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Arkansas Hires Another Ex-Ohio State Assistant; Targets Ohio Prospects

Bobby Petrino has added another ex-Buckeye to his 2012 Razorback coaching staff in the person of linebackers coach Taver Johnson.  Johnson  coached cornerbacks at Ohio State from 2007 through this past fall.  His hiring in Fayetteville was reported yesterday evening.

Johnson is an Ohio native and has coached across the state at the small college (Wittenberg), big college (OSU), and pro (Cleveland Browns) levels.  In Columbus, he served under recently-hired Arkansas defensive coordinator Paul Haynes.

Johnson replaces Reggie Johnson who went with ex-Hog offensive coordinator Garrick McGee to UAB.

Johnson and Haynes give the Hogs some good ties to the state of Ohio, one of the most talent-rich states in the country.  As you must know, Arkansas is one of the most talent-poor states in the SEC when it comes to producing future NFL players.  And with Texas inroads already laid, Petrino now appears to be turning his attention to the Buckeye State.

Wise move.

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Gator Fans Now Have To Wait Out Urban-To-OSU Rumors

Right now, Urban Meyer’s legacy at Florida is secure.  Six seasons, a 65-15 record, three trips to Atlanta, two SEC titles and two national championships.  He also recruited, signed and coached Tim Tebow, perhaps the most popular Gator ever.

Pretty good legacy.

But what if Jim Tressel’s likely demise at Ohio State leads to the resurrection of Meyer’s coaching career in the Buckeye State?  And what if Meyer goes on to have more success in Columbus than Will Muschamp has in Gainesville?

At that point, the memories of Meyer might change for a few UF fans.  In the eyes of some he would go from a terrific coach who left to spend time with his family — and due to some type of unspecified health concern — to a man who simply left the Gators for greener pastures.

Until something happens on the Tressel front, Meyer’s name will be tossed around in connection with the OSU job.  It’s already happening:

Last week, long-time analyst Beano Cook predicted on ESPN radio that “Urban Meyer will be the coach at Ohio State in 2012.”

George Diaz of The Orlando Sentinel wrote yesterday that the hire of Meyer would be “a major saving-face outcome to (OSU’s) sorry mess.”

Mark Bradley of The AJC wrote yesterday that “If Tressel does fall, there’d be no better choice as replacement.”

And there are more.  Across the web the train of speculation has left the station.  Meyer to OSU makes sense.

But wouldn’t it also make Florida fans just a little bit angry so soon after Meyer started his “I’m leaving to be with my family” sabbatical?

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