Michigan vs. Ohio State: Is Brady Hoke Beating Urban Meyer on Recruiting Trail?

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Michigan vs. Ohio State: Is Brady Hoke Beating Urban Meyer on Recruiting Trail?
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Brady Hoke and Denard Robinson

When Urban Meyer took the job at Ohio State, he brought along a reputation of being a ruthless recruiter.

It didn't take long for Meyer to be accused by Wisconsin's Bret Bielema and Michigan State's Mark Dantonio of stealing their recruits.

Recently, he's been charged with using former Florida Gator Tim Tebow to help recruit for the Buckeyes.

Despite the accusations, Meyer has continued his recruiting success at Ohio State, with only one exception.

He's Brady Hoke, the second-year Michigan coach whose 2013 recruiting class is currently rated No. 1 nationally by Scout.com.

Many of Hoke's recruits have come from talent-rich Ohio, which former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel controlled for several years. Like Meyer, Hoke is a native of Ohio, where he had considerable recruiting success when he was the head coach at Ball State.

While coaching the Cardinals, Hoke recruited his home state hard, building relationships with high school coaches throughout Ohio. He obviously did it well. His last squad at Ball State featured 29 Ohioans.

Today, Hoke can call on several of the same coaches, since those relationships are still intact. Ohio State may always have the upper hand in Ohio, but Hoke will definitely get his share of players. Who knows? Michigan may even gain an advantage over Ohio State in Florida. Meyer is not exactly adored in the Sunshine State. 

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Hoke's first full recruiting class (2012) at Michigan finished No. 4 in the nation and it's already supplied a few key players to this year's Wolverine squad.

Tight end A.J. Williams, linebacker Joe Bolden and safety Jerrod Wilson have each seen considerable playing time as true freshmen. Waiting in the wings is Ohio State de-commit Kyle Kalis, along with Willie Henry, Allen Gant and Kaleb Ringer.

Meyer, however, has no intention of taking a back seat to anyone. He's already assembling a fairly good 2013 class himself.

 

The Buckeyes already have commits from the nation's No. 2 defensive end Joey Bosa, No. 4 tight end Marcus Baugh and No. 4 wide receiver Jalin Marshall. Meyer is also positioning himself to "steal" David Dawson and Gareon Conley from Michigan.

While verbal commitments are non-binding, Michigan doesn't allow a prospect to visit other schools after he commits.

Conley has already told ESPN he plans on taking a few visits. "“I’m going to do it,” Conley said . “It’s still Oregon and Ohio State.”

Even with the expected loss of Dawson and Conley, Michigan still has 22 commits accounted for. That leaves room for only two or three more in the upcoming class.

Michigan's top remaining targets are running back Derrick Green, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell and safety Leon McQuay.

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Urban Meyer

 

With the status of Fitz Toussaint uncertain after Saturday's leg injury, the power-running Green could earn some early playing time next fall. The 6'2", 200-pounder was also offered by the Buckeyes, but his possibilities have been narrowed to Michigan, Auburn, Miami (Fla.), Ole Miss, Oregon and Tennessee.

Treadwell, who will play in the Under Armour All-American game, has Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Michigan, Michigan State, Ole Miss and possibly Notre Dame among his favorites.

Michigan probably has the best chance at landing McQuay, the nation's No. 7 safety, according to his dad. 

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he chose Michigan,” McQuay's father told Scout.com. “The defensive coordinator basically sat us down and walked us through how he is going to be used.  If that actually holds true, he is going to be lining up in different spots. He is expected to make plays."

The senior McQuay also touched on something that sometimes sways recruits in Michigan's favor: education.

The school up north has always been regarded as one of top top universities in the United States, if not the world. In fact, QS World University Rankings places Michigan at No. 17 in the entire world, while Ohio State is at No. 105.

Education is sometimes omitted from from these discussions, but the McQuay family is takes it seriously. Leon plans on being a music major. 

"(The education) is not going to be a problem," Leon's father added.  "They have everything he needs there musically.  It’s just a matter of him deciding which program he wants to actually do with the classes.  He can do a major in the audio engineering, but he can also do a minor and take some classes in business… so he’ll get that side too.”

McQuay, who's projected to play free safety at Michigan, has already visited Oregon and Vanderbilt. Still to come are Florida State and possibly Southern Cal.

Michigan and Ohio State are both somewhat interested in defensive end Alquadin Muhammad and wide receiver Marquez North. But Muhammad is leaning toward Notre Dame and North has North Carolina at the top of his list.

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