Former Dallas Cowboys coach and recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inducee Jimmy Johnson surely didn't come right out and tell Urban Meyer to turn down the University of Texas job.
But his frankness about the differences between Meyer in college and Meyer in the NFL - where he is now, in his first season running the Jacksonville Jaguars - seemingly played a role.
“I don’t think he saw the challenge that Jacksonville gives him and I think he wanted the challenge of professional football. He’s accomplished everything he can accomplish in college football and he wants the challenge of professional football,” Johnson told The Dan LeBatard Show with Stugotz.
Texas reached out to the then-retired Meyer at the end of the 2020 college season, while UT was obviously considering dismissing Tom Herman, which the Longhorns ultimately did, along with the hiring of Steve Sarkisian.
Meyer, the three-time national championship-winning coach, said no to coming to Austin.
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Johnson, who coached at the college level, including tremendous success at the University of Miami before taking over the Cowboys in 1989 and winning two Super Bowls, said he spoke with Meyer - both of them being employed by FOX Sports at the time - on a handful of occasions and offered his advice.
“We just talked about the strains of recruiting and we actually compared it to going into professional football, as well,'' Johnson said. "I didn’t actually give him my feeling about what he should do. I just talked to him about the pros and cons of both positions.''
And in the end, the "pros'' led Urban Meyer to take a job with the pros.
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