COLUMBUS, Ohio — J.Okay. Dobbins didn’t hesitate to take the primary of many cracks at a query that can be requested repeatedly all through the spring and summer time at Ohio State.

Dobbins planted each toes on the turf on the Woody Hayes Athletic Middle on Dec. 12 — three weeks earlier than Ohio State beat Washington 28-23 in City Meyer’s last recreation on the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. — and allow you to know precisely how he feels about Ryan Day, Meyer’s substitute.

“I do not assume a lot will change in any respect,” Dobbins stated. “He is a winner. I am excited for him. Now we have an amazing relationship, and I can not wait to see what he does. He’ll be a legendary coach.”

MORE: Day welcomes each high-pressure problem awaiting him at OSU

“Legendary” nearly appears a prerequisite requirement for Ohio State coaches as of late. Meyer leaves after compiling an 82-9 document during the last seven seasons — a .901 win share that included the 2014 nationwide championship and an ideal 7-Zero document in opposition to rival Michigan.

Each Ohio State coach since Woody Hayes — who gained 205 video games from 1951 to 1978, has felt the heavy weight of these expectations.

“I absolutely perceive the challenges that look forward to me,” Day stated in his introductory information convention on Dec. 4. “Being on the identical listing as Paul Brown, Woody Hayes, Earle Bruce, John Cooper, Jim Tressel and City Meyer, it is extraordinarily humbling, however I am ready and prepared for the duty.”

Credit score Day for tackling these expectations head on. Ohio State has a switch quarterback from Georgia in Justin Fields, who might be the best candidate to interchange record-setting Heisman finalist Dwayne Haskins in 2019. The teaching employees made some surprising strikes, too, together with hiring a pair Michigan defensive assistants. Meyer will nonetheless be within the fold as an affiliate athletic director on the college, however Day is taking the identical aggressive, downfield method on the sector.

However legendary? That requires perspective that has been across the program somewhat bit longer.

“City, when did you lastly come to that last resolution? Had been you out and in, out and in the final couple weeks or simply — “

Longtime Columbus Dispatch reporter Tim Might barreled by means of that query at Meyer’s retirement information convention earlier than Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith reduce him off.

“What was it like for you whenever you tried to retire?” Smith requested.

Might responded with the short wit these round Ohio State know all too effectively.

“I used to be like, ‘Hallelujah, I am taking part in golf,’” Might stated.

Might is an area establishment. He took over the Ohio State beat in 1984 and completed out his last season this yr. Might instructed Sporting Information this yr was “proper up there with in rivalry with probably the most weird” since he first began overlaying the Buckeyes.

He would know. In spite of everything, Might was the reporter who teed up the query to President E. Gordon Gee close to the top of the Jim Tressel period, to which the previous Ohio State president infamously responded, “I hope he (Tressel) would not dismiss me.” May was the reporter who occurred to be within the newsroom when Hayes was fired on Dec. 30, 1978.

It is nearly becoming that Might’s profession ended with this teaching change. He remembers the month-long search earlier than Ohio State employed Bruce to interchange Hayes. Might believes the transfer from Meyer to Day mirrors what Oklahoma did with Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley earlier than the 2017 season.

“To me, there is no higher strategy to do it than to say this man is completed and that is the brand new man,” Might stated. “Particularly in case you’re a sports activities author.”

Might laughs at his personal joke — and it is not possible to not be a part of — earlier than he launches right into a extra detailed description of what Day brings to the sideline.

“You may see the affect he is had on the offense within the two years he is been offensive coordinator,” Might stated. “There is no such thing as a higher strategy to choose a person than truly watch him do the job, and Gene Smith and everybody acquired to observe him be the top coach for a month and a half underneath probably the most attempting circumstances possible.”

Might is aware of these circumstances effectively: That timeline of occasions during which Buckeyes receivers coach Zach Smith was first accused of getting abused his spouse, his eventual firing, the gradual unveiling of how a lot Meyer knew of the state of affairs and the following media circus that adopted. That culminated on the loading dock on the Longaberger Alumni Home on Aug. 23. Might was among the many reporters milling by the again door ready for Meyer, who wouldn’t emerge till a information convention introduced his three-game suspension later that night time.

Day, in the meantime, was operating a follow on the Woody Hayes Athletic Middle throughout the road. It was Day who broke the August media silence by the soccer staff with a information convention on Aug. 27, earlier than the season opener in opposition to Oregon State.

In preparation for his first recreation as appearing head coach, Day spoke of his relationship with mentor Chip Kelly. Day performed quarterback at New Hampshire when Kelly was a first-time offensive coordinator and recalled their first recreation collectively in opposition to Rhode Island in 1999.

“It was Chip’s first time being an offensive coordinator and he known as a double reverse cross,” Day stated. “So that is what I bear in mind. After which we went on to win.”

Kelly, in the meantime, talked to Day the week earlier than the opener in opposition to Oregon State.

“We normally speak about a few times every week about soccer or household, however he is wonderful,” Kelly stated on the Pac-12 teleconference that week. “He would not want any recommendation from me. He’ll do wonderful.”

MORE: Meyer and Zach Smith: A timeline of key occasions

Kelly’s endorsement foreshadowed a 77-31 victory during which the Buckeyes seemed like Kelly’s hyper-fast Oregon groups that used to compete for nationwide championships. Day would win the subsequent two video games in opposition to Rutgers and TCU earlier than Meyer’s return, and that three-game efficiency earned nationwide consideration.

“Like he did with these first three video games with out City Meyer, Day began to construct up fairness as a head coach,” ESPN School GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit instructed SN. “The branding at Ohio State will change along with his character. … That is the subsequent step for Ryan Day.”

It did not harm to have Dwayne Haskins cross for 890 yards, 11 touchdowns and only one interception in these three video games. The Buckeyes, nonetheless, had been inclined to the massive play on protection in those self same video games. As Might put it, the whole approach the Buckeyes performed modified in lower than a month.

“It was nearly like a Massive 12 staff landed right here,” Might stated. “They’re No. 2 in complete offense, they usually set data the opposite approach defensively. That is actually weird if you concentrate on it. That is one other twist and switch to what occurred right here this yr.”

Day’s work with Haskins is the most important promoting level for this system’s future. Haskins handed for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns this season, and that included a three-game stretch to finish the season with 1,146 yards, 14 touchdowns and only one interception in opposition to Michigan, Northwestern within the Massive Ten championship recreation and Washington within the Rose Bowl.

That is the transformation within the offense that Should still cannot fathom.

“This college was 3-yards-cloud-of-dust and Woody by no means actually loosened the strings till perhaps his last yr with Artwork Schlichter as a freshman starter,” Might stated. “I imply, wow, that is one of the best passing quarterback I’ve ever coated at Ohio State. Essentially the most gifted. Troy Smith can be an in depth second. Ten years from now, you will say, ‘Dwayne Haskins. Holy smokes. What a passer.'”

With that because the launch level, Day is in respectable place to make Ohio State a vacation spot for quarterbacks who can go on to the subsequent stage. Haskins must be the primary Buckeyes quarterback taken within the first spherical for the reason that Baltimore Colts took Schlichter with the No. Four choose within the 1982 NFL Draft. The mixture of Day’s NFL expertise and forward-thinking passing schemes within the faculty recreation may make Ohio State a next-generation “QBU.”

MORE: Rely on Day for prepared reply to OSU’s QB questions

“I feel there’s an actual good probability of that, particularly if simply the attract of taking part in for Day is sufficient to persuade Justin Fields to switch to Ohio State,” Letterman Row recruiting analyst Jeremy Birmingham instructed SN. “His popularity as an offensive guru is actual and attractive to quarterbacks and receivers everywhere in the nation.”

That’s occurring now. Fields did switch to Ohio State, whereas Tate Martell, a five-star recruit within the 2017 class, determined to enter the switch database. The place that leaves Matthew Baldwin and different candidates can be attention-grabbing to see in future seasons. Day, for his half, believes in creating the quarterbacks on campus.

“Among the best issues that occurred to Dwayne Haskins, for my part, and he’ll inform you an identical factor as a result of we have agreed on it, is when he had the chance to play, and we had been two years in,” Day stated. “He wasn’t completely satisfied about it and he needed to play final yr, however he’ll let you know he wasn’t prepared final yr. He was prepared this yr.”

Haskins stated that relationship with Day, which was constructed on the respect system and had an expert really feel to it, performed an enormous function in his success this season. Day would ask Haskins whether or not he watched movie, then would know if that didn’t occur.

“He is not going to carry your hand, is the higher strategy to clarify it,” Haskins stated. “In faculty, some coaches do loads of texting and issues like that, checking up on you. Coach Day would not actually try this. He expects you to do what you need to do. It should not be whether or not I really feel like doing it or not. He does an amazing job with that.”

In fact, the protection must be addressed. The Buckeyes surrendered 25.7 factors and 400 yards per recreation, and that together with the 49-20 loss to Purdue on Oct. 20 that stored the Buckeyes out of the School Soccer Playoff. Nonetheless, the protection improved in that essential three-game stretch, and linebacker Tuf Borland stated Day turned extra concerned on that aspect of the ball throughout preparation for the Rose Bowl. Whether or not it is in a gathering or off to the aspect at follow, Day has change into extra hands-on with that unit.

“He tries to say concerned with the defensive guys as a lot as he can now,” Borland stated.

He’s additionally introduced in new coaches to do this.

If there’s one commonplace that Day can be pressed to fulfill, will probably be the recruiting contact Meyer had in Columbus since 2012. This was the primary season since Meyer’s arrival that the Buckeyes did not have the highest class, and on Dec. 4, the previous Buckeyes coach made it identified the place Day can be.

“Ryan’s going to be in 4 states tomorrow, I think about,” Meyer stated. “He higher be. We misplaced every week of recruiting.”

He was. On Dec. 19, the day the early signing interval opened, Day talked in regards to the mother and father who would scroll down their telephones with questions on the way forward for this system. Day conceded that the character of this system will change. He is not going to attempt to match Meyer’s persona. Day, nonetheless, stated the requirements haven’t modified.

“The best way that I answered that was that we predict we’ve got probably the most complete program from A to Z within the nation, and the infrastructure is right here and the plan is to not change that,” Day stated. “The plan is to not are available and blow all that up.”

The largest assertion made was luring Zach Harrison, a five-star defensive finish from close by Olentangy Excessive Faculty, to Columbus — regardless of favoring Michigan all through a lot of the recruiting course of. That was the primary of many offers Day should shut on the recruiting path.

“Harrison’s recruitment was a wild experience, and on the peak of its craziness there was this perception that Michigan was on the cusp of overtaking the Buckeyes on the sector and off,” Birmingham stated. “However with 62-39 and (defensive position coach) Larry Johnson’s capability to shut on Harrison when all indicators pointed to him leaving simply weeks earlier than Signing Day seem to have short-circuited that notion.”

Day additionally left little doubt that this is able to be his teaching employees. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano is out, and was changed by Michigan defensive position coach Greg Mattison. Day additionally added Michigan linebackers coach Al Washington; these are strikes that added extra spice to a rivalry that thrives on that taste. On offense, Day introduced Mike Yurcich from Oklahoma State to be the brand new offensive coordinator.

Might likes to joke that Day appears like he must be the third sibling on the HGTV present “Property Brothers.” Nicely, there’s little doubt Day has enhanced ‘s program within the digital age.

Now, how will it translate in these conventional Massive Ten battles?

Day instantly appealed to the fan base shortly after his introduction as head coach on Dec. 4.

“It did not take lengthy for me to determine what the expectations had been of Ohio State soccer,” Day stated. “No. 1, win the rivalry recreation. No. 2, win each recreation after that.”

That drew fun within the information convention — as a result of they will afford to snort about it. Meyer leaves one of many finest big-game observe data of all time on the college. He completed 7-Zero in opposition to Michigan and 23-6 in opposition to prime 25 groups. No Ohio State coach seamlessly blended recruiting, profitable and dominating on the big-game stage fairly like Meyer since Hayes — and each of these coaches had been born and raised in Ohio.

Day, a Manchester, N.H., native, can be reminded of that each time the Buckeyes lose a recreation — particularly in the event that they lose “The Sport.”

“I prefer to level out Eddie George wasn’t from Ohio,” Might stated. “Dwayne Haskins Jr. is not from Ohio. I can identify 100 or extra if you wish to. These guys appeared to determine how necessary Ohio State soccer is, was and goes to be. I’ve by no means purchased into that concept. I feel having a world view on issues is necessary. No. 2, Nick Saban is not from Alabama. That is for rattling positive. He is from West Virginia.”

Might would know. He was born in Alabama, too. He believes Day’s various teaching background in faculty and the NFL will compete with Alabama, Clemson and others for nationwide championships over the subsequent few seasons whereas holding off Michigan, Penn State and different Massive Ten challengers. The Buckeyes are arrange for that within the quick time period.

Can Day preserve that going?

MORE: Meyer leaves big-game legacy for Day to chase

“It comes right down to watching him coach in an enormous recreation and seeing how he coaches in these large video games,” Herbstreit stated. “It isn’t simply Michigan however any top-25 recreation. That is when he creates his personal id. By beating Penn State, by beating Nebraska in Lincoln. Groups like that. That is when he makes it his staff.”

That goes for the recruiting path, too.

“He is a younger, energetic man that actually connects with households and recruits and does it shortly,” Birmingham stated. “He is sensible, well-connected and his best mentors are two of probably the most distinguished faculty coaches in current historical past. Plus, he is acquired the numbers to again up the truth that his offensive method and mentality will get guys next-level prepared.”

Even by means of the interval as interim coach, that by no means modified. That might be seen on Sept. 12, after follow within the days main as much as TCU. Whereas gamers went by means of interview classes, Day sat on a bench within the Woody Hayes Athletic Middle subsequent to defensive lineman Robert Landers. Whereas Landers talked about his bounce shot, Day seemed for proof on his iPhone. Even within the light-hearted moments, there’s accountability with Day.

“Energetic man,” Dobbins stated. “Excessive power. He bonds with the younger folks. I like him. He is nice. He simply understands.”

If the primary month-and-change has revealed something between the recruiting, teaching strikes and vibe Day has created round Columbus, then it is clear there’s optimism heading into the offseason after one of the weird seasons in current reminiscence.

Meyer can be in an administrative function. Might will watch from retirement. The Ohio State beat won’t be the identical in 2019, however the requirements stay the identical, and each imagine Day can be profitable in that function.

“Y’all acquired a glimpse of that within the first three video games of the season, and y’all are going to see some extra of it,” Dobbins stated later “He is an amazing coach.”

If he’s nice lengthy sufficient, then he’ll change into a legend.

That is the problem Day has accepted at Ohio State.

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