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Meyer surrounds himself with hungry, energetic assistants

There is a splash of old and new on Urban Meyer’s first Ohio State coaching staff.

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Ohio State assistant coach Mike Vrabel, center, enters his second season with the team. He will coach the defensive line after working with the linebackers last year. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO | RICK REED)

Meyer retained Luke Fickell, Mike Vrabel and Stan Drayton from the 2011 staff and added newcomers Kerry Coombs, Everett Withers, Tom Herman, Ed Warinner, Tim Hinton and Zach Smith.

The consistent characteristic among the nine assistant coaches is that they have the reputation of possessing the same tireless work ethic of the head coach they are working for.

In putting his staff together after taking the OSU job in late November, it was clear that Meyer targeted coaches who were willing to be relentless recruiters.

Former OSU and New England Patriots standout Vrabel, who was hired by then-interim head coach Luke Fickell last year, was put to the test by Meyer before being permitted to keep his spot on the staff.

“Basically, he went out on a two-week mission to show me he could go recruit,” Meyer said of Vrabel. “I would have to say, with all due respect to the other eight coaches on the staff, if he’s not the best, he’s one of the best recruiters I have on staff. That tells you what kind of future this young guy has in college football.”

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