Ohio State Football: Grading Urban Meyer’s New Coaching Hires

Coming off back-to-back defeats to close out the 2013 season, the Buckeyes were forced to overcome two more losses off the field when co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers and defensive line coach Mike Vrabel were hired away from Ohio State.

It didn’t take long for Urban Meyer to find their replacements.

Withers’ role as co-defensive coordinator will be filled by Chris Ash, who was the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin from 2011-12 and at Arkansas in 2013. Vrabel will be replaced by Larry Johnson, who was at Penn State for 18 years, 15 of which were spent as the defensive line coach.

Both will be expected to bolster a beleaguered defense that ranked 110th in the nation in defending the pass last season.

Whether they can turn things around won’t be determined until the fall, but based on their past success, it looks like Ohio State made two very good additions to its coaching staff.

Larry Johnson, Defensive Line Coach

Johnson is one of the premier defensive line coaches in the country. During his highly successful 18-year stretch at Penn State, Johnson coached seven first-team All Americans and produced six Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year or Defensive Lineman of the Year award winners, according to his Penn State profile.

Not only is Johnson one of the best D-line coaches in the country, he’s also an elite recruiter. Johnson has strong ties in talent-rich states like Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia, and he’ll certainly provide a boost…

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