If Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer arm isn’t sore lifting the national championship trophy he won last night, it might soon hurt for a completely different reason: Meyer promised his team after they beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl that he would get a tattoo if they won the national title.
Tight end Jeff Heuerman testified, “He promised us after we beat ‘Bama in the locker room that if we won the next one, he’d get a tattoo. I’ll supervise it. Trust me. I’m going to be right next to him. The first thing that went through my head (after Ohio State dominated Oregon 42-20) is, Coach Meyer’s getting a tattoo.”
Meyer intimated that the tattoo would likely reflect Ohio State’s Block O logo. Defensive end Joey Bosa chimed in, “I’ll be here bugging him about it until he gets it. I’ll go with him (to the tattoo parlor). I’ve already got my Block O.”
Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs added, “We have core values, and honesty is one of them, so he better not be lying.”
Coombs’ comment referring to honesty was echoed by receivers coach Zach Smith, who asserted, “His program is based on real. Everything about it is the truth. It’s real, it’s hard and kids thrive in it because it’s developing them for something bigger than football. In this industry, there’s too much fakeness and sales. When guys get a real coach, they’ll do anything for him because that’s what they really want.”
Meyer, interviewed after the game, reflected on his team’s enormous upward swing during the year:
This team wasn’t supposed to do this, but they fought through adversity; they got stronger and stronger and stronger and this is a great team. We finished the year a great team. We had four turnovers, and still, to beat a great team like that 42-20, incredible experience. Incredible improvement. Most improved… I don’t want to go overdramatic, but it’s as improved a football team … and I’ve watched football for a long time. From game one to game fifteen, I’ve never seen anything like it … I played high school and college football here, and to bring a national title to the great state of Ohio, it’s almost surreal.
Meyer had to deal with losing his top two quarterbacks this season; starting quarterback Braxton Miller was lost for the year when he sustained a shoulder injury in the preseason and J.T. Barrett was injured in the final regular season game. With his third national title, following his two national titles at Florida, Meyer is breathing down the neck of Alabama coach Nick Saban, who has amassed four. Meyer retired after the 2009 season when Saban’s Alabama team prevented Florida from winning its third title in four years, defeating the Gators 32-13 to win the SEC Championship.
Meyer has won 38 of 41 games at Ohio State, including a 12-0 season in 2012.
Smith concluded, “The way he does it is he gets to know them, he understands how to push each individual button, but he knows how to do it as a group too. It’s kind of old school but he works on developing the total person. What does it take for you to be great? That’s different for each of them, and he doesn’t treat them all the same. He understands how to look at them individually and mold them from there. He’s a master at it.”