Urban Meyer once recruited for the Florida Gators as their head football coach, but now that he holds the same position for Ohio State, he is recruiting against them. Earlier this year, the Buckeyes reported a possible recruiting violation by one of Meyer’s former coaches at Florida, according to multiple reports.
Fox’s Outkick the Coverage’s Clay Travis first reported Wednesday morning that OSU reported Florida running backs coach Brian White for an alleged secondary violation in the recruitment of Curtis Samuel, a running back/defensive back recruit from Brooklyn, N.Y. The reported violation was described as a “bump” violation, which refers to prohibited contact between a coach and a player during a designated period of non-contact on the recruiting calendar.
There are conflicting reports on Meyer’s knowledge of the situation. Meyer denied that he was involved in reporting the allegation in a text message to multiple media outlets. However, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy reported that a source told him that “Urban was aware of it and he endorsed it.”
“It is absolutely not true that I turned in the University of Florida,” Meyer said in the text message, according to the Gainesville Sun. “Weeks after, I learned our compliance guy (without any coach involvement) forwarded an article to the conference office. This is standard procedure. Once again, zero coach involvement.”’
An OSU athletics spokesman did not immediately respond to The Lantern’s request for comment.
Florida was cleared of any wrongdoing from the accusation by the NCAA and SEC, according to multiple reports.
This was not the first time under Meyer’s tenure that OSU reported a possible violation by Florida’s staff, according the Gainesville Sun. The Buckeyes reported a possible violation by Florida in the recruitment of defensive end Jordan Sherit last year. The Gators were also cleared of wrongdoing in that case, and Sherit ended up signing with Florida.
Samuel is rated as a four-star recruit by multiple major recruiting services, including ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports (Scout gives Samuel three stars). He narrowed his list to five schools in May — including Ohio State but eliminating Florida — according to the New York Daily News. Samuel is also considering Alabama, Miami (Fla.), Notre Dame and Rutgers.
White was hired by Florida in 2009, and served as the Gators’ tight ends and fullbacks coach on Meyer’s staff for two seasons. He has remained with the Gators as their running backs coach since Meyer’s departure from Florida.