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Columnist Thinks Greg Schiano Could Be 'Heir Apparent' To Urban Meyer At Ohio State

Ohio State's Greg Schiano.

Greg Schiano/Ohio State.

Could Greg Schiano one day take over as the head coach at Ohio State? One columnist from where Schiano was last a college head coach thinks it could happen.

In the build-up to yesterday's National Signing Day, it looked like Greg Schiano might be on his way out. Reports connected him to the vacant New England Patriots defensive coordinator job.

The Pats lost DC Matt Patricia to the Detroit Lions, where he is now head coach. Bill Belichick has a relationship with Schiano, and has long sought after Schiano-coached college players.

However, Schiano is staying in Columbus. He started telling recruits as much yesterday, and confirmed it to Bruce Feldman.

Urban Meyer spoke about the importance of having Schiano on his staff yesterday. From his National Signing Day press conference, via NJ.com:

"He's essential to our program right now," Meyer said. "If he is not my best recruiter, he's certainly right there near the top. He manages so much for me off the field as well as being one of the top defensive coordinators in America. And he's a relationship person that -- he's not one of those coaches that knows his position or that side of the ball and that's it, he knows every one. Because he's been a head coach before."

Meyer also said that Schiano had "dozens" of opportunities to head to other jobs. Obviously, we know that he was set to become the head coach at Tennessee before fan and booster backlash sunk his candidacy.

NJ.com's Steve Politi thinks this could indicate something else as well. He posits that Schiano could be a candidate to take over for Urban Meyer, if the Buckeyes head coach steps away in a few years.

Maybe Schiano makes a move next offseason. But if he turned down a chance to join his friend Bill Belichick in New England, a plum job that surely could have led to another opportunity as a head coach in the NFL, it's clear that he believes his best path is to continue in his current role.

If that path leads him to top spot of the Big Ten power -- and, connecting the dots, it seems possible -- he's right.

Meyer, 53, is only two years older than Greg Schiano. However, he has stepped away from a huge coaching job once already.

It isn't crazy to think that Meyer might consider an early retirement. Now, it might be a bit of a stretch to say that Schiano is the obvious next Buckeye coach.

He helped build the Rutgers program from one of the worst at the FBS level into a contender in the Big East. Schiano was 68-67 at Rutgers, before a poor two-year tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If not for the Schiano era, RU may not have gained entrance into the Big Ten. Still, it is unclear if that, plus a nice stint as OSU DC, is enough for him to get a look whenever Meyer steps away, if he is still on staff at this point.

[NJ.com]