Ohio State Football Recruiting Edges Michigan in 2012

Torey StroudContributor IMarch 2, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 9:  Mascot Brutus Buckeye of the Ohio State Buckeyes cheers on the team during a game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium on October 9, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Ohio State football recruiting was upgraded once again to first class status with the arrival of Urban Meyer.

From the moment he was announced as head coach, the game was on. The fact that he wasn't even shown his office yet did not matter. What mattered was the biggest coaching name on the market was now paired with one of the biggest schools in NCAA history.

This gave Ohio State an exponential boost in its recruiting appeal and the eventual edge over Michigan. When Coach Meyer actually got to work, this made the new Buckeyes even more dangerous in the recruiting game.

Although Meyer's former teams were no slouch on the defensive side of the ball, he was perhaps more known for his highly-potent spread offense. The first thing on many fans' minds in Columbus was how star quarterback Braxton Miller would shine in the new coach's scheme. However, defense wins championships, especially in the Big Ten, and Urban Meyer apparently knows this. Four of the top five players in Ohio State's 2012 recruiting class are defensive players ranked in ESPN's 150. This includes the No. 2 DE in the country Noah Spence. 

In fact, nine out of OSU's eleven 4-star or better recruits are all on the defensive side of the ball.

Ohio State's biggest recruiting competition this year was none other than arch-rival Michigan. Brady Hoke helped restore recruiting appeal of his own to that team up north.

Coach Hoke won over the Michigan fanbase quickly by first, being a former coach, and second leading them to an 11-2 record including a Sugar Bowl title in his first year.

This impressive turnaround to a struggling program also attracted the attention of four ESPN 150 players and like Ohio State, 11 4-star athletes. Michigan's revival was largely due to a revamped defense led by defensive coordinator Greg Mattison.

Mattison also plays a big role in the recruiting game and Rivals.com recently voted him as the No. 1 recruiter in the Big Ten. 

In spite of this, Michigan comes in slightly behind Ohio State this year in recruiting according to ESPN. What gives Ohio State the edge is not only having slightly better talent in this year's class but the fact that they took away some of this talent from other Big Ten schools.

It is one thing to add big talent to your team, but when you take that talent away from your competition in the process, the value doubles.