What pitches does Brady Hoke have up his sleeve to top Urban Meyer?
The border war between the Michigan football program and the Ohio State Buckeyes has intensified over the past two seasons with the arrivals of head coaches Brady Hoke and Urban Meyer.
Under Hoke, the Wolverines are 1-1 against the Buckeyes. Dominating on the recruiting trail has also been important to Hoke since being named head coach. Hoke has reeled in back-to-back top-10 classes, which proves Michigan is once again a dream destination for the top prospects in the country.
There are four pitches Hoke has been able to use to lure recruits to Ann Arbor. These same selling points will help Hoke outpace Meyer in key upcoming recruiting battles as well.
Brady Hoke and his staff are not afraid to play true freshmen.
Early playing time has become a major factor in the recruitment of some of the nation's top players. Brady Hoke and his staff's willingness to play true freshmen is a major selling point for the Michigan Wolverines.
There were 12 newcomers who saw action in Michigan's season-opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide. Talented freshmen like Mario Ojemudia, James Ross III and Joe Bolden eventually become major contributors for the Wolverines in 2012.
The 2013 campaign is sure to feature plenty of underclassmen atop the depth chart as well, especially along the offensive line. As many as three freshmen and sophomores could be starting between veteran tackles Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield this season.
Basically, Hoke will allow the best players to get on the field as early as possible. Experience is a great asset, but it is not a deal-breaker when it comes to compiling the starting lineup.
This is one of the best pitches Hoke has at his disposal.
There is not a single team in the country able to match the history and tradition of the Michigan Wolverines' football program.
Michigan has more wins (903), seasons above .500 (114), undefeated seasons (23) and a better winning percentage (.735) than anyone else in the history of college football. Playing at the Big House, which is the nation's largest stadium, is another selling point Brady Hoke and the coaches can take advantage of.
In addition to their national accolades, the Wolverines have won 42 Big Ten Conference titles to go along with 11 national championships, and they have also had three players take home a Heisman Trophy.
Although the Ohio State Buckeyes hold the edge in Heisman winners (seven), they trail Michigan in league crowns (34) and national titles (seven).
The value of history and tradition is not as important to recruits as it once was, but being able to talk about things no one else has accomplished never hurts.
During former head coach Bo Schembechler's first year as head coach of the Michigan Wolverines in 1969, countless players left the program before the season even began. Schembechler made a promise that Brady Hoke and his staff can also pitch to today's recruits: those who stay will be champions.
Michigan has brought in top-10 recruiting classes each of the past two seasons, and it is well on its way to reeling in a third in as many years. These hauls are creating a major gap between the Wolverines and the rest of the Big Ten.
In fact, it would not be a big surprise to see Michigan and the Ohio State Buckeyes dominate the Big Ten for the next several years.
The Wolverines have barely missed out on appearing in the league championship game the past two seasons, which is fairly impressive considering the fact that offensive coordinator Al Borges has not been able to run the pro-style attack he built his career on.
There is no doubt Michigan will win multiple Big Ten titles and potentially national championships if Brady Hoke continues to recruit at a high level.
Winning is important to the best recruits in the country and the Wolverines will be doing plenty of it throughout Hoke's tenure.
It did not take Brady Hoke long to win over the Maize and Blue faithful. Hoke's passion for the University of Michigan was put on full display after he was introduced as the new head coach back in 2011. Moments after being asked if he considered Michigan to be an elite coaching job, Hoke delivered a famous response.
"This is Michigan for God's sakes," Hoke told reporters.
Out of all the pitches Hoke has at his disposal to top Urban Meyer and the Ohio State Buckeyes, this one stands above the rest. Anyone would be hard-pressed to find a coach more passionate than Hoke about the university they represent.
Hoke is not worried about what other programs are doing, nor does he choose to discuss any team except for his own when talking to recruits. Some schools choose to use negative recruiting tactics, but Hoke refuses to engage in such activities. Why would he?
There is plenty to like about the Wolverines already. Bringing other teams down is unnecessary. Hoke only wants prospects desirous of becoming "Michigan men." The passion and genuine love Hoke has for Michigan is unrivaled, which makes it his best asset on the recruiting trail.