It sure sounds like Urban Meyer is set to take a shot at the NFL. He and the Jacksonville Jaguars have been connected for a while now, and it sounds like the two sides could reach a deal soon.
The Jaguars and Los Angeles Chargers were the two major contenders to land Meyer. Ultimately, it sounds like he is opting to go with the team with the No. 1 pick, widely expected to be Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
There are few coaches who have a team building resume like Meyer does. In his second year at Utah, the Utes went undefeated, winning the Fiesta Bowl. His Florida program won a title in his second year there, and followed it up with a second national championship two years later, in 2008. At Ohio State, the team went 12-0 in year won, and won the College Football Playoff in year three.
Of course, that was all at the college level. While college coaches have found success jumping to the NFL in the past, it requires a different approach and skillset. According to Zac Jackson of The Athletic, if Meyer takes this job, he’ll look to surround himself with assistant coaches who have “high level NFL experience,” including former head coaches.
Per sources, Urban Meyer’s early staff building calls have focused on coaches with high level NFL experience. Smartly (and unsurprisingly), he’s tried to recruit former head coaches and coordinators to join him for his first NFL foray.
— Zac Jackson (@AkronJackson) January 14, 2021
That certainly makes sense. There is some concern that Meyer’s pretty stern approach may not play as well with NFL pros as it did with college players. He’ll have to adjust, and bringing on assistants with plenty of experience in dealing with that level of athlete should help.
Meyer, for all of his experience, has never coached at the NFL level in any regard. He made the jump from high school to Ohio State as a graduate assistant in 1986, and from there coached at Illinois State, Colorado State, and Notre Dame before landing his first head coaching gig at Bowling Green in 2001.
If nothing else, this should be fascinating. Urban Meyer has had incredible success everywhere he’s been, but there’s no guarantee that it will translate to the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars.