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Decker follows Warinner and Hinton to Ohio State

Jan 16, 2012, 1:11 PM EDT

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Ohio State made it official four days ago, when Tim Hinton and Ed Warinner were announced as members of Urban Meyer’s first Buckeyes staff. Hinton, long rumored to be one of Meyer’s targets, will coach tight ends and fullbacks. Warinner will ascend to co-offensive coordinator, adding to his offensive line and run game duties for Meyer, likely part of the enticing package that pulled him to Columbus.

On their way out the door, Hinton and Warinner will apparently be bringing with them Taylor Decker, a six-foot-eight, 310-pound offensive tackle from Vandalia, Ohio that had long been pledged to the Irish. Decker visited Ohio State over the weekend, and while the details are scant, Decker has officially backed out of his commitment to the Irish, less than three weeks before Signing Day.

The loss of Decker hurts, especially coming on the heels of Ronald Darby reopening his recruitment. The Irish now only have two true offensive linemen in the recruiting class, with Ronnie Stanley and Mark Harrell among the 16 verbal commitments.

That said, the Irish won’t likely feel Decker’s departure for three seasons, with a strong depth chart at tackle ahead of him with players like Zack Martin, Christian Lombard, Tate Nichols, Nick Martin, Matt Hegarty, and Jordan Prestwood already established at the position and each with at least two years of eligibility left. While the sting of Meyer pillaging two coaches from the staff after they were assumed to be returning is likely adding to the scorn coming from Irish fans, Decker is a developmental project, who likely sees a more inviting depth chart ahead of him in Columbus.

Notre Dame isn’t likely to stop recruiting Decker, though he’s reportedly solid in his new commitment. Notre Dame and Ohio State are also going head to head on Davonte Neal, a hybrid wide receiver-running back from Arizona that just officially visited Columbus last weekend.

  1. borromini - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:22 PM

    The roller coaster ride has officially started and will continue through February 1st. Hold on tight!

  2. gtizzo - Jan 16, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    This ones hurts and stings… a little. There is still plenty of talent for the Irish to go get and keep in mind Jarron Jones might be better on the offensive side of the ball then the defense. I have been reading the Irish are running low on scholarships so maybe this isn’t such bad news. Urban Meyer is building that wall around the state of Ohio something all coaches in college football attempt to do. Pulling kids out of Ohio is going to be a lot harder, I was shocked to hear Tressel didn’t even offer Decker. There are others who have felt the wrath of Meyer some are on the Irish schedule such as Michigan State. The Irish could use a solid commit right about now, wouldn’t hurt going into NSD.

  3. irish2011 - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:00 PM

    Relax people this is not the end of the world. We still have TR….lol

  4. jomilly - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    The irish staff needs to tighted up. I am a believer in their recruiting, but you cant pull a rabbit out of your hat like last year. Its time to start adding recruits, or I am worried about this class falling down the rankings even further. There are some high profile targets out there, lets get a few of them especially skill positions, and bring back darby.

  5. jimbasil - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:07 PM

    My message/question to U Meyer – If you like ND’s coaches and recruits this much over the years that you have purposely poached as many of them as you could get away with, why didn’t you just accept the job as ND’s HC when it was offered to you? It’d save a lot of wear’n’tear on the sports pages.

    • gtizzo - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Urban Meyer isn’t what he is built up to be by the media. Yeah the man won 2 titles and can recruit, but he has zero control over his players. 30 arrests at Florida, ND had problems with Michael Floyd and people were asking questions. Meyer wouldn’t last 5 season at ND half his team would have been thrown off campus. Plus he left Florida an absolute mess that is going to cost Will Muschamp his job. Charlie Weis has a huge ego for him to bail with top QB recruits like Driskel at Florida that is writing on the wall. Urban Meyer is one thing and one thing only…the next coach to be destroyed by NCAA allegations.

      • ct111 - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM

        Its either the NCAA allegations or his health that is going to get to him

    • joeschu - Jan 16, 2012 at 8:32 PM

      Because he’s a dirtbag… as gitzzo pointed out, his teams were a crime wave in Gainsville.

      He must be thrilled to go to Columbus, I think they have an even hight player payroll than the Gators. I presume his next role is to resurrect USC after Kiffin gets busted GM’ing the sports biggest player payroll.

    • 1historian - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      Yours is a good point about why didn’t he accept the job when it was offered to him.

      I have heard two reasons why – Given that it was well known that he had a no-buyout clause in his contract with Utah if offered the job @ ND the administration @ ND figured it could low-ball him, and when he took a look at the roster he say the 2007 season right around the corner. The combination of the two was all he needed, Florida made a very nice offer and bingo – he’s gone.

      That was some of the speculation at the time. I do NOT have proof of either of those reasons, but when one puts them together they do make sense.

  6. nudeman - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    This is the first time I’ve seen Decker referred to as a “developmental project”.
    So is this a major loss or not?.

    Keith, today Diaco and Cooks are visiting Darby and I’d be interested in an update if/when you get one.
    Between this and the fact that Kelly still has an in home left, it’s still alive.

    • andy44teg - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:54 PM

      I’d say it’s not much of a loss. The kid’s 6’8” and 310Lbs…max bench according to is 225. That right there tells me the kid has some work ethic issues. If you’re not willing to put in the time in the weight room…you might not be dedicated enough for ND.

      • nudeman - Jan 16, 2012 at 5:08 PM

        Hard to conclude “work ethic issues” just based on this; maybe just hasn’t grown into his body yet
        I’d bet this time next year he’s up significantly in strength measurements

      • ct111 - Jan 16, 2012 at 8:04 PM

        I’m sure decker would be a monster after a year or two with paul longo

    • bernhtp - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:55 PM

      Nude: here’s the telling quote from the B&G article:

      “Decker wasn’t prepared to comment on why he felt the need to change the school he is attending, but did address whether Notre Dame would remain in the mix.

      ‘Probably not, which is not to be rude at all,” he replied. “I just have figured everything out.'”

      My take is that “figured everything out” refers to having received copious defamatory material about Notre Dame from three ex-Notre Dame coaches. Things like Notre Dame is on a long journey down, they are losing their coaches and commits, Kelly will soon be out just like everyone else, you’ll spend too much time in meaningless academic work at ND, we’re bigger, we’re closer to home, I’ve won national championships and will win more at OSU, etc.

      • 9irish - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

        That’s exactly it. Former ND coaches use the “path of least resistance” to the same thing argument against ND all the time.

      • ct111 - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:24 PM

        Look, the kid just wants to play for a a team that doesn’t finish 8-5 back to back seasons.

    • domer77blowsgoats - Jan 16, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      Keith already said its not a major loss with the pipeline currently in place – try reading before asking quiestions already answered

      where did you get this breaking news? oh wait you already posted it 5 times over the weekend

      keep rocking!!

  7. dmac4real - Jan 16, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    This is a problem. Were getting wrecked on the trail. Recruiting class is falling apart…SMH

  8. nudeman - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Some interesting tidbits out on the net today:

    1) This Armstead thing is getting interesting. Someone named Tosh Lupoi who was a DL coach at Cal and Armstead’s recruiter just left to go to UWashington. The money has had Arik going to Cal. This can’t help THAT.

    2) Bill King has a daily nat’l radio show on College Football, with particular focus on recruiting. Says when Decker called to tell Kelly about his impending visit to OSU, Kelly said “Fine; I know you’re going to go there. Good luck”. IF TRUE, That means that the Irish might not be all that broken up about losing him.
    Or they’re nuts.
    Not sure which.

    3) There’s another RUMOR there that Gunner Kiel is reconsidering his LSU decision. Apparently lots of confusion after their BCS offensive meltdown. Of the three items here, this has the most “unsubstantiated rumor” feel to it.

    Interested if anyone else knows anything about any of these three.

    • leftcoastirishfan - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

      Ive heard all these rumors. In addition it has been said that all three Armsteads are on ND campus today.

    • cameronemclaughlin - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:36 PM

      I read that Armstead has enrolled at Notre Dame, Auburn and Cal as he decides which school to attend. I don’t know if it’s common for early enrollees to do this, but it struck me as a hilarious indicator of how absurd these recruiting sagas are.

      And this is nothing against you Arik, Notre Dame would be a great decision the Irish would love to have you!

      • Robert the Bob - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:41 PM

        Classes start tomorrow. Someone should stake out Intro to Philosophy to see if someone extraordinarily huge is sitting in the back row.

    • bernhtp - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:54 PM

      You would think that LSU’s QB performance would make them more appealing to Gunner. QB is the missing piece and he would have little competition.

      • nudeman - Jan 16, 2012 at 4:54 PM

        The Gunner Kiel thing has to be pure BS
        Just can’t believe he’d leave because of 1 bad game after 1 day of school

      • dmac4real - Jan 16, 2012 at 5:40 PM

        Its not because of the game. B4 the NC game there was a big argument in the lockeroom bc of Jarret Lee’s lack of playing time. This seperated the team. Gunner didnt like that….so ive been told.

    • nudeman - Jan 16, 2012 at 5:15 PM

      This from the LSU board on Kiel:

      LSU Fan
      West Monroe
      Member since Sep 2007
      15450 posts

      re: Gunner Kiel How Long Till He Starts (Posted on 1/16/12 at 3:27 p.m. to EastTexasTiger22)

      EE’s are in a team meeting and Gunner is not there.

      • don74 - Jan 16, 2012 at 5:41 PM

        Bruce Feldman and Stu Mandel on twitter with Gunner not going to LSU and looking Irish. Vandy may be in the mix. Their start day is tomorrow.

      • jarious - Jan 16, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        Mike Farrell from has tweeted that this is all but done. Gunner Kiel to ND. Of course, given the protracted nature of his recruitment, it is probably best to wait until he attends classes as a EE in the next few days.

        Add this to the Armstead^2 decision (supposedly now set for tomorrow), and ND recruiting for 2012 could make a serious U-turn.

        BTW, good luck at tOSU, Decker.

      • nudeman - Jan 16, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        Amazing if this is true.

        Can’t wait for the full length movie of his recruitment to come out

      • don74 - Jan 16, 2012 at 6:06 PM

        my mistake. vandy started 1/9, he missed that. LSU/ND start 1/17. Not in LA. Maybe the 2012 class got better. Guess we will know by tomorrow.

      • bernhtp - Jan 16, 2012 at 6:44 PM

        My head might spin even faster than it did last year with Aaron Lynch if Gunner actually shows up at ND tomorrow.

  9. ct111 - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:11 PM

    ND football is screwed. Can’t beat bad teams. The coaching staff is falling apart just like this recruiting class. Also all the UT fans call Harry Hiestand a joke. Do you think Brian Kelly is in way over his head with this job?

  10. ct111 - Jan 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    I won’t be surprise if we lose another 4* recruit. Might as well get another Bruce Heggie, a person who never waver his commitment.

  11. schuey73 - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:07 PM

    Kiel and Armstead. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • schuey73 - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:13 PM

      This would be huge for ND. Maybe we could get DGB and Greenberry!

  12. Keith Arnold - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    The battle for Taylor Decker isn’t over. It’d be impossible to write about what’s happened today, as it’s been chaos with news and rumors. I’ll likely recap everything once the dust settles. But either way, it’s been a very positive day for the Irish, considering most woke up down in the dumps about the state of the recruiting class.

    • jimbasil - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:55 PM

      Good you feel the battle for Decker isn’t over. The way things have gone with U Meyer poaching ND commits, it’s difficult to think ND has a chance to regain an edge with a student. Here’s to more positive news.

    • bernhtp - Jan 16, 2012 at 8:51 PM

      Keith: we need reports long before the dust settles, which won’t happen until Feb 1, if even then.

  13. ct111 - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Hey this is great news but we need to wait til signing day to be sure!

  14. Keith Arnold - Jan 16, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Or maybe the battle for Decker is over. Per Jason Sapp of

    OT Taylor Decker on report that his commitment to Ohio State isn’t official ~ “That is completely false.” No more interest in Notre Dame.

    So there you have it… Might just turn off the computer for an hour and start over.

  15. 10of14 - Jan 16, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    Decker comes from an average at best HS program…trust me, I know it very well. Any kid that big will draw attention, but he is a big work in progress.

    • papadec - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM

      10of14 – good point. There has to be a reason why espn only gives a 6’5″ 310# lineman 3 stars.

  16. gtizzo - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Ok I don’t want to repeat what everyone else has said by I have been reading Armond Armstead had a great visit to ND. I would guess that this is a packaged deal with Arik, but then again who knows. The coach who left Cal had a great relationship with Shaq Thompson so he could be on his way to Washington. If I’m wrong and all this is just repeat then I will stick with my previous post MEYER IS A DIRT BAG!

  17. kiopta1 - Jan 16, 2012 at 9:59 PM

    Rumors spreading that possible Kiel and armisted ND commit…but rumors.

  18. sureshaptd - Jan 17, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Its True

  19. akbrownsfan - Jan 22, 2012 at 3:46 AM

    Why dont the Irish join the B10 ?

  20. 1historian - Jan 23, 2012 at 11:35 AM

    9 days until signing day!

    Any news about that OL in Washington State? Garnett I think his name is.

    We’ve got 2 OLs in the incoming class so far, 5 of them redshirted last season. That means the 2 can redshirt this upcoming season. That makes 7 and if we can average between 3 & 4 per class we should be fine.

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