By Matt McCoy
Urban Meyer may soon have to look down his list of potential assistant coaches because it looks like he's losing one.
A report in footballscoop.com says that safeties coach and co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers will be the next head coach at James Madison University. So far, Ohio State will not confirm that report.
Withers is the one and only assistant on the Buckeye staff who is not originally from Ohio. He joined Meyer's staff after serving as North Carolina's interim coach in 2011, after Butch Davis was fired.
If the report is true there are many Buckeye fans who won't miss Withers. He and Luke Fickell have taken most of the heat for Ohio State's struggles in pass defense. The Buckeyes are ranked 104th nationally in defending the pass and were particularily burned in their 42-41 win at Michigan and 34-24 loss in the Big Ten title game to Michigan State.
Publically, however, Meyer has always been supportive of Withers. When Ohio State landed highly touted safety Vonn Bell on signing day last year, Meyer went out of his way to praise Withers for his efforts in landing Bell.
On Wednesday, Meyer was asked about potential staff changes and indicated they were possible but not because of poor job performance.
"Whenever you have the last two seasons like we had, they're hot guys," Meyer said of his assistants. "I've gotten a lot of phone calls about our guys (with) head coaching opportunities."
ESPN's McShay Says Miller Should Return
Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller told us Wednesday that he isn't going to look into his decision on whether to leave the Buckeyes early for the NFL until after the Orange Bowl but Miller did say that he feels ready for the pros. A well known draft analyst disagrees.
ESPN's Todd McShay was asked Thursday about Miller and UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley and said that both players should come back saying the draft process would "eat them up."
At least right now, Miller is not projected to be a high draft pick and perhaps that will factor into his decision. The two-time Big Ten MVP has submitted paperwork with the NFL advisory board to get a gauge on when he might be drafted and admitted he'll pay attention to the feedback.
"It's very important," Miller said. "It's good feedback from the guys in the NFL on what round you're going to go in and what you need to work on."
If you missed Miller's meeting with reporters and his thoughts about the NFL, Clemson and more, click here to listen.