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Drayton, who spent last season and four years total as running backs coach at Florida and is renowned as one of the nation's best recruiters, will begin at Ohio State on Feb. 1.
He has spent the past six of the past seven years on SEC coaching staffs but has extensive ties to the north and midwest.
"Stan Drayton first and foremost is a fine person and family man," Tressel said of the Cleveland native who will turn 40 in March. "He is a Buckeye born and bred, and will add a tremendous dimension to our football family."
Drayton prepped at Cleveland John Marshall before a career at Allegheny (Pa.) College that saw him set the school's all-time records for rushing and scoring while being named All-American three times.
He helped the Gators to the 1990 Division III national championship and still holds the Division III single-season record for touchdowns scored per game (3.2).
Drayton was a two-time All-American in track as well, competing in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. A 1993 graduate with a bachelor's degree in English, Drayton was inducted into the Allegheny College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
In '93, he began his coaching career with one season at his alma matter before one-year stints at Eastern Michigan and Penn. He spent 1996-2000 at Villanova before joining the staff at Bowling Green. After a year with the Falcons, Drayton spent three years as offensive quality control and assistant special teams coach for the Green Bay Packers.
Drayton returned to college coaching in 2004 with Mississippi State
He held the titles of running backs coach and recruiting coordinator last year with the Gators.
"We are fortunate to gain one of the finest coaches in America to serve our kids, school and community," Tressel said of the past nominee for the AFCA Assistant Coach of the Year award.
Drayton replaces Darrell Hazell, who left in December to become head coach at Kent State.