Category: B1G Published on Monday, 21 May 2012 11:32 Written by Bleacher Report Hits: 339
Arguably the biggest recruiting battle between any two teams in all of college football is between Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Michigan's Brady Hoke.
Both coaches are somewhat new to their schools as Hoke has only been at Michigan for one season and Meyer is three months away from his first game as OSU's top dog.
But these two men have already had some great recruiting battles in the last six months since Meyer's hire, including some great battles in the 2012 class.
In 2013, each of these two coaches have already put together some fantastic classes that currently rank in the top five on Scout.com.
But which is better? Here is a deep look into each of the key areas.
Ohio State and Michigan each loaded up on depth at the quarterback position with a stud apiece to fit their systems.
Michigan landed top pro-style passer Shane Morris almost at the beginning of the recruiting process.
The Buckeyes jumped into the Lone Star State and scooped up J.T. Barrett, an elite dual-threat prospect who looks like a Braxton Miller clone.
These two players could not be more different, as Morris is your prototypical pocket passer a la Tom Brady and Barrett is a guy that can burn defenses with his feet or his arm.
Both of these players should be great fits in their respective systems, but Barrett may be helped in that he will not be asked to start right away as Miller will be a junior in 2013. Morris' situation may not be as easy as Denard Robinson will graduate after the 2012 season.
Ohio State had a major need of talent at the skill positions, and they loaded up big time by getting three dynamic players in Jalin Marshall, Ezekiel Elliott and Marcus Baugh.
Marshall is among the most explosive athletes in the entire country and could be OSU's Percy Harvin-esque player that makes Meyer's offense so much better. Elliott and Baugh are each dynamic athletes, especially Baugh who is a matchup nightmare at the tight end position.
The Wolverines also landed a good group of skill players so far including RB Deveon Smith, WR Jaron Dukes and TE Jake Butt—all of whom are from Ohio.
They're all very talented players, but Ohio State's group is just on another level as far as talent is concerned.
This one really is a no-contest, as the Wolverines already have five offensive linemen committed—all of whom have at least four stars on Scout.com—to Ohio State's one, Centerville's Evan Lisle.
The Buckeyes are still looking to land at least one or two offensive linemen in this year's class, including Ethan Pocic.
But when it comes to sheer numbers, Michigan landed probably the best group of offensive linemen in the country, which they will need considering the amount of talent the Buckeyes landed in the front seven in 2012 and so far in 2013.
Michigan's mad rush to start recruiting began in February when Pickerington (OH) DE Taco Charlton committed to the Wolverines. Stud OLB Michael McCray, who's father played at Ohio State, also joined Charlton at Michigan, along with Hudson's Ben Gedeon.
The Buckeyes, who already brought in two five-star defensive ends in 2012, added yet another to the crop with the huge verbal of Joey Bosa, an absolute monster off the edge. They also have verbals from underrated DE Tracy Sprinkle and DT Billy Price, who was the third to commit to OSU's current class.
OSU had commits from LBs Lewis Neal and Alex Anzalone, but each decommitted in recent weeks and could still find their way back to Ohio State when all is said and done.
That said, it's hard to not absolutely love what Ohio State did in their front seven.
The strength of the defense for years has been an athletic front seven that can stop the running game and make other teams one-dimensional. They're on their way back with a vengeance.
Trotwood-Madison (OH) DB Cameron Burrows was the first commit of OSU's 2013 class and he has been the leader of the new class so far. Joining him in the secondary are CB Eli Woodard and S Jayme Thompson.
Michigan started their secondary off with yet another Ohio kid, Dymonte Thomas, an absolutely dynamic playmaker. Jourdan Lewis and Gareon Conley have also verballed to Michigan as future defensive backs.
This group, like the quarterbacks, are just too close to call.
Burrows and Woodard are each elite corners that can both be bookends, but Thomas is a great playmaker and Lewis and Conley complement each other very well.
Again, it depends on the film and looking at each individual player, but this is too close to call as a whole.
When you look at how many recruits each team has, Michigan's 18 commits might be more now than Ohio State can get at national signing day due to scholarship reductions.
That will hurt OSU in 2014 also as most of their team is comprised of their 2011 and 2012 recruits.
And while Michigan has an overwhelming edge on the offensive line, the positions where OSU does have an edge make them just slightly better than Michigan's class.
OSU's group will only get better as the Wolverines are slowly running out of space in their class. The Buckeyes can add five to six more players and possibly even more if players like Johnathan Hankins leave for the NFL early.
Meyer is among the game's best recruiters—along with Nick Saban, Lane Kiffin and Mack Brown. Hoke is establishing himself as an excellent recruiter as well, which will make the OSU-Michigan rivalry so much better.
But for right now, the 2013 class is slightly better in Columbus, mostly because they have slightly better quality across the board than Michigan's great class.
Source: Bleacher Report