New Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer began analyzing the nuances of the NFL one year ago in preparation of a possible move to the pros.
"NFL has always been an intrigue," the college football legend acknowledged Friday at his introductory news conference. "Had some opportunities in the past but just wasn't the right time and then wasn't the right situation."
A three-time national champion, Meyer went 187-32 across stints at Bowling Green, Utah, Florida, and Ohio State. He retired at the end of the 2018 season, citing health issues.
"It's something I'm gonna be very conscientious of, I'm gonna watch very closely," Meyer said of his health. "I'm not gonna be running around like a nut on the practice field. Those days are gone."
The 56-year-old will inherit a Jaguars roster that lost its final 15 games in 2020. Jacksonville, though, holds the No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft - which Meyer called a "huge" factor in his decision to take the job - and the most cap space in the league entering the offseason.
"It's primed to put together a good team," he said. "I'm not going to jump into a situation where I don't believe we can win."
Predictably, Meyer refused to reveal his plans for the No. 1 pick. However, he did name Clemson's Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State's Justin Fields, and BYU's Zach Wilson as candidates to receive the first phone call on draft night.
"Who we pick at that quarterback position, that's going to be one of the most important decisions in my lifetime," he said. "My initial study - I like to use the word 'elite' - I see some elite quarterbacks out there right now."
The Jaguars plan to hire a general manager in the next week or so, and whoever lands the job will be tasked with supporting Meyer's vision for the team.
Meyer's next project will be filling out his staff. He said he won't ask Ohio State for more than one of his former assistants, lauding the staff in Columbus as "the best infrastructure in college sports."