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January 15, 2013

Meyer wants to love, not like, 2013 class

Follow Noon | Givler | Axelrod | Birmingham

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A year ago at this time, Urban Meyer was still trying to seal his first recruiting class as Ohio State's head coach. Less than three months into his new job, Meyer spent the final month before National Signing Day scrambling to add Taylor Decker, Joey O'Connor, David Perkins, Camren Williams, Armani Reeves, Jamal Marcus, and Kyle Dodson to a class of that ultimately ranked fourth in the nation according to Rivals.com.

What a difference a year makes.

With this year's National Signing Day coming three weeks from tomorrow, Meyer has currently secured the nation's fourth-ranked class for 2013. With only a few spots remaining in the class, the Buckeyes' coach said that he's pleased with the commitments that he's secured in the first class that he's solely recruited to Columbus, but admitted that he'd like to add more impact players to it by the time National Signing Day arrives.

"The next three weeks, there's obviously going to be a very strong emphasis on closing this class. At this time, we like our class," Meyer said. "As with most classes, how you finish is what determines if you love the class."

According to Meyer, the difference between recruiting his first class and his second to Ohio State has been night and day.

Last year, the Buckeyes were less than two months removed from receiving a postseason ban for the 2012 season that came as a result of NCAA violations committed by former head coach Jim Tressel and members of OSU's 2010 team. The Buckeyes were also coming off of their first losing season since 1988 in a year that was spent under interim coach Luke Fickell.

Considering the handicaps that he had to deal with, securing a top-five recruiting class for 2012 may go down as one of Meyer's more impressive accomplishments, and that momentum that he gained has only made recruiting his 2013 class easier.

It also doesn't hurt that the two-time national champion head coach secured a perfect 12-0 record in his debut season at Ohio State, making the Buckeyes one of the hottest teams in America. And with OSU's postseason ban having expired with the end of the 2012 season, the attractiveness of the Buckeyes is only trending upwards.

"I call it 'flavor of the month.' Ohio State really wasn't the flavor of the month a year ago. There's some really quality guys that came. Noah Spence is obviously the key name that jumped onboard last year," Meyer said, referring to the 2012 five-star defensive end. "I don't want to say we're selecting and not recruiting, because that's not correct either, but it's just a completely different approach. We know everybody we're recruiting.

"Last year it was kind of give me the top 20 guys in positions and I was on the phone with them trying to get them. Here we know, we've been in the schools, we know who they are, we know what we're getting. So just a much different approach and I do like where we're at."

While Meyer is not allowed to publicly discuss prospects from the 2013 class until they sign their national letters of intent, it's not hard to see that he's excited by a class that already consists of 14 four-star prospects, seven three-star commits, and 22 players total. But while the OSU coaching staff attempts to add four-star safety Vonn Bell and likely a second true receiver to the already impressive class, Meyer made it clear that there will also be an emphasis placed on keeping those who have already committed to play for the Buckeyes.

"There's a lot of chaos right now with new staffs, new coaches trying to take your players and all that kind of stuff," Meyer said. "We've just got to keep recruiting our players and get going."

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