The first round of the NFL draft Thursday night figures to be historic for Ohio State. The Buckeyes are currently tied with USC for the most first round selections all time with 81. Chase Young and Jeff Okudah are locks to add to that total and J.K. Dobbins and Damon Arnette are being given an outside chance to sneak into round one as well. Whatever happens, by nights end, Ohio State is expected to hold the record by themselves.
It also figures to be a historic night for former Buckeye coach Urban Meyer. He is not only responsible for recruiting this draft class to Ohio State, but he also recruited the projected No. 1 pick, Joe Burrow to OSU. Burrow, of course, was a graduate transfer to LSU and went on to win the Heisman Trophy and a national title, making him the Cincinnati Bengals likely selection at the top of the draft. According to most projections, Young will be second to come off the board to Washington, with Okudah, perhaps going third to Detroit. If that happens, it is believed that Meyer will be the first coach to have successfully recruited the top three players in a single draft.
On Wednesday, Coach Meyer joined WTVN morning host Joel Riley and me to discuss those top players, other Buckeyes who will be selected and more. Here are a few highlights.
**On the possibility that Burrow, Young and Okudah will be the first three picks: "You know Joe Burrow the year he had and obviously LSU did an incredible job and he did an incredible job of being developed and working hard and taking advantage of the situation that became available to him. Chase Young, we knew from day one he walked on campus, that once he and Larry Johnson got together and he got healthy (he'd be great), and the same with Jeff Okudah. He walked on campus and it didn't take long. First couple practices we were like 'Whoa...we've got one here.' Not just football but everything... He's an excellent student, excellent person and a ridiculous practice player so we knew this was all coming. It's kind of neat to say (recruiting the top three picks) is going to be the first time, maybe in history, that it's happened."
**On seeing players he recruited realize their NFL dream on draft night: "It's the same feeling you get when something great happens to your kid. That's how close you are to your players and Ryan (Day) obviously has the same exact approach...When you see that happen it's like when something great happens to your child. I never get more nervous than watching my own kids play baseball or volleyball and then when something great happens there's an overwhelming sense of pride...It's exactly the same. That's how close we are to these players. They've always been like family to us."
**On Chase Young: "I think he's the best talent in the draft...You stand next to Chase and watch what he can do physically. I don't remember seeing many ever born like that, that I've ever seen...It's a freak of nature. Then on top of that you throw in a high quality person who does it the right way and comes from a great family, you're talking about a no-brainer."
**On Buckeyes who may go in day two or three of the draft: "If they go to great places I think they'll be great players. I think K.J. Hill's going to play 10 years in the NFL. He's one of the best players at any position I've ever been around. He's tough, he's smart, he's a great teammate, he'll do anything at anytime for anyone. Then there's Damon Arnette. Someone said he's a second round corner. We've had first round corners for seven straight years...He's not a second round corner."
There was much more in the interview, including whether Coach Meyer will ever coach or work at the NFL level, his expectations for college football next year and even his quarantine beard. It was a fun conversation with a lot of great stuff. If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking here to go to Joel's podcast page.