COLUMBUS — Brian Hartline is once again set to make an impact with the wide receiver unit at Ohio State.
This time, the former Buckeyes standout is going to be coaching instead of catching.
As Lettermen Row initially reported on Monday, Hartline has been named as the interim replacement for the vacancy on the coaching staff created by the firing of Zach Smith. Having served for the last year back at his alma mater in a quality control role for the offense, Hartline brings previous experience with the program, familiarity with the personnel and NFL-caliber knowledge of the position to the job.
Placing the interim tag on Hartline allowed Urban Meyer to move quickly to replace Smith in charge of Zone 6 on Thursday, which was critical with training camp scheduled to start on Aug. 3. And once the Buckeyes get back to work on the practice field, Hartline will be working with a deep, talented group of targets that could help provide him with an easy transition into the more elevated role as an assistant.
As part of the transition, Corey Dennis was promoted to a senior quality control position that will allow him to work with both the quarterbacks and wide receivers. Dennis, Meyer’s son-in-law, is now heading into this third season as a staffer for the Buckeyes and will also now become a more prominent part of the day-to-day work for the reigning Big Ten champions.
â€œAs I said in Chicago, I am very confident with the individuals on this coaching staff and both Brian and Corey are quality young men,â€ Meyer said in a release. â€œI anticipate both of them doing well with their new responsibilities.
Hartline will need no introduction to what they entail at the program after playing a role in four Big Ten championship-winning seasons with the Buckeyes during his collegiate career. Hartline finished his career at Ohio State with 90 receptions for 1,429 yards and 12 touchdowns before going on to a seven-year NFL career with the Miami Dolphins and Cleveland Browns.
“Heâ€™s got potential to be an excellent coach,” Meyer said on Tuesday. “You know, you worry about NFL guys, and I hate to lump them like that because youâ€™re labeling people. But ask NFL guys, ‘Hey, go make coffee. Hey, draw these scout-team cards and make sure this guy is lined up, make sure this guy is going to class.’ They roll their eyes at you.
“Brian Hartline is a wonderful guy and works his tail off, so Brian Hartline is a very important part of our staff.”
That may have already been true in his previous role. But there’s no question about it now with Hartline taking control of the wide receivers and once again looking to leave a mark at Ohio State.