Ohio State Football: Saban and the Tide Are Invading OSU's Recruiting Territory

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2013

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 07:  Head coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide shouts to his players during the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Sun Life Stadium on January 7, 2013 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When it comes to in-state recruiting battles, Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes have had their hands full fighting off the likes of Michigan, Notre Dame and a host of Big Ten schools for the Ohio's top prospects.

Earlier this week, Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide threw their hat in the ring.

They did so by offering a trio of players from Ohio State's pipeline—Glenville High School in Cleveland—earlier this week, according to Mark Porter of ScoutingOhio.com.

Erick Smith, Marcelys Jones, and Marshon Lattimore - Receive offers from Alabama - GLENVILLE HIGH SCHOOL - Class... fb.me/1fCUvY6IG

— Mark Porter (@Mark__Porter) February 21, 2013

Saban has had tremendous success on the recruiting trail, signing the country's top class three years in row, according to 247Sports.com.

During that three-year stretch, Alabama rarely had to leave the SEC footprint to find its recruits. Of the 77 commitments Saban has secured since 2011, only two players—linebacker Trey DePriest and center Ryan Kelly—were from Ohio.

Jones, Lattimore and Smith have all been rated 4-star prospects by 247Sports.com.

Jones is a massive guard prospect who committed to Ohio State on Christmas day, becoming the first member of the Buckeyes' 2014 class. Lattimore, a cornerback/athlete, is ranked the top prospect in Ohio by 247Sports and currently favors the Buckeyes. Smith is a hard-hitting safety who isn't afraid to step in the box and help in run support.

The three prospects are very high on Meyer's wish list, but with Alabama now in the picture, Ohio State's head coach will have to go head-to-head against a school that has seemed unstoppable on the recruiting trail since 2011.

Will Meyer be able to hold off the Tide and keep all three prospects from leaving their home state, or will Saban be able to pluck any of these guys away? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


David is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.