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Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Meyer, Belichick see strengths in Vrabel

By Brian Bennett

Ohio State has officially announced the hiring of Everett Withers as co-defensive coordinator, and Urban Meyer will also keep first-year linebackers coach Mike Vrabel on staff.

Vrabel joined the Buckeyes this summer after a 14-year standout career in the NFL.

“I had heard such great things about Mike Vrabel as a player, but the key thing for me was I wanted to talk football with him,” Meyer said in a release from the school. “I wanted to see him recruit, and I wanted to meet his family. I have since spent a lot of time with him, and he has a wonderful family.

“I also spoke to a number of people I know well, who also know Mike very well, including Bill Belichick. Coach Belichick and I had a really good discussion about Mike. While Mike is young, we both agreed that the unique experiences he has had as a player, coupled with the things he has already accomplished as a coach and recruiter for Ohio State, has prepared Mike for this opportunity. I am very pleased he will be on the staff.”

Meyer has now filled six positions on his first Ohio State staff. Taver Johnson joins Luke Fickell and Vrabel as holdovers on the defensive side, while receivers coach Stan Drayton will stay on to coach the running backs under Meyer. Tom Herman came over from Iowa State to work as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.