Ohio State Football: Why 'The Game' Will Be a Game-Changing Recruiting Weekend

Tim Bielik@bielik_timSenior Analyst INovember 14, 2012

EAST LANSING, MI - SEPTEMBER 29:  Head coach Urban Meyer of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts on the sideline while playing the Michigan State Spartans at Spartan Stadium on September 29, 2012 in East Lansing, Michigan. Ohio State won the game 17-16. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry is pretty much back in the mainstream of college football rivalries, and the best of high school football athletes have taken notice.

The list of 2013 and 2014 prospects set to descend on the Horseshoe in Columbus for the latest instalment of "The Game" on Nov. 24 is massive to say the least.

Whether or not these recruits are all truly interested in the rivalry or, in some small cases, just wanting to see one of the best rivalries in college sports is up to them.

But the fact that so many players are going to be at this game is just amazing for the Buckeyes.

We all know of the recruiting ability Urban Meyer has as a head coach. All you need to do is look at the recruits Ohio State had before he was hired just a year ago, and then the recruits he brought into the Class of 2012 following his arrival for proof.

Several 2013 prospects including WR Marquez North, OL Dorian Johnson and LB Mike Mitchell are all taking their official visits that weekend, and to obviously take in what should be a very entertaining game.

The biggest thing that pops out when it comes to the list of 2014 prospects is how many top quality players are on that list, especially on the front seven with players like Da'Shawn Hand, Raekwon McMillan, Clifton Garrett and Dante Booker all scheduled to visit.

Each of those players has the Buckeyes ranked in pretty well regard, especially McMillan who has the Buckeyes high on his list at this time.

There are all sorts of games every year throughout college football that attract big name recruits by the dozen.

This is one of those for Ohio State, and is probably the only one the Buckeyes will have with these recruits on this kind of scale.

It's also hard to deny that a game like the OSU-Michigan game has among the most incredible atmospheres in all of college football. The addition of Meyer and Michigan's Brady Hoke has taken the rivalry to a level it hasn't been in quite a few years.

We've also seen time and time again that if enough kids love what they see from their visits—and Ohio State does have a very good track record of this—there will be a rush of verbal commits just days after the game.

Will it happen? Who really knows.

The odds of something like this happening with the 2013 kids is a little slim considering players like North and James Quick are taking all of their visits before they make their decisions. But every situation and every year is very different.

Recruiting is a sport in itself, but also a chance for the coach and current players to show what they have to offer.

The best thing Meyer can show these players is they will have two home games against Michigan in their college careers, and what they see will be what it is like when they put on the jersey.

A big weekend and an Ohio State win over Michigan on Nov. 24 can go a long way into Meyer finishing the 2013 class on a high note and generating big momentum for the 2014 class.

Because of that, games like this are very much game-changers in recruiting. At least, they are if your team wins, of course.


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