The sudden and tragic announcement that 45-year-old Florida head coach Urban Meyer is stepping down after this season has to be one of the saddest news stories of the year. Citing various health concerns, Meyer shockingly announced to the public Saturday evening that the Sugar Bowl against Cincinnati will be his final game as head coach.
An Ohio native, former Bowling Green coach and Ohio State graduate assistant, Meyer has various local connections in the sports world. On another relative matter, it is not yet known what some recruits will do who had previously committed to his Gators football team. Several high school players, including corner back Joshua Shaw of California, recently made their final decision to attend Florida just over Ohio State. Other top tier-prospects such as Palm Beach athlete Matt Elam, brother of Browns safety Abe Elam, could also reconsider their decision because of his impending departure.
All in all, it will be a very strange change for the Florida Gators football program. Tim Tebow will be heading toward the NFL this spring with hopes of remaining a quarterback while their young successful coach walks away from the game as well. Keep an eye out in the meantime to see how everything shapes out with Florida’a recruiting class, currently ranked by ESPN.com as #1 in the nation. Ohio State, fairly far behind at #12, could benefit from this shocking development in retooling for the future.
Jacob Rosen is a long-time contributor to WaitingForNextYear. He's also a writer online at SportsAnalyticsBlog and Nylon Calculus . An Akron native, Jacob is a current MBA student at the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center. You can follow him on Twitter @WFNYJacob or e-mail him at udjrosen(at)gmail(dot)com.