Did Michigan or Ohio State Have More Impressive Offensive 2013 Recruiting Class?
Ohio State and Michigan both had very successful 2013 recruiting cycles, but we all know there has to be a winner between the two.
Such is the reality of this rivalry.
There's no doubting the fact that both programs came away with two extremely impressive recruiting classes. Michigan finished ranked No. 5 overall by both Rivals and the 247Sports Composite, and Ohio State finished No. 2 overall according to both recruiting services as well.
In many cases, that would be enough to chalk it up to both schools having tremendous success on the recruiting trail, with both classes having immense potential.
That's not the reality of this rivalry though...
Someone must win, and someone must lose. What else will Michigan and Ohio State football fans argue about for the next few months?
Let's talk about offense. Urban Meyer is known as a great offensive coach and Brady Hoke is trying to transition to the pro-style offense. There's a lot that we can break down and evaluate offensively for both programs, so let's take a look at how their respective recruiting classes compare offensively.
Having the right quarterback for the pro-style system is a must, and Hoke took care of that by recruiting and signing 4-star quarterback Shane Morris. Morris has great size at 6'3'', 201 pounds and he has arguably the strongest arm in the 2013 class. He'll be able to stand tall in the pocket and make big throws for Michigan, and he may even get the advantage of redshirting right off the bat. Even if he doesn't see the field as a freshman, Morris is undoubtedly the future quarterback of Michigan's program.
I really like what JT Barrett is bringing to the table for Ohio State. He's 6'2'', 205 pounds and he runs a 4.60 40 according to 247Sports. He's big, athletic and can run outside of the pocket, but he also has a very strong arm and is a rather accurate passer. Barrett is ranked as the No. 2 overall dual-threat quarterback according to the 247Sports Composite. Much like Morris, he could be a good player to redshirt as a freshman.
More Impressive: Michigan
Ezekiel Elliott Via 247Sports
Michigan needs a big running back capable of carrying the rock 20-30 times a game. He needs to be able to run between the tackles, but also be a good blocker, and it really helps if he has the speed to bounce it outside or break the second level. Michigan got that running back in 5-star Derrick Green. He projects to be a big-time between-the-tackles back at 6'0'', 220 pounds, but he also runs a 4.58 40 according to 247Sports.
The big running back recruit for Ohio State is 4-star all-purpose back Ezekiel Elliott. He's 6'0'', 212 pounds and runs a 4.40 40 according to 247Sports. He'll fit the Buckeyes' scheme perfectly, and he could end up being a star when all is said and done. Elliott is the No. 5 all-purpose back in the country (247Sports Composite).
The other recruit who is technically ranked as an all-purpose back is 4-star Dontre Wilson, who Meyer was able to flip to Ohio State. Wilson is 5'10'', 165 pounds and runs a 4.40 40 according to 247Sports. Even though he's ranked as a running back, he'll most likely line up as a slot receiver for Ohio State.
More Impressive: Ohio State
Wide Receiver/Tight End
The Wolverines did a great job adding depth at the tight end and wide receiver position. 4-star tight end Jake Butt is the marquee recruit for this group. He's the No. 4 ranked tight end in the 2013 class and runs a 4.70 40 according to 247Sports. He'll be a very good backup behind Devin Funchess. Michigan also added a few good wideout recruits in 2-star Csont'e York, 3-star Jaron Dukes, 3-star Da'Mario Jones and 3-star athlete recruit Channing Stribling.
The big recruit here for Ohio State is 4-star wideout Jalin Marshall. He's 6'0'', 190 pounds and runs a 4.40 40 according to 247Sports. Many project him to play a "Percy Harvin-esque" role in Ohio State's offense, and he's certainly skilled enough to do it. He's also the No. 1 ranked recruit from Ohio (247Sports Composite), so he represents a big win for Ohio State.
Ohio State also received a very big signature from 4-star tight end Marcus Baugh. He's the No. 4 ranked tight end in the 2013 class according to the 247Sports Composite, and he projects to be very good for the Buckeyes. Other recruits in this group include talented 4-star JUCO wideout Corey Smith and 4-star James Clark.
More Impressive: Ohio State
David Dawson Via 247Sports
The final piece of the puzzle for Michigan was on the offensive line. The transition to the pro-style offense means that the Wolverines need some big, strong offensive lineman, and depth is key. Hoke and his staff more than took care of the depth chart at offensive line.
Michigan's 2013 class features 4-star guard Kyle Bosch (6'5'', 305 lbs.), 4-star offensive tackle Logan Tuley-Tillman (6'7'', 300 lbs.), 4-star guard David Dawson (6'4'', 280 lbs.), 4-star guard Chris Fox (6'6'', 300 lbs.), 4-star center Patrick Kugler (6'4'', 270 lbs.), 3-star guard Dan Samuelson (6'5'', 290 pounds) and 2-star long-snapper Scott Sypniewski (6'1'', 230 lbs.).
The Buckeyes only picked up two offensive linemen recruits, but they are two big ones. 4-star offensive tackle Evan Lisle is the main recruit here. He's 6'5'', 265 pounds and is ranked as the No. 6 offensive tackle in the country according to the 247Sports Composite. He's also an important in-state commitment for the Buckeyes.
The other lineman Ohio State signed is 3-star offensive tackle Timothy Gardner, who has great size at 6'5'', 310 pounds.
More Impressive: Michigan
More Impressive Offensive Class: Michigan
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
My answer could easily go either way, but I have to give the slight edge to Hoke and the Wolverines.
Ohio State filled a lot of needs mind you, especially at wideout and running back, but the big kicker here is the fact that Michigan is in the process of transitioning to a completely different offensive scheme—and Hoke recruited perfectly for that.
That's not to take away from Ohio State's class. Personally, though, I can't help but admire the vision and focus that was shown by Michigan's staff.
Not everybody is going to agree with me, though, and that's just the reality of this rivalry.
Let the debate begin.