Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
The 109th meeting between Ohio State and Michigan on Saturday holds enormous stakes for both teams. Ohio State hosts well over 30 recruits, many of which are also being recruited by the Wolverines. Who comes out on top may determine where recruits pledge their allegiance to.
The wait is over. Ohio State will finish out their season on Saturday when they host arch-rival Michigan. This game in particular could be what triggers the second coming of the famed "Ten Year War" in which Buckeye head coach Woody Hayes and Michigan coach Bo Schembechler went toe-to-toe from 1969-1978.
This time around, head coach Urban Meyer introduces himself to the rivalry game with an unblemished 11-0 regular season record. Coach Meyer's squad will go up against the Wolverines and coach Brady Hoke who helped break the Buckeyes win streak of seven straight against Michigan last year with a 40-34 victory.
There will be more on the line than an undefeated record for Ohio State on Saturday, though. Coach Meyer and director of player personnel Mark Pantoni have worked tirelessly day in, day out to entice some of the best athletes in the country to come play for Ohio State.
So far, the Buckeyes have done just that, signing a top 10 class in 2012 and currently holding a top five spot in the 2013 recruiting race. No rest for the weary, however, as the recruiting battles continue along future classes.
Top ten Alabama Fsu Lsu Michigan UNC Notre Dame Ohio state Oklahoma South Carolina Va Tech— Da'shawn Hand (@TheHand54) November 23, 2012
The nation's No. 1 prospect in the class of 2014, coming out of the state of Virginia, defensive end Da'Shawn Hand released his top 10 on Friday morning, as you can see above. I also think it's a smart choice by Hand to put the teams in alphabetical order, rather than playing favorites right now and leaving more to speculation.
The 6'5", 247 pound Hand is scheduled to visit Ohio State on Saturday for the Michigan game. He also made it to North Carolina and West Virginia for games this fall and visited Virginia Tech right before the season. In an impressive showing, Hand had 84 tackles and 21 sacks as a sophomore last year.
Another 5-star prospect to keep a close eye on is '14 LB Raekwon McMillan (GA). McMillan is visiting this Saturday for The Game, but the battle for his talent has been a three-horse race between Ohio State, Georgia, and Clemson.
You can count on Urban Meyer to not put all his eggs in one basket, however, as the quest for a big time linebacker in the Class of 2014 continued this week when Ohio State offered in-state LB Kyle Berger. Ohio State is the first to offer the 6'3", 205-pound outside linebacker from Cleveland St. Ignatius.
This season alone, Berger racked up 10 sacks and 44 tackles for loss. Other big time programs will be making their move on Berger in the near future, but it goes to show how well coach Meyer and his staff prepare their plan of attack on recruits.
If you're having trouble keeping track of all the recruits headed to Columbus for The Game, have no fear, we've got everything sorted out in one spot for you. Below are the recruits that are known as of now to be attending that are sorted into three categories: Buckeye Commitments, Class of 2013 targets, and Class of 2014 targets.
- 4-star QB JT Barrett
- 4-star DE Tyquan Lewis
- 4-star DL Michael Hill
- 4-star RB Ezekiel Elliott
- 4-star QB/ATH Jalin Marshall*
- 3-star DB/LB Darron Lee*
- 4-star DL Billy Price*
- 3-star DE Tracy Sprinkle*
- 4-star OL Evan Lisle*
- 4-star DB Cam Burrows*
- 4-star WR James Quick
- 4-star LB Trey Johnson
- 4-star LB Daniel McMillian
- 4-star DB/WR Gareon Conley*
- 4-star WR Shelton Gibson*
- 4-star ATH Christopher Worley*
- 4-star DL Donovan Munger*
- 4-star WR Ryan Timmons
- 4-star QB Drew Barker*
- 4-star QB DeShone Kizer*
- 5-star RB Jalen Hurd
- 4-star ATH Marshon Lattimore*
- 4-star WR Josh Malone
- 4-star WR Thaddeus Snodgrass*
- 3-star WR Austin Roberts
- 4-star OL Jamarco Jones
- 3-star OL Quenton Nelson
- 3-star OL Jimmy Byrne*
- 4-star OL Marcelys Jones*
- 4-star OL Kyle Trout*
- 4-star OL Nick Richardson*
- 5-star DE Da'Shawn Hand
- 5-star LB Raekwon McMillan
- 4-star LB Clifton Garrett
- 4-star DB Nick Glass
- 4-star DB Darius West*
- 4-star ATH Myles Autry
* - Depicts a recruit from the state of Ohio
To close things out today, we've got footage of '13 commitment ATH Taivon Jacobs and '13 recruiting target 4-star LB Trey Johnson: