Urban Meyer defends program amid recruit's criticism

ByAustin Ward ESPN logo
Tuesday, April 5, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Kentucky signeeLandon Youngwasn't happy with his visit to Ohio State. That doesn't sit well with Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer, who let his coaching staff know about his disappointment while also defending the way his program recruits.

Meyer responded Tuesday to Young's comments to SECcountry.com that he was "treated like crap" during a recruiting trip to Ohio State, and the coach was turned off by comments detailing why the offensive tackle wasn't offered early in the process. Meyer conceded that his staff may have missed on their evaluation but stressed that there weren't any other complaints from the targets on their board last year.

"I did read it. We have a lot of respect for him as a player, a lot," Meyer said. "I was very disappointed in our staff that we didn't offer him earlier. Then about the treatment thing, we don't do that on purpose, if that's his feelings. I went back and talked to our staff about it.

"We don't want that to be happening, but that was one [recruit] out of 650 saying 'Someone has treated me bad.'"

Young, a four-star recruit from Kentucky, made it clear as he detailed his conversations with Meyer and the process as a whole with the Buckeyes that he felt like he was the one mistreated recruit from the last cycle.

Ultimately he decided to stay close to home after also weighing offers from Alabama and South Carolina, becoming the highest-rated player in a Kentucky class that ranked No. 35 in the country.

"I was at Ohio State having a private meeting with Urban Meyer," Young told SECcountry.com. "They had treated me like a piece of meat, just treated me like crap. By that time, I was a four-star tackle. ... He said, 'Well, if you look back at that time, you were how big?' I said, '6-7, 270, just like I am now.' He said, 'Well, you were an insubstantial tackle, an insubstantial player,' so he was saying I [didn't] even amount to being able to be recruited by Ohio State as a four-star tackle.

"He said, 'Now what offers did you have?' I said, 'I had my one from Kentucky,' and he said, 'Well, you were an insubstantial player with insubstantial offers from an insubstantial school.' That sort of put me on a bad note because that's the team I'm committed to. He called me a bad player at that."

Meyer said he has looked into the mistreatment allegations with the rest of his staff, but he disputed the notion that Young wasn't good enough for Ohio State and made it well known the program valued his skills as a blocker and thought highly of his talent.

It may have taken Ohio State longer to realize his potential than it did a few other schools, though, and that also was addressed with everybody involved in the recruitment.

"We did not offer him early," Meyer said. "When we did want to offer him afterwards and felt like he was a great player, I think we missed on him early on and I was very upset with our coaching staff and the recruiter in that area and the position coach.

"That's the way we do our business here. Yeah, we did address that -- I don't want that out there."

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