Ohio State Football: Meyer Targeting State of Georgia for 2014 Recruiting Class

David RegimbalFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2013

Oct 27, 2012; University Park, PA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer during the second quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

For many of the past head coaches at Ohio State, priority No. 1 was finding a way to keep Big Ten schools—and other elite programs around the country—from raiding the "Buckeye State" of its top high school talent.

Famed coaches like Woody Hayes and Jim Tressel consistently relied on Ohio to fill the majority of the Buckeyes' recruiting needs, and with its rich tradition of great high school football, that certainly wasn't a bad move.

Ohio State has taken more of a national approach to recruiting under Meyer.

That's not to say the Buckeyes are ignoring their state. In fact, 26 of the Buckeyes' 50 commitments over the last two recruiting classes played their high school football in Ohio (16 in 2012, 10 in 2013). 

The recent trend for Meyer and his coaching staff, though, is giving the Buckeyes a more southern feel.

For proof of that, just look at how hard the Buckeyes are recruiting in the state of Georgia.

@kippladams says LB Detric Dukes -- Kirk Tucker's teammate -- also offered by the #OhioState #Buckeyes. That's 22 Georgians offered.

— Brad Bournival (@bbournival) May 9, 2013

Considering the talent Georgia is offering in 2014, it shouldn't be a surprise that Meyer is tossing his (and Ohio State's) hat in the mix.

The two Georgia linebackers Ohio State offered last week—Kirk Tucker and Detric Dukes, both 3-star recruits—joined the 20 other Peach State prospects the Buckeyes have already offered. 

Featured in that group is some of Ohio State's top recruiting targets. Raekwon McMillan, a 5-star linebacker, currently has the Buckeyes at the top of his list. Four-star wide receiver Demarre Kitt also has Ohio State on his short list, while 4-star prospects like athlete Myles Autry and quarterback Deshaun Watson are receiving a ton of attention from the Buckeyes.

Recruiting states in the SEC footprint makes a lot of sense for Meyer. Not only does he have a lot of experience doing so from his days at Florida (having strong relationships with high school coaches is a big part of recruiting), but Meyer knows that if the Buckeyes are going to compete with the SEC for national championships, they need to go head-to-head with those teams on the recruiting trail.

Looking back at Ohio State's 2013 recruiting class, Meyer's top-rated recruit—5-star safety Vonn Bell out of Rossville, Ga,—chose the Buckeyes over Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida and a host of other SEC schools.

Bell explained why he chose Ohio State over all the SEC schools that were much closer to his Georgia home.

"Urban Meyer is on a mission right now to win a national championship," Bell said, according to 247Sports.com.

Part of that mission has Meyer invading the state of Georgia.

All recruit rankings per 247Sports.com.


David Regimbal is the lead Ohio State football writer for Bleacher Report.