Meyer Dominating Hoke on Recruiting Trail

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Established October 31, 1996
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Last updated: 02/17/2012 9:39 AM
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Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes Already Dominating Michigan
By Tony Gerdeman

Yesterday around lunch time I was minding my own business, just being a good person, not looking for anything on the internet with which to troll Michigan fans. Then a tweet from our old pal, and Wolverine Business-Giver Emeritus, Tom Orr (@TomOrr4) came across my timeline.

"Per Scout, last player w/OSU+UM offers to commit to UM was Dymonte Thomas: 9/10/2011. Last 11 guys with OSU+UM offers all committed to OSU."

"That's a pretty alarming statistic," I thought to myself. "It's almost Tressel versus Carr-ian," which is now an adjective, by the way.

Then I thought to myself, "No way Ohio State is destroying Michigan like this in recruiting. I mean, I know it's bad, but it can't possibly be this bad, can it?"

Turns out, it's even worse.

Dymonte Thomas committed in September of 2011, but didn't get an offer from Ohio State until December. That means you have to look even further back to find the last guy who committed to Michigan with an Ohio State offer.

That puzzling outlier happens to be Kansas City defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins, who committed to Michigan on August 8th of last year.

Since then, seven players have committed to Michigan in either the 2012 or 2013 class, and none of them had Ohio State offers at the time.

By contrast—and when I say 'contrast', I mean con-freaking-trast—there have been twelve players with Michigan offers who have committed to Ohio State in that span.

Those players:

Adolphus Washington
Se'Von Pittman
Noah Spence
Taylor Decker
Joey O'Connor
David Perkins
Camren Williams
Armani Reeves
Kyle Dodson

Cameron Burrows
Billy Price
Eli Woodard

Now, some of these numbers need clarifying. For instance, I did not include five-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt, because Michigan revoked their offer when they landed the aforementioned Pipkins.

Also, Scout doesn't list Joey O'Connor as having an offer, though Rivals does. You can side with whichever network you like, it won't bother me.

Surprisingly, Michigan didn't offer Jalin Marshall, whom Scout rates as a five-star running back prospect. Though, when you consider that Marshall's allegiances have been well known for the better part of forever, perhaps that lack of an offer was an attempt to save face.

As an aside, if I wanted to get super-picky—I'm talking Dave Brandon levels of demanding absolute blandness in pizza product picky—I would include quarterback Cardale Jones on this list. Rivals has him committing to Ohio State in September of 2011. Michigan offered him in in February of 2010.

A lot went down with Jones, him having to go to a prep school and that whole deal. Who knows if Michigan ever offered him again. Who cares, really. After all, there is too much feast on the table to just be picking the bones.

(The irony of my Dave Brandon analogy about being picky is that he's the exact opposite when it comes to hiring head coaches. Boom!)

By the way, not that I should have to tell you this, but eleven of those twelve players who chose Ohio State over Michigan did it after Urban Meyer was hired.

The twelfth—five-star defensive end Adolphus Washington—committed less than a week before Meyer was hired, and talked openly about how excited he was to play for Meyer when he announced his commitment.

To be fair to Brady Hoke and Michigan, however, the Wolverines signed six players who had offers from Ohio State prior to Meyer's arrival, with Pipkins being the last of those in August.

Prior to Meyer's arrival, only two Buckeye commits—Devan Bogard and Bri'onte Dunn—had Michigan offers.

The extreme polarity of the turnaround would almost seem like an anomaly, but when twelve players in a row commit to Ohio State over Michigan, how can such consistency be labeled an aberration?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Urban Meyer is never going to lose a recruit to Michigan, but I think the early evidence is clear that he's going to win far more than he's going to lose.

In fact, the way the two recruiting classes went from November on, it's actually pretty reminiscent of the Rich Rodriguez years when the Wolverines were landing players that Ohio State had no interest in, and the Buckeyes were landing players that Michigan could only long for out of an upstairs bedroom window.

But fear not, Michigan fans. All is not lost for Brady Hoke. After all, he did beat out Ohio for at least six players in the 2012 recruiting class, which, as we all know, means the world to him.

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