuries hit.

The safety started four of the first five games in 2018 before a lacerated spleen sidelined him for the rest of the season.  In 2019, Pierce started five games… but missed the other nine because of various injuries.

When healthy, Pierce was credited with 144 tackles, seven tackles for loss, six passed defensed, one sack and one interception.

Even with legal case (mostly) settled, WR Joshua Moore’s status at Texas won’t be determined until closer to start of 2020 season

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Even as the off-field aspect was cleared up for one member of the Texas Longhorns football program, there’s still no clarity as it relates to him getting back onto the field.  And likely won’t be clarified for a few months.

In August, Joshua Moore was arrested on a charge of unlawful carrying of a weapon. Thursday, the wide receiver pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge. Moore avoided jail time with the plea, with the Austin American-Statesman writing that “[t]he deferred adjudication agreement states [Judge Nancy] Hohengarten will not enter a guilty finding if Moore stays out of further legal trouble over the next year, completes 60 hours of community service and fulfills any counseling conditions the probation department recommends.”

Because of the off-field situation, Moore was not permitted to play in games for Texas Longhorns football last season. He was, though, allowed to practice with the rest of his UT teammates.

A Texas Longhorns football official stated after the player’s plea that a decision on whether Moore will be permitted to play in games in 2020 won’t be determined until closer to the season kicking off.

A four-star 2018 signee, Moore played in the first six games as a true freshman before going down with a season-ending shoulder injury. In that half-season of work, the 6-1, 180-pound receiver totaled 53 yards and a touchdown on seven receptions.

If he’s cleared to play in games — the odds are very much in his favor, provided he doesn’t violate the terms of his plea agreement — Moore is expected to take on a bigger role in the Texas Longhorns football passing game in 2020.

New Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell retains four of Mel Tucker’s assistants

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Karl Dorrell‘s first Colorado football coaching staff will have a decidedly Mel Tucker feel to it.

Feb. 12, Tucker left Colorado football to take over as the head coach at Michigan State.  Eleven days later, Dorrell was the surprise hire as Tucker’s replacement.  Dorrell’s first hirings four days his official hiring will actually be retentions as the program announced that four of Tucker’s former assistants will remain as part of the new coaching staff.

Those four are:

  • Darrin Chiaverini (wide receivers coach/assistant head coach under Tucker)
  • Darian Hagan (running backs coach)
  • Brian Michalowski (outside linebackers)
  • Tyson Summers (defensive coordinator/safeties)

According to the release from Colorado football, the holdovers’ “exact responsibilities will be determined once the remaining six assistant positions are filled, which Dorrell hopes to conclude sometime early next week.” It’s believed that Chiaverini will serve as Dorrell’s offensive coordinator, although, obviously, that hasn’t yet been confirmed.

“It’s always important if you can maintain some continuity during a coaching change,” the new Colorado football head coach said in a statement. “I’ve been around enough college and professional teams where doing so offers some stability. I had great conversations with all four and while I haven’t determined their exact roles as of yet, I am excited that we share the same goals and vision for the program. I am excited about all four and am looking forward to working with them.”

Both Chiaverini and Hagans have been a part of the Colorado football program for the past four seasons.  Both Summers and Michalowski were in their first years in Boulder.

Prior to his departure for East Lansing, Tucker had just completed his first season in Boulder, going 5-7.  Since a 10-4 2016 season, the Buffaloes have gone 5-7 each of the past three seasons.  That 2016 season is the program’s only winning record since 2005.