Ohio State coach Urban Meyer says he will make a decision about running back Carlos Hyde once he evaluates the facts surrounding the case.
ASHTABULA, Ohio - There's no place in Ohio more excited over Urban Meyer's hiring as Ohio State's next head football coach than Ashtabula. And there's no group of guys more excited than the one's Meyer graduated with in 1982 from Ashtabula's St. John High School (now Sts. John & Paul).
"I just told my daughter tonight, 'you know 30 years ago me and Urban were sitting in history class and now he's the coach at Ohio State,'" said Tom Penna. "It's just unreal that it's happened that way."
Penna gathered Monday night with some of Meyer's other classmates to talk about the hire.
"They all say it's his dream job and it's kind of our dream to have him be a coach there now," said George Dragon, who played baseball with Meyer.
"I figured that would be his sport and he would go on and maybe make the pros because he was a phenomenal baseball player," said Dragon.
Once he got into coaching football, though, Dragon knew this was his future.
"You knew that it was in his blood, it was in his heart and it was all about football and that he was going to the next level," said Dragon.
I first visited with these friends five years ago this week when they found themselves torn cheering for their high school buddy as he led the Florida Gators in his first National Championship game, because it was going to be against their beloved Buckeyes.
"I told before the game I was rooting for him but I never really was and I can say that now," said Mark Orlando. "I've never admitted that."
Meyer won that championship and went on to win another they had hoped to see him one day lead the Buckeyes, but with Jim Tressel seemingly set for life there it didn't seem like it would ever happen. Once Tressel stepped down this spring, they knew.
"Been thinking about this, hoping it was going to happen since Memorial Day," said Rick Pugliese. "Just been waiting and waiting and watching the news, reading on the Internet. Couldn't ask for a better thing," he said. "A hometown guy coaching the Ohio State Buckeyes I mean what else could you ask for."
The shift in schools leaves many in Ashtabula with a healthy supply of Florida Gator gear, though.
"I actually asked a couple of guys today you want any used Florida stuff," said Pugliese. "I guess I could use it to cut the grass and do stuff outside, but I could care less about Florida at this point, now it's all Ohio State for sure."
More on Meyer
An estimated 200 area kids in grades one through eight visited the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio, Thursday morning to attend a football camp conducted by Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer.
Urban Meyer came into the Ohio State job with his eyes wide open about what Buckeyes fans demand from their new coach.