The future of Ohio State’s defense took shape Wednesday morning when 5-star prospects Justin Hilliard and Jashon Cornell announced their verbal commitments to the Buckeyes.
It was a big moment for Urban Meyer, who showed once again that he’s committed to building a championship-caliber defense. Despite being known for his spread offense and coaching quarterbacks such as Tim Tebow and Alex Smith, Meyer won two national championships at Florida behind the strength of ferocious defensive units.
The Buckeyes lacked that last year, which ultimately cost them a chance to play Florida State for a national title. Ohio State surrendered an average of 38.3 points and 539 yards of offense to its final three opponents (Michigan, Michigan State and Clemson).
Meyer is working hard to right that ship, which starts on the recruiting trail.
Elite Defenses Are Built with Elite Talent
Hilliard was an absolute must-get.
The Cincinnati, Ohio, product is the state’s top recruit, and he chose the Buckeyes over offers from Alabama, Iowa, Notre Dame, Michigan and more than three dozen other schools.
He’s hoping to give Ohio State’s linebacker unit the same boost 5-star LB Raekwon McMillan did this past spring.
The linebacker play during Meyer’s tenure has been shaky. In 2012, the Buckeyes had to convert fullback Zach Boren to middle linebacker midway through the season because of a lack of production. Last year, the unit was arguably Meyer’s top concern,…