Coach says OSU’s job is to boost Ohio foot­ball

Dayton Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - Con­tribut­ing Writer

The Buck­eyes’ Ryan Day told the crowd at a coaches clinic, “We’re go­ing to con­tinue to re­cruit the state as hard as we pos­si­bly can.”

Ev­ery Ohio State COLUM­BUS — foot­ball head coach this cen­tury has had the same check­list com

— pete for na­tional cham­pi­onships, beat Michi­gan and ... open the sec­ond day of the an­nual Ohio High School Foot­ball Coaches Clinic as the fea­tured speaker.

Fri­day, first-year OSU front man Ryan Day com­pleted his ini­tial ap­pear­ance as the lat­ter.

Speak­ing to a throng of coaches — both high school and col­lege — Day re­it­er­ated the po­si­tions of his pre­de­ces­sors in­side the Hil­ton Colum­bus at Eas­ton’s Grand Ball­room. The mes­sage? Pas­sion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion for Ohio high school foot­ball.

“I be­lieve that some of the best high school pro­grams and best high school coaches are here in Ohio,” Day said. “I be­lieve it’s our re­spon­si­bil­ity at Ohio State to re­cruit your play­ers at the high- est level and to keep our play­ers at home. I hope you felt that over the last month with our coaches on the road that we got a feel of that for the fu­ture and mov­ing for­ward. We’re go­ing to con­tinue to re­cruit the state as hard as we pos­si­bly can.”

Ohio State will im­pact other facets as well.

Stat­ing that it’s the Buck­eyes “re­spon­si­bil­ity to make the state

bet­ter at foot­ball,” Day is con­tin­u­ing a stance shared by the last two Ohio State coaches – Ur­ban Meyer and Jim Tres­sel. In­vest in preps.

Meyer was in at­ten­dance Fri­day to ac­cept an award from the OHSFCA for his ser­vice to the as­so­ci­a­tion cov­er­ing the pre­vi­ous seven sea­sons. He was awarded a framed pic­ture com­mem­o­rat­ing Ohio State’s Rose Bowl win over Washington.

“(Day) was hand­picked by sev­eral very im­por­tant peo­ple, in­clud­ing our ath­letic di­rec­tor, and he’s a per­fect fit for Ohio State,” Meyer said. “He’s a man’s man that un­der­stands the value of what’s done here in this room.”

Grow­ing and groom­ing Ohio foot­ball are goals of the OHSFCA. Pro­vid­ing op­por- tu­ni­ties for play­ers is a main ob­jec­tive. The an­nual clinic and Ohio State’s con­tin­ued par­tic­i­pa­tion in it pro­duce in­flu­en­tial funds, aware­ness and ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties for both coaches and play­ers.

Said OHSFCA pres­i­dent and long­time clinic di­rec­tor Gerry Cooke (Zanesville High School): “We’re very proud of what we do.”

Last year the OHSFCA granted over $30,000 worth of schol­arsh ips to Ohio se­niors (in de­nom­i­na­tions of $500 and $1,000). Since the pro­gram be­gan, over $1.2 mil­lion has been granted. Any se­nior in an ex­tracur- ric­u­lar can ap­ply.

Tabbed “Amer­ica’s Great­est Foot­ball Clinic,” the OHSFCA event isn’t the coun­try’s largest (Texas), but it is sig­nif­i­cant. More than 2,000 of the as­so­ci­a­tion’s 3,000- plus mem­bers at­tend as do coaches from Michi­gan, Penn­syl­va­nia, West Vir­ginia and Canada. Fifty-five ven­dors rent space.

The breadth of speak­ers is just as var­ied.

Un­like other state-spe­cific clin­ics that can be dom­i­nated by one univer­sity, the OHS- FCA clinic fea­tures Ohio State (had three coaches speak), but also has var­ied rep­re­sen­ta­tion. In ad­di­tion to coor- di­na­tors or as­sis­tants from Michi­gan State, Min­nesota, Pitt, Ohio, Toledo, Kent State, Mi­ami, Ash­land, Notre Dame Col­lege, Ohio Do­mini­can, Tif­fin, Sag­i­naw Val­ley State, Ma­ri­etta, Mount Union and Ohio North­ern lead­ing ses­sions, head coaches from West Vir­ginia (Neal Brown), In­di­ana (Tom Allen), Cincin- nati (Luke Fick­ell), Ken­tucky (Mark Stoops), Akron (Tom Arth), Bowl­ing Green (Scot Lo­ef­fler), Findlay (Rob Keys) and Trine (Troy Abbs) were also fea­tured.

That kind of di­ver­sity and avail­abil­ity con­tin­ues to be key in Ohio main­tain­ing its po­si­tion as one of the na­tion’s top re­cruited and re­spected high school foot- ball states. Ken­tucky as­sis­tant coach Steve Clinkscale pointed out the Wild­cats alone have signed 47 Ohio play­ers the last four years.

Said Clinkscale: “What it boils down to is what’s best for the kids.”

What was best for Meyer’s son, Nate (now a fresh­man base­ball player at Cincin­nati), was play­ing high school foot­ball in the Buck- eye State. Meyer said he vividly re­mem­bers the day his son suited up on Ohio soil.

He cried. It was a scrimmage.

“I couldn’t help it,” Meyer said. “My kid played right where I wanted him to play — for you guys (Ohio coaches). I’m in­ter­nally grate­ful for that, for his ex­pe­ri­ence and my expe- ri­ence. I’ll al­ways be a part of you guys. I’ll al­ways be around to help this state, this univer­sity and this as­so­ci­a­tion.”


Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said that the Buck­eyes are com­mit­ted to re­cruit­ing the top high school tal­ent in the state of Ohio. By Eric Frantz


Ohio State foot­ball coach Ryan Day ad­dresses the Ohio High School Foot­ball Coaches As­so­ci­a­tion on Fri­day in Colum­bus.

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