One Fan’s Opinion: Recruiting Ohio Athletes

Written December 11th, 2012 by MaliBuckeye

Recruiting Hotbed

Ken weighs in on the Ohio/Mich*gan recruiting battles-

Last week, there was an article of Massillon Washington H.S. student Gareon Conley committing to Ohio State. This comes after the lad decommitted from TSUN. Of course, this led to some back-and-forth in the comments, generally on the theme of “Ohio H.S. players who commit to play football at TSUN“. I decided to do some brief research to find out if it is ‘Much Ado About Nothing‘, or MAAN.

I thought I’d see if there were something in the profile of Ohio players going to University of Michigan (Michigan).  I used Rivals as my source and used the past six years as reference. I based the research on; number of players in Michigan’s signing class, number of players from Ohio, and how many of these Ohio H.S. players were offered by Ohio State. I used the signing classes of 2012-2007, inclusive.

For fun, because this is for fun, I compared Ohio H.S. players that signees with Michigan, that signed with Ohio State and those that had ‘cross-offers’. A cross-offer is where a high school player had offers from Michigan and Ohio State, but chose one or the other.

Below is a brief table, with notes, on the safari through Rivals:

The first three columns should be fairly self-explanatory; number of signees during the period, number of signees from Ohio and the percentage of Ohio signees to total signees.

Summary comments:

  • Almost 27% of Michigan’s signees were from Ohio while over 55% of Ohio State’s were from Ohio.
  • ŸFive of Michigan’s 37 Ohioans also had offers from Ohio State, but chose to go to Michigan. Conversely, thirty-two, or 86% of the Ohioans did not have an offer from Ohio State. More on that later.
  • ŸOf the 71 Ohioans signed by Ohio State, 26 (36%) also had offers from Michigan.
  • ŸOf the 31 players with dual Michigan/Ohio State offers, 26 (84%) chose to sign with Ohio State. Clearly, if you had an Ohio State offer, you were likely to sign with the Buckeyes. By a large margin.

During this signing period (2012-2007), I wanted to look at relative Rivals ratings between Michigan and Ohio State signees from Ohio. At first blush the rating difference, Michigan-3.3 stars and Ohio State -3.6 stars seems pretty inconsequential. As expected, combined 4-star and 3-star signees comprised the vast bulk for each university; 92% for Michigan and 93% for Ohio State. Peeling the onion reveals something a bit different. The table below shows the Rivals rankings and number of signees ranked for 2012-2007.

The number of 4* and 3* signees by Ohio State (35, 31 respectively) are fairly well divided. Meanwhile, Michigan’s signees (11, 23) are weighted to the lower end.

It’s quite possible that Michigan and Ohio State’s offers to Ohio high schoolers could be judged on type of talent coming out of high school and each university’s needs. It’s also quite possible, if not more likely, that the ‘not as good players’, based on Rivals rankings, did not get offers from Ohio State, but did Michigan.


  1. MattNo Gravatar
    December 13th, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    The sample size really skews the data when you include “the dark ages” from 2008-2010. Not saying you got the big picture wrong, but I would say things will be more interesting moving forward when BOTH teams are operating at full capacity.


    EricNo Gravatar
    December 14th, 2012 at 8:38 am

    I’m glad someone pointed this out. Can’t forget the context of the seasons.


    KenNo Gravatar
    December 14th, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    That’s a good point, Matt, thank you. Six years of recruiting was enough to satisfy my curiosity, but a longer term view might be quite interesting as well. Thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.


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