Head coaches may get the glory at the press conferences, but its the assistant coaches whose year-round grind that builds the relationships that ultimately make National Signing Day either a success or failure. Today, we’re recognizing some assistants whose hard work paid off with huge Signing Day hauls.-CoachScoop (Note: These profiles are focused on assistants who had particular success on National Signing Day. We’ll release our ranking of the naton’s top recruiters later this week.)
[dropcap]O[/dropcap]hio State pulled off one of the biggest Signing Day coups when the Buckeyes landed five-star safety Vonn Bell of Ridgeland High in Rossville, Ga.
Bell (6-1, 190), who chose the OSU over Tennessee and Alabama, is a “statement” recruit for Urban Meyer and staff. He’s a highly-coveted prospect from the heart of SEC country and a lifelong Tennessee fan. (Rossville is a suburb of Chattanooga, Tenn.) He’s the kind of recruit that Nick Saban has made a living – and won three out of the last four National Championships – by landing.
Ace recruiter Everett Winters is the biggest reason that Bell is a Buckeye.
“Start to finish, what Everett Withers did with a guy like Vonn Bell, that’s a good of a recruiting effort I’ve ever seen,” Meyer said.
“I used to call it the octopus technique. Just tentacles around every person, everything involved in this kid’s life. And that’s what Everett Withers did.”
Ridgeland High head coach Mark Mariakis told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that in his 28 years as a high school coach, Withers was the “most proficient and professional recruiter we’ve ever dealt with.”
Withers also served as lead recruiter for another top Georgia recruit – four-star linebacker Trey Johnson (6-1, 222) of Central Gwinnett High in Lawrenceville. He originally committed to Auburn last summer, but was stung when former Tiger defensive coordinator Ted Roof resigned.
Johnson finally de-committed in November two days after Gene Chizik was fired. Nervous from the coaching merry go round, Withers and Ohio State were there offering stability, and it stuck.
A North Carolina native and former assistant and interim head coach for the Tar Heels, Withers went into that state to land four-star defensive end Tyquan Lewis (6-4, 227) of Tarboro.
But it was his Signing Day snagging of Bell that put the cherry on top of Ohio State’s recruiting class.
Withers helped Ohio State land Rivals.com’s No. 2 recruiting class, one spot behind Alabama, and helped deliver the message that Ohio State can challenge for any prospect anywhere in the process.
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