Local talent will influence Buckeyes in 2013

Urban Meyer made his first public appearance in the Valley on Monday night. Meyer was the featured speaker at the United Way “Champions Among Us” Dinner at the Covelli Centre. The Buckeyes’ boss revealed his high hopes for the fall and how some local talent will help the team reach some lofty goals.

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Meyer enters his second season with the Buckeyes with an unblemished record, a perfect 12-0 in 2012, something he credits to his senior class, specifically Mooney grad and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, John Simon.

“There’s a reason why in two years we had lost seven games and last year none,” said Meyer. “There’s a lot of reasons why, and number one is John Simon. His leadership and complete buy-in (are reasons why), but because of John’s leadership, was the reason that team went undefeated.”

As Meyer moves forward in 2013, he’ll lean on even more players from the Mahoning Valley. Boardman’s Corey Linsley will be the Buckeyes starting center.

“I call him the APEX to our offense. He’s our starting center. Wonderful kid,” added Meyer.

Fitch alum Billy Price just arrived on campus two weeks ago, but has already made a lasting impression on the coaching staff.

Meyer continued, “Real excited to have him here. He looks fantastic. He’s already been kind of anointed the leader of our freshman class. He’ll play this year; good chance to play.”

As for the coaching staff, they’re one of only 14 staffs in the United States that stayed intact.

“Same coaching staff; going strong, going hard. Last year we were tiptoeing. We weren’t aware of what players could do and can’t do. We’re very well aware of what Braxton Miller can do. Last year at this time we still weren’t quite sure. Our receivers, last year they weren’t that good. This year they are. So, everything is just much faster.”

And when the season kicks off on August 31, there’s only one focus in mind.

“Win our 13th game in a row. That’s all we’re worried about.”

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