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.