Ohio State Football: Ryan Day’s most important hire

Apr 16, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Knowles talks to his players during the spring football game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus DispatchNcaa Football Ohio State Spring Game
Apr 16, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Knowles talks to his players during the spring football game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus DispatchNcaa Football Ohio State Spring Game /
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The Ohio State football team has a host of new coaches. For the first time in his head coaching career, Ryan Day decided that he needed to make some real changes with his coaching staff. He pretty much cleaned house on the defensive side of the ball.

These new coaches that he hired will determine the path of the Ohio State football program moving forward. Those coaches will help get the defense more towards the type of defenses we are accustomed to the Buckeyes having in the past. One hire is Day’s most important hire though.

That is the hire of Jim Knowles as Defensive Coordinator. I’ve talked over and over about how important he, and the new system that he brings with him, is to the overall success of this team. Quite simply, how well the defense is coached determines if this team can win a national championship this year.

Even if you look past just this year, Knowles is still Day’s most important hire. How well he’s able to recruit and develop prospects is an indictment on Day as a head coach and his coach evaluation skills. If Knowles fails, Day could be seen as a failure for hiring him in the first place.

Knowles was the best choice for the job, there’s no question about that. He was a finalist for the Broyles Award, which is given to the best assistant coach in the country. He took a bad Oklahoma State defense and made it a top-five defense by the time he was finished there.

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If Knowles does the same at Ohio State, Day will be seen as a genius for bringing him in. I already think he’s a genius. A better defense would just help his street cred even more around college football.