Many names have been tossed around in Ohio State’s search for top-notch assistants to fill out the staff of new head coach Urban Meyer, but few have been confirmed.
Add Tom Herman to the latter list.
He is headed to Columbus to coach quarterbacks after spending the last three years in those positions at Iowa State. Herman will also be offensive coordinator, as he was in Ames, where he directed a no-huddle, spread attack.
"Tom Herman has one of the bright young minds in college football," Meyer said with the announcement of the hire. "His philosophies are very similar to those of my own.”
The Cyclones have been a run-first outfit in Herman’s three years on the job, but Herman first made his name as an offensive coordinator with a pass-happy attack at Rice in 2007 and ’08.
With star quarterback Chase Clement throwing to talented wide receiver Jarett Dillard and tight end James Casey, the Owls went 10-3 in 2008. Rice finished 10th in the nation in total yards and eighth in scoring as Clement threw for 4,119 yards and ran for another 693. Dillard and Casey both eclipsed the 1,300-yard mark in receiving.
Herman has made a habit of utilizing dual-threat quarterbacks as his primary signal callers have run for at least 500 yards in each of the past five seasons. (Including the 2011 season when a pair of quarterbacks combined to throw for 2,500 yards and rush for 618).
That should make him a good fit with Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller, the 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year.
“To work with and for Coach Meyer is an exciting opportunity for me,” Herman said. “I am really looking forward to working with him and learning about his offensive systems. And to be able to coach with him at the Ohio State University is simply a dream come true.”
Herman was born in Cincinnati but moved to Simi Valley, Calif., at the age of five. He played wide receiver at California Lutheran and began his coaching career with two years at Texas as a graduate assistant working with the offensive line in 1999 and 2000 before becoming a full-time coach for the first time at Sam Houston State. He spent four years there before spending 2005 and ’06 as offensive coordinator at Texas State.
Iowa State, a loser its last two times out after knocking off previously unbeaten Oklahoma State in overtime Nov. 18, finishes its season Dec. 30 with a matchup against Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl.
Meanwhile, the search to fill out Meyer’s staff continues. He has confirmed plans to retain Luke Fickell, a nine-year Ohio State assistant who spent the past season as head coach, and sources indicate Stan Drayton and Taver Johnson will remain on staff as well.
Drayton and Johnson coached wide receivers and cornerbacks, respectively, this past season, but it is not clear what roles they will fill under Meyer.
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