National Signing Day 2012: Will Ohio State or Michigan Have the Better Class?

John PattonContributor IJanuary 30, 2012

ANN ARBOR, MI - NOVEMBER 26: Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines tries to get around the tackle of Ryan Shazier #10 of the Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 40-34. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Rivals on the football field, Ohio State and Michigan also are battling to win the Big Ten's unofficial Class of 2012 recruiting championship.

As of late Monday afternoon, the ever-fluid team rankings look like this:

OSU: 3 (rivals), 3 (scout), 6 (ESPN), 3 (

Michigan: 5 (rivals), 4 (scout), 8 (ESPN), 6 (

Here is a look at how Urban Meyer's first and Brady Hoke's second classes break down, looking at the Buckeyes first.

Ohio State has 24 commitments, headlined by a pair of 5-star (per Rivals) defensive ends, 6'3", 245-pound Noah Spence (Harrisburg, Pa. Bishop McDevitt) and 6'4", 230-pound Adolphus Washington (Cincinnati Taft).

The Buckeyes' class is very balanced, featuring 12 offensive prospects, 11 defensive prospects and 4-star athlete David Perkins, who they swiped right out from under Notre Dame.

With potentially a couple more recruits set to join the class, so far OSU has four defensive backs, four offensive linemen, four wide receivers, three defensive ends, three linebackers, two running backs, a tight end, a quarterback and a defensive tackle, as well as Perkins.

Michigan counters with a class of 23, highlighted by 5-star defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins (6'3", 325 pounds from Kansas City, Mo. Park City) and 6'5", 302-pound offensive lineman Kyle Kalis (St. Edward, Lakewood, Ohio), a one time Ohio State commitment.

Like their arch-rivals, the Wolverines have divided the class pretty evenly.

They have commitments from 13 defensive and 10 offensive prospects. The overall breakdown includes four offensive linemen, four linebackers, four defensive backs, three defensive ends, two tight ends, two wide receivers, two running backs and a pair of defensive tackles. Three Ohio natives—linebackers Joe Bolden and Kaleb Ringer, as well as defensive back Jarrod Wilson—have already started classes in Ann Arbor.

So, which Big Ten powerhouse will come out ahead in the end?

The prediction here is that the Buckeyes hold onto the small lead they have built up. However, even though Meyer might just be the country's best recruiter, look for Michigan to possibly win recruiting battles in the coming years, as OSU deals with scholarship reductions handed down by the NCAA for violations committed under former coach Jim Tressel.

Either way, each program is on the rise once again.