Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer has gained the reputation of a tireless recruiter who will go to any lengths to land a coveted prospect. He reportedly took that to another level this spring by turning in one of his former coaches at Florida.
Clay Travis of Fox Sports reports Meyer alleged a second-tier bump violation against Brian White, a Gators assistant coach who the current Buckeyes head man hired. The situation surrounded top-rated recruit Curtis Samuel from New York.
Although investigations into Meyer's claim turned up no wrongdoing by the Florida assistant, Ohio State still moved one step closer to landing Samuel, who was originally considering the Gators.
While no wrongdoing was uncovered based on White's alleged violation, the top recruit that both Ohio State and Florida were pursuing recently announced his final five choices: Alabama, Notre Dame, Miami, Rutgers and Ohio State. No Florida.
Samuel is a 4-star recruit ranked inside the top 100 prospects for the Class of 2014, according to 247Sports.com. He's viewed as a potential game-breaking star on offense thanks to his explosive speed and elite athleticism.
Meyer has denied the report according to Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun:
“It is absolutely not true that I turned in the University of Florida,” Meyer said in a text message. “Weeks after, I learned our compliance guy (without any coach involvement) forwarded an article to the conference office. This is standard procedure. Once again, zero coach involvement.”
Exactly how much the situation between Ohio State and Florida impacted his decision to leave the Gators out of his final five is unclear. They can always be brought back into the fold should he have a change of heart moving forward, of course.
That said, it's the latest example of how hard coaches are willing to fight to get recruits, and Meyer is right near the top of that list. The Fox Sports report calls the decision to turn in an assistant at a former school an "unprecedented move."
Ohio State clearly believes Samuel is a player that could have a significant impact on the program. If Meyer thinks he's getting beat out in an unfair manner, whether it's by Florida or another school, it's his job to handle it.
Assuming the reported violation claim is accurate, it probably won't go over well with the Florida program or Meyer's former Gators fans. But if it allows Ohio State to land Samuel after the dust settles at the end of the process, the Buckeyes coach will probably be satisfied.
Just another day on the college football recruiting trail.