CINCINNATI -- Cincinnati Bengals coach Marvin Lewis shot Ohio State coach Urban Meyer a text shortly after Cincinnati took center Billy Price in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft on Thursday night.
"We've finally got a Buckeye," Lewis texted.
Now, with the addition of Sam Hubbard on Friday night with the 77th overall pick, the Bengals have two, and Meyer might be the one to thank for that.
Lewis was visiting Ohio State's campus about four years ago when Hubbard was still an OSU recruit from Cincinnati. Hubbard happened to give Meyer a call that day, and the Buckeyes coach didn't hesitate to take advantage of Lewis' presence. He quickly put Lewis on the phone to try a different kind of sales pitch.
"[Meyer] said, 'Guess who I'm standing here talking to? You're going to come here and play for the Buckeyes and you're going to get a chance to play for your hometown Bengals,'" Lewis recalled.
Meyer got his man, and eventually, so did Lewis. When Lewis was visiting Ohio State again this spring for the Buckeyes' pro day, Meyer reminded him of that conversation all those years ago.
"I told Sam about it on the phone [on draft night]," Lewis said. "You're talking about full circle with that."
It hasn't escaped Hubbard how unique it was that everything turned out just as his coaches predicted. Hubbard, a lifelong Bengals fan, hadn't committed to Ohio State at that time, but perhaps Lewis' pitch gave him the push he needed.
"That was a great recruiting tool," the defensive end recalled Friday. "(Meyer is) a smart man, he’s got connections. He put Marvin Lewis on the phone, and the guy has been the coach of Cincinnati pretty much my whole life. That’s something that Coach Lewis told me on the phone, when they called to draft me, that it came full circle ...
"It’s really special. You know, it’s hard to believe things work out like that sometimes. It's incredible.”