Urban Meyer hired away Taylor Decker‘s connections at Notre Dame: his would-be position coach Ed Warinner and his primary recruiter, Tim Hinton. Both Warinner and Hinton, the latter especially, were the people responsible for recruiting the state of Ohio for the Fighting Irish. They left for Ohio State shortly after the Champs Sports Bowl and, two weeks later, Taylor Decker decided to join them.
Decker was a prospect we should have recruited under the previous regime, but curiously decided not to do. It could be that he was too good of a prospect for lowly Ohio State, who surely couldn’t compete with the big boys in the Midwest. It could be because with only one real offensive tackle returning in 2012, we were probably set at both left and right tackle for the indefinite future, maybe into the 2021 season. Whatever it was, we passed on Taylor Decker — a 6’8, 310lb true tackle prospect from Vandalia, Ohio. He ultimately found his way to the Irish in March, 2011.
Urban Meyer’s arrival in Columbus changed that and Decker was one of the first people Meyer called when he started recruiting. Credit Decker, though. A lifelong Buckeye fan (which doesn’t mean everything on the recruiting trail, but means something), Decker had already committed to Notre Dame and was not the kind to renege on a verbal commitment so easily. It appears that it was really Warinner and Hinton arriving in Columbus that did the trick. He relented to a visit this weekend and flipped to Ohio State.
Taylor Decker’s commitment gives Ohio State its lone offensive tackle of the class to date, which just so happened to be the biggest position of need on the whole damn roster. Why the previous regime decided to forgo the likes of Decker, skip recruiting offensive linemen almost altogether and flirt with only tackle-guard prospects when it did decide offensive linemen were important is ultimately beyond me to try to explain. I can’t. Decker is a great prospect and I’m inclined to argue he is the best offensive lineman in Ohio, and not just because we have him. Decker, Kyle Dodson and Kyle Kalis could all have great college careers, but I’d take Decker if I could only have one of those three. Projecting a college career is a bit precarious and I won’t anoint him an all-everything yet. Importantly, Decker’s addition gives an option at offensive tackle, and, seriously, we needed those and we could probably use more.
Junior year film follows.