COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Urban Meyer is returning to the football sidelines, jumping to the NFL for the first time as coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Meyer, 56, was coach of Ohio State from 2012 to ’18, leading the Buckeyes to a national championship during the 2014 season. Among the OSU players he sent to the NFL were Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott and Denzel Ward.
Multiple media sources reported Thursday that Meyer is close to an agreement with the team. He takes over a Jaguars team that ended last season with 15 consecutive losses and holds the top pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Meyer stepped down at Ohio State after the 2018 season, handing off the program to his offensive coordinator Ryan Day. Meyer had served a three-game suspension to start the season related to allegations of what he knew about spousal abuse by one of his assistant coaches, and he said he had been suffering from severe headaches related to a cyst on his brain.
Meyer has most recently been a commentator for Fox’s pregame college football show.
His career coaching record is 187-32, all in the college ranks, including stops at Bowling Green and Utah. But his major success before taking over Ohio State was at Florida, where he won national championships in 2006 and ’08. His time at Florida ended in 2010 related to health concerns.
One of his first moves with the Jaguars will be deciding who their next quarterback will be. At the draft, Trevor Lawrence of Clemson is widely considered the top pick. Lawrence went 1-1 in games against Ohio State. But the next best quarterback available may be the Buckeyes’ Justin Fields.