Gareon Conley: What Michigan Must Do to Prevent Ohio State from Landing 4-Star

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIINovember 30, 2012

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Recent University of Michigan decommit, 4-star cornerback Gareon Conley from Massilon, Ohio, has set two official visits, and one of them will be to Ann Arbor.

Fittingly enough, the other school Conley will be visiting is none other than the Wolverines' rival, Ohio State.

Brad Bournival of reported on a recent visit Urban Meyer had with the recruit. He also reports on Conley's visit plans:

Meyer and Conley will certainly get to know more of each other as the cornerback will come to Columbus on an official visit Dec. 6.

The senior won’t be done there as the Michigan decommit still has plans to make a trip to Ann Arbor, to check in with the Wolverines, who are still recruiting him.

This could end up being a big second chance for Brady Hoke and the Wolverines.

As with many rivalries, the tension between Ohio State and Michigan extends far beyond the playing field. The realm of recruiting is often another area where these two college football powers do battle, and you can now count Conley as one of the coveted recruits that both OSU and Michigan will be fighting for.

247Sports has Ohio State listed as the leader for Conley, followed by Michigan, and considering the odds of a recruit re-committing to a program aren't great, Michigan is going to have its work cut out for it. It would be a huge win for Hoke and the Wolverines if they were able to get Conley back, though, and part of that win would be the fact that they kept him from Ohio State.

So, with all that in mind, what must Michigan do to keep Conley from committing to OSU?

Right now, the biggest thing Hoke and his staff have going against them in this recruiting battle is the fact that Meyer and OSU look to be setting up for a dominant run in the Big Ten. In just his first year as head coach, the Buckeyes went undefeated at 12-0, despite a bowl ban.

With his abilities as a coach and recruiter, Meyer should have OSU competing for the Big Ten crown for many years.

Hoke needs to combat that by showing off his resume as a recruiter and pointing to that as a sign that Michigan will have just as much success as OSU in the future.

Hoke's 2013 class is extremely impressive—ranked No. 5 overall by—and he can pitch Conley on the fact that if he commits to Michigan, Hoke will surround him with talented players year after year as well.

Michigan is building something great through recruiting, and Hoke can match Meyer stride-for-stride as a recruiter. He needs to prove that to Conley.

The other thing Michigan can offer Conley is a fairly favorable depth chart.

Courtney Avery is a junior, and J.T. Floyd and safety Jordan Kovacs are seniors, so there's going to be room for competition in the secondary once the offseason hits. Ohio State's depth chart on the other hand only has one senior in Travis Howard in the secondary, and Bradley Roby is a sophomore corner, so there's more opportunity to play sooner up in Ann Arbor.

When you combine that with the education, the great atmosphere, fan base, tradition and the fact that Conley had already committed once—pointing to the fact that there must be something he likes about Michigan—the Wolverines have a solid pitch.

Considering his Ohio roots and OSU's imminent rise back to the top of the Big Ten, it's going to be hard to keep him away from the Buckeyes, but you know the Wolverines are going to try their hardest to do just that.

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