By Hays Carlyon
Jaguars owner Shad Khan got his guy.
Welcome to Jacksonville, Urban Meyer.
One star has arrived. Another, Clemson phenom quarterback Trevor Lawrence, is on his way with the first pick on April 29.
The Jaguars made unquestionably the biggest splash hire in their history on Thursday, announcing that Meyer will become the Jaguars coach. The 56-year-old Meyer has a spectacular resume that includes two national championships at Florida and one at Ohio State.
Meyer won 85 percent of his games in college (187-32) over 17 years with stints at Bowling Green, Utah, UF and Ohio State. He was 12-3 in bowl games. In addition to his national title wins, he has won two Fiesta and Sugar Bowls apiece, as well as victories in the Rose and Cotton.
Meyer retired in 2018 and has been working as a studio analyst for Fox Sports’ college football coverage.
Meyer now takes over a Jaguars team that won one game last season, losing 15 consecutive to close the campaign.
Khan was patient, focused and delivered. He also showed his commitment to winning by investing the kind of money Meyer will certainly command (likely over $10 million per season).
There are concerns. Meyer has had health issues in the past and has never coached in the NFL. How he builds a staff and how he works with the front office will be fascinating.
For now, enjoy the moment.
You know Khan will. The nine-year owner with a record of 41-106 (counting playoffs) just landed the coach that should help him finally build a consistent winner.
Meyer certainly has ammunition.
The team has an NFL-high amount of salary-cap space of roughly $77 million, according to spotrac.com. That’s with 57 players already under contract for 2021. Expectations are that the Jaguars will look to be aggressive when free agency opens in March, a staple under Khan’s ownership, to start to build the roster up.
The real fun comes a month later.
The Jaguars have four picks in the first 45 selections of the draft. That should enable the Jaguars to select Lawrence and land three more top-tier prospects. The Jaguars have 11 picks overall.
You can read my column on why Meyer is a sensational hire for the Jaguars here.
(You can email Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon)