According to a report from Adam Schefter today, two NFL teams reached out to Urban Meyer about becoming their next head coach. The overtures were not rebuffed and Meyer is considering whether he'll make a return to coaching two years after leaving Ohio State citing health concerns, the second time he's done that.
While there are some intriguing NFL options for Meyer to choose from, including Jacksonville, which Schefter names specifically as a possible landing spot, his greatest gift, and what separated him from the competition in college, would be totally wasted in the NFL. Of course, I'm referring to his skills as a salesman.
Whether it was Florida or Ohio State, Meyer was able to secure the affections of the most talented players in the country and their families year after year. It's how he won national titles with the Gators and Buckeyes and dominated the SEC and Big Ten during his time with those respective schools. Sure, his players were well coached and his offensive, defensive and special teams schemes were all above average, but Florida and Ohio State also had superior talent versus the competition. Ultimately that was the biggest factor in their success.
From 2012-18 when he was at Ohio State, Meyer's worst recruiting class was ranked No. 7 in the nation, according to 247 Sports. He had the No. 1 recruiting class in the country twice with Florida and the No. 2 recruiting class three times with Ohio State. He recruited future NFL stars like Michael Thomas, Marshon Lattimore, Ezekiel Elliott, Chase Young, and Joey and Nick Bosa at Ohio State. At Florida, he had Percy Harvin, Jordan Reed, the Pouncey brothers, Carlos Dunlap, Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins, Cam Newton, and, of course, Tim Tebow. I'll stop there, but the point is Meyer has a Pro-Bowl level starting 22 roster from his college days.
While that says a lot about Meyer's talent evaluation skills, which certainly would help at the next level, he won't get to handpick his players in the NFL and his ability to woo young men and their families wouldn't be nearly as beneficial. He'd also have to learn how to operate under a salary cap and create offensive, defensive and special teams schemes strong enough to compete with the brightest minds in football. After two years off, that's no small task.
Meyer has excelled as a college football analyst for FOX since his second retirement, but rumors of a coaching return have always followed him. Like Brett Favre, Meyer can't give up football and the feeling is mutual. Whether that leads him to seek a job in the NFL should be known in the next week or so, according to Schefter. But if he does decide to leave the college broadcast studio for the NFL sideline, he'd be leaving a lot more than a comfortable job behind. He'd be leaving his best skill as a coach too.