Stan Drayton Leaves Ohio State for Chicago Bears After Landing Weber
Jan 9, 2015; Dallas, TX, USA; A view of Ohio State University football team logo outside of the Hilton Anatole hotel. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
For most Chicago Bears fans, the name Stan Drayton didn’t mean much of anything before Thursday’s announcement that he had been hired to be the Bears running backs coach. But to the kids at Ohio State, and their top recruits, Drayton meant a lot more.
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There was quite a bit of hub bub at Ohio State as Drayton departed to accept the job as Chicago Bears running backs coach. The reason? Drayton waited until after National Signing Day after he had helped land hotly sought after running back prospect Mike Weber, snatching him from the clutches of Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan Wolverines.
Webber is a Detroit kid, so playing in front of his home crowd at Michigan would have been a big deal. But thanks to the efforts of Drayton, he lured Weber to OSU. Weber took to Twitter to vent when he heard the news that a guy who he put a lot of trust into left him holding the bag:
Drayton talked in detail about the process of recruiting Weber on Signing Day:
"“We knew at a quarter to 12, midnight, that we were still in the battle [to land Weber]. It’s not our first rodeo, we’ve been there before, but when you have a key component like that who’s on the edge, it really makes your heart rate jump a little bit.“I am constantly on the phone with him, Urban is constantly on the phone with him. We are addressing his concerns, we’re making him aware of the opportunities that he has, reminding him of things we have already said to him just to recondition his thought back to what’s substantial for him and his career and his future.”"
Drayton pushed hard to land Weber, telling him exactly what he wanted to hear:
"“Just being a Michigan kid who is going to graduate with an Ohio State degree and wants to live in his state again. He wants to represent Detroit wearing scarlet and gray, and he absolutely can do that. He absolutely will do it,” Drayton said. “I have a wife from Detroit. I told him, ‘If I sit here and coach you and not let you represent Detroit, my wife is probably going to divorce me.’“There’s no way in the world I am not going to let you represent where you’re from. Not only that, I am going to be able to help you make an impact from the society you come from.”"
And while telling him all that, he was packing his bags and gassing up the car for Chicago. Was it a little shady? Sure. Is that what college recruiting is all about? Absolutely. Don’t blame Drayton for the system. He wasn’t the only college coach to bolt his gig after inking their prized recruits. In other words, don’t hate the coach, hate the game.