Ohio State Football: Meyer Stealing Michigan Recruits, Targets Fuel Rivalry

David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistJanuary 16, 2013

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

When 4-star cornerback Gareon Conley from Massillon, Ohio committed to Michigan last March, he became the 15th member of Brady Hoke’s surging 2013 recruiting class.

Just 10 months removed from his decision to play up north, Conley spurned the Wolverines to become a Buckeye.

It was a huge blow to the Wolverines, as they were forced to watch their highest-rated prospect (according to ESPN.com) flip to their greatest rival.

Just one month after Meyer flipped Conley from Michigan, he went to the Wolverines’ backyard and stole one of their top 2014 targets in Damon Webb.

Webb, like Conley, is a 4-star cornerback with tremendous potential. Webb will likely be the top prospect in the state when the 2014 recruiting rankings come out, and the fact that he comes from Michigan’s pipeline high school—Detroit Cass Tech—has to be a bitter pill to swallow for Michigan's coaching staff.

That would be like Michigan poaching the best player from Glenville High School in Cleveland—Ohio State's pipeline school.

Consider this Meyer's counterpunch to Hoke for stealing 4-star offensive tackle Kyle Kalis from Ohio State last year.

It's hard to argue against the fact that these two coaches are bringing the heat back to this rivalry. 

Ohio State not only stole the momentum in the rivalry, but completely owned it throughout the aughts. Former Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel won nine of his 10 games against the Wolverines between 2001-10, the last of which was vacated due to NCAA sanctions.

Hoke led Michigan to its first win over Ohio State in eight years, defeating the Buckeyes 40-34 in Ann Arbor at the end of the 2011 season. Meyer retaliated with a 26-21 victory over the Wolverines that capped Ohio State's perfect 12-0 season this year.

The rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan isn't just played on the field, though. The two coaches are frequently targeting the same players, especially considering how dependent Michigan is on Ohio prospects.

With the verbal commitments of Conley and Webb, Meyer currently boasts a 2-0 edge over Hoke this offseason.


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