Coach Wilcher on Urban Meyer: "I believe our relationship is stronger now."

Submitted by Scarlatina on February 24th, 2015 at 5:28 AM

"(Meyer) said he didn't know about (Drayton) leaving, that it was a last minute thing. The most important thing about my 'misleading' part was that I didn't really understand the process of recruiting behind Ohio State. I truly do now.

I understand the ambition Urban Meyer has, I understand the integrity of Urban Meyer and I understand that he's about the welfare of the child and the wholeness of what the athletes need at the university. He instilled in me that no child will be left behind in his program.

We did meet. We did talk. And he is the person I thought he was and the person I believe him to be. I believe our relationship is stronger now."

-Thomas Wilcher (cited)

I figured the board may be interested given how Coach Wilcher had previously blasted Urban Meyer about the Mike Weber/Stan Drayton situation:

"I think Urban Meyer will have to step his game up; we're going to have to talk," Wilcher told Detroit Sports 105.1 in a long interview. "He has come to my school and got the No. 1 athlete two years in a row. You cannot come over here, come up to the north, and walk out of here with your pockets full and not give us respect."


Autocracy Now

February 24th, 2015 at 5:43 AM ^

Really proud of Urban. What a stand-up guy. Just go in there, explain what happened and stress how much you care about the atheletes. 

For the record, I believe it is possible that Drayton hadn't told Meyer he was leaving, but I put that at about 5%. 


February 24th, 2015 at 6:51 AM ^

I would put it at less than 1%. Assistant coaches usually do not just pack up and leave "at the last minute", and if they do it is usually because of heated irreconciable differencees between the assistant and the brass. usually when that is the case the assiant in question won't be burning the midnight oil on the recruiting trail before he leaves..... usually.

Autocracy Now

February 24th, 2015 at 7:32 AM ^

Yeah, I agree. I am just saying it is possible.

One theory: Drayton knew leaving early would risk recruits fleeing but clearly was also aware that taking off after commits sign would be a huge PR problem for Meyer. So, he intentionally did not notify Urban that he planned to leave until after signing day. If you look at it from Drayton's perspective, this is the ultimate self-interested play, because it perserves his reputation as a team first guy for future employers. This comes at the cost of burning the kids he recruited, but since he is going to the NFL and probably expects to stay there, it doesn't really matter what HS kids think of him anymore. And of course Meyer may have suspected Drayton had a good job offer and therefore lined up other suitors at RB coach. It creates deniable plausibility for him, even if it is all really just bs.

Anyway, I think this is bad for them long-term. So good. 


February 24th, 2015 at 7:34 AM ^

I think it is plausible that Urban knew Drayton interviewed beforehand, BUT Drayton had previously interviewed for two other jobs and been rejected. So Urban may not have know that Drayton was leaving as a certainty until the morning after NSD, which is when the Bears allegedly offered Drayton the position officially.

As a background, when Urban initially hired his staff back in 2012, he asked for a "gentleman's agreement" that they would stay on for AT LEAST 2 years. (I think he was tired of having to constantly hire new assts while he was at Florida.) Anyways, Drayton has been constantly pursuing advancement opportunities ever since those two years have been up with Urban's approval.


February 24th, 2015 at 11:05 AM ^

Fine, believe that Urban Meyer, a guy so meticulous and talented that he he can turn a 3rd-string QB into a world-beater with one of the most innovative offenses in college football, who has won everywhere he's gone and can recruit like few others, didn't know that THE top coach in one of the most essential positions on his team hadn't solicited for, interviewed at, and at least received a commitable job offer to go to the NFL until literally minutes before it occurred, which coincidentally was right after NSD and the kids Drayton recruited were locked in at OSU.  

I get that this is sarcasm and you doubt Meyer didn't know, but even as I wrote out this argument I was struck by how insane it is.  NFL position coaches don't "just happen"; there is immense due-dilligence from talking to HCs and other coordinators to simple legal background checks.  That doesn't happen in a matter of hours or even days.  Meyer knew, figured it would screw up his recruiting if Drayton announced beforehand, so told him to keep quiet until the kids were signed and then bolt.  I try not to get worked up about stuff like this, but it boggles my mind that anyone would consider this situation as anything more than a POS move by a head coach who wraps himself in Bible verses and "family values" while running a pretty dirty ship.


February 24th, 2015 at 7:53 AM ^

Wilcher wasn't overly effusive in his praise for Meyer and OSU... Just spouted off some nicities.  The last thing Michigan needs is Ohio HS coaches watching a Michigan HS coach ban Meyer.  We get a hell of a lot more from Ohio than they do from here.  Wouldn't surprise me if JH and TW had a chat before the trip where JH advised TW make nice, leave on a positive note, then continue to maintain the pipeline to Ann Arbor.  We'll see how OSU does in Detroit over the next 5 years or so.  I'm guessing not as well as the previous 5.

Huntington Wolverine

February 24th, 2015 at 9:07 AM ^

A hundred times this. As mentioned previously in the thread, actions speak louder than words and that cuts both ways. Wilcher is saying all of the public things that should be said but let's see how the recruiting battles play out the next couple of years for Cass Tech football players before we determine Wilcher has been hoodwinked or (worse) bought off, as some have accused of him. 


February 24th, 2015 at 9:27 AM ^

If OSU struggles to recruit Michigan for the next five years, it will 100% be Harbaugh related, not some made up, integrity "ban him from the state" headline grabber. Harbaugh is a good coach who can win some head-to-head 'crootin' battles for elite talent, especially with home field advantage.


February 24th, 2015 at 11:00 AM ^

Of course JH will recruit Michigan effectively.  My point was that if Wilcher publcly disrespected Meyer, a bunch of Ohio coaches might do likewise to Harbaugh. We all know of how many Ohio boys have seen the light over the years, improved their geographic circumstances and chosen to attend a superior institution at the same time.  


February 24th, 2015 at 8:53 AM ^

Yes. Lets all hope that Wilcher blatantly favors UM over OSU and steers his kids away from them. Lets all forget that OSU has clearly been the better program for developing talent for almost a decade now. 

Lets not act like we need more talent from Ohio than they do from Michigan so just have all their in state high school coaches steer kids away from Michigan and we'll be fine. (We won't be) 

Are people seriously this naive? This is PR. What else do you really expect Wilcher to say? 


February 24th, 2015 at 10:26 AM ^

Wilcher might be a UM alum but his responsibility now is to his players, not Michigan.  If he and a given player believe OSU will do a better job of showcasing their talents and give them a better shot at the NFL than that is where they should go and Wilcher should support that.  Wilcher should not put his alma mater above the welfare of the kids he is coaching.  

Now I don't necessarily believe Urban is a great guy and it is dissapointing to see Wilcher being gullible, but the issue at that point isn't with sending a kid to OSU, it is with sending a kid to Urban.


February 24th, 2015 at 5:49 AM ^

Wilcher is as fickle as a middle school tween. What a dumb ass, Urban has integrity and cares about the welfare of his players? HA, The only Cass Texh guys to do anything were Barksdale and Hankins so whatever dude.


February 24th, 2015 at 11:40 AM ^

I don't really agree with the poster you were responding to, but he wasn't wrong. Urban wasn't really looking out for the kids best interest when he left Florida to be with his family because of health problems, said he would never coach anywhere else because he loved Florida so much, and then took the OSU job a year later. Let's just call a spade a spade-he is a slimy fucking person who is a really good football coach


February 24th, 2015 at 9:28 AM ^

Tell that to the 12 guys Urban has put on medical hardship.  What a bunch of shit.  If this isn't sarcasm by Wilcher which I don't think it is, he's not a very intelligent man and/or is easily swooned by a smooth talking salesman.  Won't take him car shopping any time soon.


February 24th, 2015 at 10:20 AM ^

Gee, I would think his degree says otherwise.  And, by all means, let's burn some bridges.

Wilcher has been dealing with football coaches and their pitches for many years.  The idea that people here have a better understanding  than he does is ridiculous.  Clearly, there are many high school coaches who do not believe Meyer is the devil incarnate.  They may well be wrong.  But there is alot of room between hating him and being duped by him.  I'd suggest that Wilcher likely in-between.


February 24th, 2015 at 5:51 AM ^

Meyer cares only about himself, no one else. Obviously he knew Drayton was leaving bc they had his replacement not 48 hours later. The annoying thing about osu is they never, ever win with class. Meyer at Florida had so many arrests, but he didn't care, as long as they won. Aaron Hernandez shot a guy in the face but bc he played for Meyer and the national champs it was covered up. Hopefully someday people start seeing Urban for the person he really is instead of being blinded by his success.


February 24th, 2015 at 5:54 AM ^

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