The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry isn't just a one-day battle on the football field in late November. For these two schools, the competition is a year-round event.
The perfect depiction of that comes with the recruitment of 4-star linebacker Kyle Berger. With 14 scholarship offers on hand, Berger is one of the most pursued high school prospects in the state of Ohio.
In the eyes of this talented linebacker, though, Ohio State and Michigan stand above the rest.
Meyer and the Buckeyes had the early lead for Berger's services, but things changed quickly when the All-Ohio linebacker out of St. Ignatius High School visited Michigan on March 15. With the help of defensive coordinator Greg Mattison and current Michigan commit and 4-star linebacker Michael Ferns, the Wolverines have made a late push to pull even with the Buckeyes.
Berger wants to make his college decision this spring, which made his recent trip to Columbus so important for Meyer and the Buckeyes.
After numerous trips to Ohio State in recent months, Berger wanted to get a first-hand look at the Buckeyes' spring practice to see how things operate under Meyer in Columbus.
"Seeing spring practices and watching the coaches will be a big part of my decision making," Berger recently told LandGrantHolyLand.com. "I'm looking to see if I am able to picture myself at these practices in a few years and if I can see myself being coached by these coaches, so I'm really excited for this visit."
After Saturday's visit, Berger came away impressed and is looking to plan another visit to Columbus, according to Brad Bournival of ESPN.com.
That's good news for the Buckeyes, who are continuing their efforts to build depth at linebacker with this year's recruiting class. Meyer has also targeted a number of other linebacker prospects, including a pair of 5-star studs in Raekwon McMillan and Clifton Garrett.
Berger is important to the Buckeyes because of who they're battling for his commitment. Both Ohio State and Michigan are going hard after Berger, and any off-field victory can help either side achieve a victory on the field in future matchups.
Berger told ElevenWarriors.com that he intends to visit each school one more time before making his decision in May. This is a battle that will go down to the wire, and at the moment, it looks like it could go either way.
Recruit rankings per 247Sports.com.
David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.