Ohio produces Buckeyes, pros
Ohio State averaged 8½ wins and 4.9 draft picks per year in the 13 seasons before Jim Tressel became head coach in 2001.
Since Tressel took over, the Buckeyes have averaged 10.4 wins and 7.8 draft picks a year. Recruiting is key, and while Tressel says "I don't know if we are doing anything magical," he concedes his staff might devote more time evaluating recruits than some schools.
"We spend a lot of time ranking recruits and watching extra film," Tressel says. "We spend extra time getting to know them, talking to their high school coach, talking to opposing coaches."
Tressel targeted players from Ohio in his first recruiting class because "the 2002 class was just extraordinary."
Nine Buckeyes from that class were drafted in 2006, including five first-round picks, four of whom played high school football in Ohio: linebackers A.J. Hawk and Bobby Carpenter, center Nick Mangold and safety Donte Whitner.
Tressel didn't recruit every Ohio State player that was drafted since 2002, but 70% of Ohio State's draft picks during Tressel's tenure are from Ohio. All eight Buckeyes drafted in 2007 — Tressel's recruits — were from the state.
"Our football here is very important culturally," Tressel says. "The coaching is very good. We do a good job recruiting our home state plus the border states and recruiting hotbeds like Florida, Georgia and Texas. We'll go wherever we can to get great players."
While just eight of Ohio State's draft picks under Tressel are from Florida and Texas, 2008 marked the first time one of his recruiting classes is filled with more out-of-state players than in-state — Florida, Georgia and Texas are represented.