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No. 1 RB in Class of 2016 Opens Up About Ohio State, Stan Drayton

Some of the best high school talent in the nation doesn’t rely wholeheartedly on choosing a college football program based off team colors, on-campus restaurants, or male-to-female enrollee ratio (though the latter probably doesn’t hurt).

A position coach’s role with the team’s immediate future doesn’t play as a major factor in their decision, either – at least not according to the No. 1 overall running back for the recruiting class of 2016, Kareem Walker, who is committed to Ohio State.

“When I selected Ohio State I was aware that the coaches are the best in the profession and that they would be sought after by other schools and the NFL. I’m sorry to see Coach Drayton move on but he feels that’s what’s in his best interest and I wish him and his family well,” said Walker. “Coach Meyer was very reassuring that he was going to bring in the best RB coach in the nation and he’s done that with Coach Alford. I’m very familiar and comfortable with Coach Alford he was recruiting me while at Notre Dame and our relationship is very much like the relationship I have with Coach Drayton.

“They are more than position coaches they are mentors and will help prepare me for LIFE not just football. Coach Alford has coached many successful running backs and I look forward to the possibility of playing under him.”

Former Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton left for a new opportunity (and a higher paycheck) with the Chicago Bears, but what set some people off in the recruiting community is that he did it one day after National Signing Day, leading some to believe he had deceived some of the prospects that he was luring to Columbus.

Four-star running back Mike Weber was likely one of those players that felt a bit of remorse with his decision following Drayton’s departure, as the two had developed a strong relationship over the last few weeks and was one of the main reasons he had stayed with Ohio State and not flipped to Michigan.

Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh also took a subtle shot to the Ohio State coaching staff for obvious reasons, via Twitter.

Was Walter’s statement in response to Weber’s tweet? Probably not, but hey, it sure was an outstanding opportunity to get some positive PR and win some Buckeye hearts over. Weber did the right thing by waiting to see what Urban Meyer – arguably the greatest football coach in college football – was going to do with his new vacancy within the staff and instead of being quick-triggered with social media, ended up being on board with the move.

He wasn’t the only one excited about Tony Alford, either.

As for Drayton, well, can you blame him? It can be assumed that Drayton was in talks with Chicago for at least a week prior to his departure but that Meyer had asked him to stick it out until the end of NSD to finish up with recruiting. That’s just how things work, and a grudge can’t be held for it (unless you’re a bitter Michigan fan).

It’s not like it should come as any surprise. Drayton was with Ohio State for four years but had applied for the Florida Atlantic head coaching position following the 2013 season and wasn’t quiet about his wishes to move up the coaching ranks. It’s also likely that his $295,000 base salary will also see a slight increase.

I can understand Weber’s dilemma and feel for the kid, but you don’t commit to a position coach. You commit to a program (and Urban Meyer). You commit to the fans and to becoming a better student-athlete. You commit to doing whatever it takes to win championships.

In Weber’s case, you also commit to a loaded backfield. He joins a crew that includes College Football Playoff title game MVP Ezekiel Elliot, Curtis Samuel, Bri’onte Dunn, Warren Ball, and other talented backs, not to mention 2016 verbals in Keenan Walker and four-star George Hill.

And for what it’s worth, Ohio State fans can hold onto this encouraging piece heading into the spring:

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