B1G Recruiting in Ohio: A Study

By Jordan Wagner on June 6, 2013 at 7:00p

While Urban Meyer and Ohio State may not have signed enough Ohio recruits in 2013 to some fans and Ohio coaches' liking, the Big Ten brought in more Ohio recruits in 2013 than any of the previous four recruiting classes (2009-2012). In 2013, Ohio high schools are sending 50 scholarship athletes to Big Ten programs on full  football scholarships. Even more football prospects have signed to play in other conferences including the SEC, ACC, Big East, MAC, Pac-12, Big 12, and independents. 

Ted Ginn Sr. has helped many athletes Ted Ginn Sr and Glenville has sent many athletes to Ohio State

The State of Ohio is respected for the football talent it produces and the quality of football that is played in the Buckeye State. Year after year, Ohio produces some of the top football prospects in the country and sends well over a hundred scholarship football athletes to play football at the next level and receive an education for free. 

The Big Ten Conference has lead the way in recruiting Ohio high school athletes. Over the past five recruiting classes, 2009 to 2013, the Big Ten has signed, on average, about forty-six football prospects a season. Ohio State alone has been signing an average of twelve recruits per season and they are already off to a solid start with six Ohio prospects in the fold for their current 2014 class. Urban Meyer and company have been working on adding a few more Ohio prospects to their class including WR Derek Kief, ATH Marshon Lattimore, and DB Erick Smith.

The Buckeyes have signed twenty-six percent of the total amount amount of Ohio football prospects going to the Big Ten. Fifty-two percent of all prospects signed by Ohio State in 2009 to 2013 were from the State of Ohio. 

Unsurprisingly, Michigan has also turned to the talent-rich state of Ohio quite frequently. The Wolverines have signed thirty-eight prospects from Ohio, which is good for second in the Big Ten. In 2010, Michigan actually signed more Ohio prospects than Ohio State did, 10 to 9, but that has been the only recruiting year that Michigan has done that in the past five. Michigan has found success in landing some very good players that did not receive an Ohio State offer, such as LB Jake Ryan and DE Frank Clark. Also, Michigan has won their fair share of recruiting battles against Ohio State in Ohio, including Dymonte Thomas and Kyle Kalis

Over the past five seasons, Michigan has signed seven more football recruits from Ohio than they have from their home state of Michigan. This shouldn't come as too much as a surprise since Michigan high school football is not as highly regarded as Ohio.

It might come as a surprise to see that Indiana is tied with Michigan State in recruiting Ohio football prospects, with 25 prospects signed over the five year period (an average of five per season). Indiana is our neighbor to the west and apparently their lack of football success has not scared off Ohio prospects. Michigan State being up here should not surprise anyone since Mark Dantonio has plenty of Ohio ties and also with MSU being one of the better programs in the Big Ten.

Illinois and Purdue both recently hired coaches with Ohio ties. At Purdue, Darrell Hazell (former OSU WR coach and Kent State HC) will look to recruit Ohio more than the previous staff at Purdue. Hazell has not had much early success on the recruiting trail with the Boilermakers, but a successful season should help turn things around quickly. For Illinois, Tim Beckman (former OSU DC and Toledo HC) is coming off a dreadful season in Champaign. Illinois did see some success recruiting Ohio since Beckman has been hired, signing nine Ohio prospects with two more committed already for 2014.

Ohio is proudThe Great State of Ohio is Proud. 

Penn State has not been able to recruit Ohio very well over the past five years. It comes as a surprise that a school with Penn State's tradition could not come into Ohio to land a few prospects, especially before their sanctions. The Nittany Lions have only two Ohio signees in the past five years. 

Maryland and Rutgers will look to capitalize on the recruiting grounds in Ohio as they join the Big Ten next year. Neither school has signed an Ohio prospect in the past five years. Maryland's and Rutger's games will be able to be viewed on the Big Ten Network, which will play into their favors when it comes to recruiting. These recruits all want to play on TV. 

Kentucky has made things interesting in the State of Ohio. The Wildcats already have six verbal commitments in Ohio for the 2014 recruiting class. Butch Jones led Tennessee has also made recruiting Ohio a higher priority with two early commitments. We will have to wait and see if Ohio will continue to send fifty kids to the Big Ten or if the SEC will start to cut into our numbers. 

Big Ten coaches and fans owe these hard-working Ohio coaches a big thank you. They number of hours they put into getting their kids noticed and recruited often goes unappreciated. The fertile recruiting grounds of Ohio has been quite generous to the Big Ten. 

Thank you, Ohio high school coaches! Your work does not go unnoticed. 

Breakdown of Ohio prospects going b1G

School 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Total
Ohio State 13 9 14 15 10 61
Michigan 3 10 7 9 9 38
Michigan State 5 6 3 7 4 25
Indiana 4 8 7 3 3 25
Northwestern 4 3 4 3 3 17
Illinois 4 1 2 2 5 16
Wisconsin 4 4 4 4 3 15
Iowa 2 3 2 2 3 12
Nebraska 0 1 2 2 5 10
Purdue 0 2 0 0 4 7
Minnesota 0 1 0 2 1 4
Penn State 1 0 0 1 0 2
Maryland 0 0 0 0 0 0
Rutgers 0 0 0 0 0 0
Total 40 48 45 50 50 233



Comments Show All Comments

AndyVance's picture

Great work, Jordan - thanks for taking a look at this. Ohio is indeed one of the best places in the world to find the best football talent in the world. This topic comes up from time to time, and there were some good discussions about this here a few months ago, but yours is an even better look at the raw numbers.

Buckidelphia's picture

Surprising stats; I would have thought Wisconsin would have had more. IU assistant coach Kevin Johns is from Piqua, Ohio so that should improve Indiana's profile. I expect Bo Pelini to continue to work his Ohio pipeline.

GoBlueBlood's picture

What's striking is that Michigan may very well only end up with 1 kid from Ohio this year. I know there have been the talks in the past of Michigan recruiting primarily in the midwest, but for whatever reason things have fallen into place and our class has been more national than I would've ever expected. I am of the opinion that it doesn't matter where the kids come from, but it's certainly interesting to track. 

CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

I was really shocked to see Penn St down at 2.  I would have thought that they would have been higher.  Just glad to see that we are up so high.  One thing is for sure, we definitely want to keep the best Ohio kids going to OSU.  There is so much talent in Ohio football though that the competition for the best is so high.  Let's keep it up! 
Go Bucks!!

geoffrsc's picture

And I'm surprised that any Ohio kid would want to go to PSU with no postseason, scholarship reductions, and despite the 2012 aberration, the probability that they'll suck for the next half dozen years.

argyle182021's picture

It'd be interesting to see how many Ohio kids have ended up at UK during that same stretch.

gravey's picture

What I'm always interested in (particularly back during the Bollman years) is how many recruits we "passed" on that wound up being better than we thought.  It seemed like some IU lineman, or Wisky reciever from Ohio was always a little too good to have gotten away.
How many NFL draftees, for example, from Ohio did we not recruit?

Fear The Elf's picture

This shouldn't come as too much as a surprise since Michigan high school football is not as highly regarded as Ohio.

This is like saying there aren't as many people in Greenland as there are in China

zbd's picture

Now that bigot Gee is gone, maybe we'll get all the players we want. At least opponent coaches can't use his ignorant jokes against us.

southbymidwest's picture

I can't tell if your sarcasm font is on. I hope so...

pjtobin's picture

Great to see the numbers of kids from ohio being recruited is going up each year. Do we typically get the best and share the rest with others?

Bury me in my away jersey, with my buckeye blanket. A diehard who died young. Rip dad. 

MN Buckeye's picture

Ohio has a long tradition of strong high school football with knowledgeable coaches and well-taught players along with great traditions of community support.  Where else does every baby boy get a toy football in their crib (Massillon, at least when I was in high school)?  I am not at all surprised that we place so many scholarship players, particularly in the B1G.

New alum's picture

Based solely on ESPN's 2014 recruit rankings by state, Ohio has produced almost twice as many (29 to 15) as the second-ranked state with at least one Big Ten school in it (Illinois). However, Ohio's national ranking (5th) is fairly commensurate with its national ranking by population (7th). Not surprisingly, the states that do best in this regard are clustered in the southeast portion of the country. Florida and Georgia are ranked 1st and 3rd, but are also relatively populous states (both in top ten nationally). However, less populous states such as Alabama, Mississippi, the Carolina's, and Louisiana all produce relatively large numbers of recruits for their overall populations based on this list.

Proud Michigander, OSU grad. Life is complicated.

Scipio's picture

To add to Penn States woes in Ohio, I think both of the recruits they signed are no longer playing football for the Lions.