Urban Meyer was officially hired as the new head coach at Ohio State on Monday. By Tuesday, the top recruit in the state of Pennsylvania, one that before last weekend didn't appear to have any interest (as of the writing of this article, Ohio State didn't even appear on his Interest list on 247Sports), said the Buckeyes were "definitely on the top of the list for now." Urban Meyer is going to be very difficult to deal with for the next however many years he lasts in Columbus.
Noah Spence is just the beginning...technically. One day before Meyer's hire was announced, the first official "flip" occurred, with three-star Florida wide receiver Ricquan Southward dropping his commitment to Miami and choosing the Buckeyes instead. With sixteen commits upon taking office, Meyer is looking at five or so more before the door is closed on the Ohio State Class of 2012. And he's is just getting started.
Meyer went right to work, contacting both Spence and Demetrious Cox ($) within 24-hours of accepting the job. Further, it appears that Meyer is going after Armani Reeves, in addition to other current Penn State targets like RB Wes Brown. With Ohio State already having lost some high profile commitments in this class due to their own issues, Meyer is keeping a close eye on the remaining commitments. But most of those are likely to hold, so Meyer unfortunately has time to spend targeting top Penn State recruits.
Current Penn State staff members are hitting the trail hard as well, don't get me wrong. But with uncertainty in the air, the staff is having trouble telling these kids what the future may hold. This is why Penn State needs to act quickly.
Brady Hoke and Greg Mattison came in last year and immediately made an impact in recruiting (not to mention getting back to the typically successful Michigan way on the field). Now, Meyer and Ohio State are forces to be reckoned with, and the Ohio State staff is only going to grow in the coming days and weeks.
Whomever the choice is for Penn State (and I'm not endorsing one particular choice here), he needs to get on the road immediately to counteract the head start that others have in swaying the remaining targets away from State College. The longer the search committee waits to pick a candidate (and then offer said candidate, etc.), the longer that Noah Spence and Demetrious Cox will waver in relation to Penn State. Eventually, other schools will start contacting these (and other) recruits and/or commits and try to get them out of Penn State. Luckily, we've only lost one scholarship commitment in the aftermath. Here's to a quick coaching choice, and no further fallout.