The SEC is the most competitive recruiting conference in college football and that's because most elite recruits want to play in it, but if there's a non-SEC coach that can out-recruit the power conference, it's Urban Meyer.
That's good news for the Buckeyes in the race for 4-star defensive tackle Chris Williams. He's a talented recruit from the state of Georgia, which is SEC country, and he's ranked as the No. 30 defensive tackle in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite.
According to Dave Hooker of ESPN.com, Ohio State is in Williams' top five but so are four other big-time SEC programs:
The defensive tackle from Tyrone (Ga.) Sandy Creek confirmed that Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Ohio State, Tennessee and South Carolina have separated themselves from the pack. Williams told ESPN of the group shortly after a visit to Tennessee on Saturday for its junior day event.
"That's my top schools right now," the 6-foot-1, 283-pound prospect said before adding that his official list of finalists will come out later this spring.
This could end up being a recruiting battle of epic proportions, especially considering the hype that a few of these programs are experiencing right now.
Ole Miss was last cycle's surprise program, Texas A&M is still riding the wave created by Johnny Manziel and the 2012 season, Tennessee is experiencing quite a recruiting revival in Butch Jones' first full cycle and South Carolina is always a constant on the recruiting trail.
It's going to be a task for Ohio State to pull Williams away from the SEC, but like I said, Meyer has the abilities to do it. Ohio State, in general, has the pitch and draw to be able to pull this off.
The Buckeyes are a legitimate national championship contender, and that's something that only Alabama, LSU and Florida can say right now. Texas A&M may be able to join that club if the Aggies' program continues to grow, and then there are a few outlier teams like Michigan, Georgia and USC.
In an era where Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide are the elite team in both recruiting and on the field, there may be one or two programs that can go toe-to-toe with them in both arenas. I consider Ohio State to be one of those programs (the others potentially being LSU and maybe Florida), and that should be a huge recruiting draw.
Also, consider the future of Ohio State's defense and the potentially great squad Williams would have the chance to be a part of.
Meyer went out and recruited a great defensive class in 2013, highlighted by 5-star safety Vonn Bell. Ohio State also signed 4-star corners Eli Apple and Cameron Burrows, 4-star defensive end Joey Bosa, 4-star inside linebacker Trey Johnson, 4-star outside linebacker Mike Mitchell and 4-star defensive tackles Donovan Munger and Michael Hill among others.
Meyer's 2013 class was top-notch, and defensively, this unit has the chance to be extremely good.
Ohio State has very good depth at defensive tackle, so that could be a negative point for Williams, but if Meyer can sell him on being part of a big-time defense and eventually working his way into the rotation on a team that will compete for national championships, Ohio State does have a chance.
Per Hooker's report, Williams will visit Ohio State later in the spring, so Ohio State will have the chance to make an impression on him. Speaking of impressions though, Tennessee reportedly made a big one with the defensive tackle, and Georgia could be an option if they were to offer, according to Hooker.
As previously stated, this is going to be an extremely intriguing recruiting race to watch.
It looks like Williams is an SEC recruit for the most part, but Ohio State has the pitch, and I certainly wouldn't count out Meyer in this situation.
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