Dear Diary Carves Up Ohio Comment Count

Seth February 20th, 2011 at 6:56 PM


UPDATE: Part II lives here.

Dear Diary,

California, Texas, Florida: these are the Big Three states for college football recruiting. No. 4: Ohio. Yet unlike other talent-rich states, the Cradle of (generally bad) Presidents lets little of it escape, despite having just one major college program within those borders. Virtually alone among schools that can penetrate those borders, Michigan has long made Ohio not just its natural enemy but also its favorite resource for out-of-state talent.

Ohio blood ran through the veins of Woodson, of Desmond, and of course Bo, as well as hundreds of other legends associated with the University of Michigan. Furthermore, every highly rated recruit stolen from the State of Ohio's borders has been less guy in the pool for Ohio State.

Toledo-are natives Elliot and Brock Mealer are proof there's heart in the hearlandI realized the other day that when I heard a recruit was from a program in Ohio, I couldn't visualize what that meant. Is that school near Toledo, where kids are as liable to grow up Maize and Blue as Scarlet and Gray? Or did we pull them directly away from the Columbus area? What about Cleveland? Do players from Cincinnati tend to head south to the SEC more than other Ohioans? Some of our readers and staff are certifiable Ohio prep experts, but I'm not.

So I split up the state into 7 regions, then went over the 4- and 5-stars since 2002 (based on to see if there's a regional difference in how Michigan recruits, and also if there are any opportunities I can see where the Wolverines could do better. Ultimately, my hope is that this could serve as reference for future discussions of Michigan's Ohio recruiting. If you're really interested in this stuff, is a recruiting site devoted to it.

For our purposes, I did like Tim and counted Notre Dame as a Big Ten school. For those of you who know more about this stuff than I do, I very much welcome your criticism and suggestions – I'm sure I've missed something, and plan to edit it as omissions or mistakes become apparent. By "2012 Prospects" I mean "mentioned on main page of MGoBlog this month." Spreadsheet lives here.

UPDATE: Right, so immediately after I posted this, Rescue_Dawn put out his latest recruiting map. Use together.

Note: I think he's got Ifeadi Odenigbo in the wrong Centerville. Also: lol at states that have three towns called Centerville.

Notes before you start: Figures given are for 4- and 5-star recruits from 2002 through 2011, based on Rivals. "5-Star Recruits" are those given 6.1 on Rivals Scale, if available. Current and former Wolverines include all recruits I could remember or find because a good way to get the blue chips interested in your school is to have their old teammates come and have a good experience there. Conferences without a percentage in the Conf. Breakdown got one guy.

Notes so you don't complain about arbitrary regional divisions: Where the "Steel Corridor" is separated is up for debate: I put Cleveland and Akron together as I might include Ann Arbor as part of Detroit, and made a separate region for Wayne County, Canton, Warren and Youngstown. I made the cutoffs based on regional dialect, which I felt reflected cultural differences between Cleveland/Akron/Elyria, which are Lake Erie oriented, and Canton/ Warren/ Youngstown, etc., where you start getting a Pennsylvanian orientation. The OHSAA Div. 1 map is of no help since it puts Youngstown and the Cleveland schools in one division so the Massillon and Canton schools can be together. In the southwest, Cincy (with its own cultural image) is separated from Dayton, which though an hour's drive away is more aligned with the areas you pass when heading down I-75 after Findlay (the US-23 towns counted for Columbus).

Northwest Ohio: 7 Players, 28.6% Ohio State

Northwest Northwest-split

The region closest to Michigan is naturally split between those two programs, with a third going elsewhere. In this part of Ohio, it's almost expected that grade school classes, families, and towns would be bitterly divided between Michigan and Ohio State. Being Ground Zero for the biggest rivalry in American sports, unsurprisingly a lot of highly rated recruits end up at a Big Ten school, and almost two thirds at M or OSU. The Toledo (e.g. Whitmer) area mostly dominates the region, with Maumee, Perrysburg, and Bowling Green all nearby. Wauseon is a middle-of-nowhere program that's easy to get to from Ann Arbor and just about nowhere else. Once past Findlay, the further down I-75 you get, the more Buckeye the territory becomes. Farm towns near Lima like Delphos (St. Johns) and Kenton have successful programs that pump out 2- and 3-stars but few blue chips. The Sandusky-Fremont rivalry lives here. There isn't much more the Wolverines can do here that we aren't doing already. However this year the region seems to be stronger than previous years, with at least three prospects expected to be 4-stars or higher.

  • Current Wolverines: Kevin Koger, Elliott Mealer, Greg Brown, Jack Miller
  • 2012 Prospects: DE Chris Wormley (Toledo-Whitmer), QB Maty Mauk (Kenton), QB Tyler O'Connor (Lima)
  • Former Wolverines: Willis Barringer
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Toledo (Whitmer), Wauseon, Delphos, Kenton
  • FBS Schools in Region: Toledo (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Michigan (Big Ten), Ohio State (Big Ten), Notre Dame (Ind.), Miami-OH (MAC), Eastern Michigan (MAC), Kent State (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Fred Davis (USC)
  • Conference Breakdown: 71.4% Big Ten (Pac Ten, ACC)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 2, Michigan 2, Notre Dame 0

Dayton/Western Ohio: 23 Players, 60.9% Ohio State
WEst-Dayton Dayton-Westsplit

The Dayton region and areas north of it are much like Indiana which borders it. More basketball than football stars have come out of the area. The Trotwood-Madison pipeline (Shaw, 'Tree, Moore) has helped Michigan, but Ohio State dominates the area with strong ties to Northmont in Clayton, and Wayne HS in Huber Heights. That last is a football factory which has sent a few kids to Michigan State recently, and most recently supplied Michigan with the Talbotts. Wayne fed Braxton Miller, Donnie Evege and Marcus Freeman to Ohio State, so establishing a strong connection there could be an opportunity to make some headway against the Buckeyes.

It should help that our new head coach is himself from Dayton. Mid-power programs from Middletown, Centerville, and SmackdabintheCenteroftheMedialofMiddlecity (We're from Middle!) would be a good place to start.

  • Current Wolverines: Michael Shaw, Brandon Moore, Roy Roundtree, Terrence Talbott, Terry Talbott
  • 2012 Prospects: S Bam Bradley (Trotwood-Madison), OL Benny McGowan and DE Ifeadi Odenigbo (Centerville), CB Cody Quinn (Middletown)
  • Former Wolverines: Brandon Harrison
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Trotwood-Madison, Centerville, Kettering (Archbishop Alter), Middletown, Springfield, Dayton, Clayton, Huber Heights (Wayne)
  • FBS Schools in Region: Miami-Ohio (MAC)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Ohio State (Big Ten), Cincinnati (Big East), Ball State (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC), Toledo (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: (none)
  • Conference Breakdown: 82.6% Big Ten, 8.7% Big East (SEC, ACC)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 14, Michigan 4, Notre Dame 0

Cincinnati/Southwest: 26 Players, 26.9% Ohio State

Cincy CincySouthSPlit
Cincinnati is located on the river across from Kentucky. Other than the stopover for Midwest head coaches in town, the closest BCS school is actually Louisville. Tressel made a point of trying to improve OSU's notoriously mediocre recruiting in the region, but it's still the least Buckeye-ical part of the state. Notre Dame and Boston College have longtime pipelines out of the Cincy-area Catholic schools Elder and St. Xavier. Colerain (Mister Simpson, Cobrani Mixon) popped out a lot of talent in the middle of the last decade. A lot of Cincy blue chips have headed to SEC schools like Tennessee, LSU, and Kentucky. Those that haven't (e.g. Greg Jones of MSU) have a tendency to outperform their ratings. Very few 4- and 5-stars end up playing for the hometown Bearcats. There's room to improve, particularly by following Dantonio into his old stomping grounds and offering the same guys.

  • Current Wolverines: Antonio Poole, Jibreel Black
  • 2012 Prospects: WR Dwayne Stanford (Taft), WR Monty Madaris (Moeller), OL Caleb Stacey (Oak Hills), DE Ryan Leahy (La Salle)
  • Former Wolverines: Cobrani Mixon, Mister Simpson
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Cincinnati (La Salle, Taft, Princeton, Colerain, St. Xavier, Moeller, Winton Woods, Oak Hills), Lakota West, and Hamilton
  • FBS Schools in Region: Cincinnati (Big East)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Ohio State (Big Ten), Miami-OH (MAC), Louisville (Big East), Ball State (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Kyle Rudolph (Notre Dame), DeVier Posey (Ohio State), Jordan Hicks (Texas), Spencer Ware (LSU), Ben Martin (Tennessee)
  • Conference Breakdown: 57.7% Big Ten, 19.2% SEC, 11.5% ACC, 7.7% Big East (Big XII)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 6, Notre Dame 4, Michigan 1

Central Ohio: 20 Players, 45% Ohio State

Central CentralSplit

You would think that the region closest to Ohio Stadium would send the most players to Ohio State. Yet for many who grow up in Columbus and the surrounding environs (Ohioans call these "corps" for some reason), when it comes to signing their L.O.I.s, they choose to follow Marcus Ray the hell out of Dodge. This is called the "Buckeye Proximity Effect," where by growing up in constant contact with the worst fan-base on the planet (that doesn't have self-proclaimed "hooligans") half of Columbians will give in and join them, and the other half will leave the moment the opportunity presents itself. The Buckeye Proximity Effect accounts for half of the 4- and 5-stars produced in Central Ohio not signing with Ohio State. Of course, since few in Columbus ever learn there's something else other than Buckeye football out there until college, a whopping 87.5% stay in the Big Ten, giving them an opportunity once a year to come back and try to convince friends and loved ones to leave the cult. Notre Dame pulled 2006 Heisman candidate Brady Quinn out of enemy territory, for example.

Michigan has had success, mostly in turning up diamonds among the "Corps" off the beaten path (most recently: Omameh, Avery). A full-scale invasion into the heart of enemy territory is certainly doable, as myriad 4-star signings with MSU, Illinois, Wisconsin and Notre Dame attest. Michigan has traditionally done well stealing away some 3-stars spurned by the Buckeyes (Mike Boren was one such back in the day), but beating Ohio State head-to-head for the blue chips is a rare feat.

  • Current Wolverines: Chris Rock, Patrick Omameh, Keith Heitzman, Courtney Avery, Tamani Carter
  • 2012 Prospects: (none?)
  • Former Wolverines: Justin Boren, Mark Bihl
  • Notable Recruiting Sites: Pickerington (Central HS), Lancaster, Columbus (Bishop Hartley, Watterson), Hilliard-Davidson, Dublin (Coffman)
  • FBS Schools in Region: Ohio State (Big Ten)
  • Other FBS Schools nearby: Cincinnati (Big East), Miami-OH (MAC), Bowling Green (MAC), Toledo (MAC), Kent State (MAC), Akron (MAC), Ohio (MAC)
  • 5-Star Recruits: Mike Adams (Ohio State)
  • Conference Breakdown: 85% Big Ten (SEC, ACC, Big XII)
  • School Breakdown: Ohio State 9, Michigan 1, Notre Dame 2

Next Week: This thing was getting long, and I'm one week into a four-weekend stretch of Grand Rapids-Bachelor Party-Europe-Europe, so next week you get Part II, with Cleveland/Akron, Eastern Ohio (Massillon/Canton to Youngstown), a reminder that Southeast Ohio exists, and analysis. Onto diaries:

When You Should Fire That Guy?

Greg-Robinson charlie-weiss

In most cases, the answer isn't "before his squad plays one down."

Undefeated dream season of 1992 went back and revisited his Canning Your Coordinator piece from last December, this time by implementing FEI rankings:

For the same reasons discussed in the previous section, we'll evaluate the hypotheses based on the change in a unit's FEI rank from the previous season to the current season. And looking at our three years of data across 120 FBS teams get this:

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It is far and away the Diary of the Week. It's long, and not so relevant to Michigan now that we have a new staff (e.g. ninja recruiter Mattison) but well, well, well worth the read.

The Same Thing As Mine, But Not:

I was writing this before blublooded put together a shorter, similar thing on Michigan in-state recruiting:

There has been some variation from year to year in U-M’s success in securing top in-state talent. Some attribute this variation to the head coach’s recruiting prowess, our on-field success, or the historical relationship between recruits’ high schools and U-M. The table below shows the college destination of top in-state talent by year from 2002 to 2011.

Also, airvipermb quickly profiled three Michigan Pipelines.

Catching Up on Other Sports

basketball pic 2: MaizeAndBlueWahoo runs down PORPAG ratings for Big Ten players, plus our guys.

UniversityofMichiganWrestlingCamp AceUMer gives a preview of the matchup with Michigan State.

white-female-tennis-women-s-t-shirts_design UMDrumline does the same for Women's Tennis versus Stanford.

UM-hockey-logo mfan_in_ohio does a good job of updating us on Michigan's current Pairwise situation, and includes an explanation of what that is for those perpetually confused as to how NCAA selects teams and seeds for the tournament.

spaceballs (Moychendising): MGoShoe dissects the press releases on Michigan's new guru of press releases to try to figure out what the new marketing guy is going to do. Maybe a Dominos-like program of "Hey, we found out we suck; let us show you how we're going to not suck from now on?" Or maybe they'll pull the walls down at the Spring Alumni Game to reveal an actual rematch of 2006 Michigan and 2006 Ohio State? Or maybe Lochman will increase multimedia M brand advertising. Sounds like the latter, dammit.

Drive safe, MGofans. If you're bored and snowed in, why not write a diary?



February 20th, 2011 at 7:27 PM ^

Central Ohio kids should probably follow Marcus Ray and get the hell out of Dodge.  I'm shooting from the hip, but I believe he was from the Columbus area, while Woodson was closest to the Toledo region (Northeast of Findlay, Southeast of Toledo, I think).

Picktown GoBlue

February 21st, 2011 at 11:37 AM ^

In order to keep track of which speed trap you're in and who has to repair the potholes, every highway around Columbus has "Entering Corp" and "Leaving Corp" signs, which may have led to the assumption that corp's refers to suburbs.  In most cases, it's the tentacles of the city of Columbus "Corporation" vs. the unincorporated areas that are being differentiated, but some of the corp's may also refer to suburbs.



February 20th, 2011 at 8:51 PM ^

Interesting read. I'd be curious how it plays out in Pennsylvania as well, considering they are pretty good football recruiting territory as well (I'm thinking of Henne for example, or more recently Cullen Christian)


February 20th, 2011 at 11:36 PM ^

PA is a pretty talent rich state as well (less so than Ohio), but we don't get that many players from PA.  Henne and Breaston were from there, and currently we have Christian, Paskorz, Wilkins and Stokes from PA, but four on the roster isn't enough to make it a state worth concentrating on.  I think we only have one offer for 2012 out to a kid from PA, as opposed to 20-some from Ohio.


February 21st, 2011 at 7:55 AM ^

There was a point in the late '90s, early '00s when we were destroying Penn State for their top talent. Henne and Breaston absolutely, but also Rob Swett, Ty Law, Marlin, Scott McClintock (was a 5-star to some), Mundy, Slocum, Chris Rogers, Massaquoi (5-star too), and Dan Simelis.

Strangely a lot of busts and unfortunates in there.

Still, that's the bulk of top Pennsylvania talent over that time period. I succinctly remember the moment the tables turned and PSU got their legs back: when Justin King, a CB everyone figured would take the wide open corner spot at desperate for a cornerback Michigan, chose Penn State instead.


February 20th, 2011 at 10:27 PM ^

Interesting.  Seeing how well Michigan represents in NE Ohio was cool but scrolling down to the Western/Dayton region was depressing.  I was a little surprised by how well the Domers do in the Cincinnatti area.  I know there's a lot of ND fans in the Cincy area but apparently they recruit well there, too.  Looking forward to Part 2:  Cleveland and the Eastern Boonies!

Urban Warfare

February 21st, 2011 at 9:38 AM ^

It's not really suprising to see Notre Dame's success in SW Ohio; Cincinnati has a huge Catholic population and is right on the Indiana border.  Back in the day, Woody would push anyone in SW Ohio who he either didn't want, didn't need, or couldn't land to go to Notre Dame so they wouldn't wind up at MIchigan, UC, or a B1G school. 


February 21st, 2011 at 12:28 AM ^

It's interesting to see the Ohio breakdown, I'd be interested to see a Pennsylvania breakdown too, but what about in-state, in Michigan? I'd really like to see how different regions of the mitten state are recruited (especially with the msu rivalry heating up).

Go Blue!


February 21st, 2011 at 9:39 AM ^

A lot of great work here but my major source of "sweet!" is that fact that my home town actually showed up on the front page of MGoBlog!  Of course that's because we're about as talent rich as, uh, Montana? but still - my tiny town of 5,000 actually has it's name on the map!  Gallipolis is now official since it made it on the MGoBlog front page!! haha

Urban Warfare

February 21st, 2011 at 9:51 AM ^

I'm surprised at the Central Ohio number being so low.  I figured it'd be well over 50%.  Are you including Lancaster, Pickerington, etc. in Central Ohio, or SE Ohio? 


EDIT:   On your map, if you mean the Odenigbo from Centerville, he's in the wrong place.   He's from the Centerville in Montgomery County, not the Centerville in Gallia County. 


February 21st, 2011 at 10:27 AM ^

Re: Odenigbo, I have him in the Montgomery County one near Dayton (along with Benny McGowan). The map from Rescue_Dawn has him placed in the Gallia County one, i.e. "Thurman." In his announcement thread, I asked him about that but didn't see a response yet.

Lancaster and Pickerington were both counted as Central Ohio (note Justin Boren was mentioned there). Just remember it's 4- and 5-stars counted only. Even if we pull some 3-stars out of there, Jim Cordle, Bobby Carpenter, Jamie Wood, et al. overwhelm us at those schools.

Urban Warfare

February 21st, 2011 at 12:00 PM ^

Gotcha.  I always forget that Cordle & Carpenter were only 3-stars.  Shows how much those rankings mean.

As for Odenigbo, he's definitely from the western Centerville (same school as AJ Hawk, btw). This link lists him on their roster.  I somehow missed the part about it being rescue_dawn's map and you thinking it was wrong.


February 21st, 2011 at 9:15 PM ^

No, no, I was the one confused - I thought you meant Mich did better, not OSU. Here's the list from Columbus area:

Name Position Location High School Ht Wt 40 RR Rank College
Jeff Cumberland ATH Columbus Brookhaven 6'4" 220 4.6 5.8 19 Illinois
Alex Daniels ATH Columbus Brookhaven 6'2" 219 4.6 5.9 11 Minnesota
Lee Tilley OL Columbus Franklin Heights 6'5" 317 5.1 5.8 24 Auburn
Austin Traylor TE Columbus Walnut Ridge 6'4" 210 4.7 5.8 15 Wisconsin
Brady Quinn QB Dublin Coffman 6'4" 215 4.7 5.9 10 Notre Dame
Mike Adams OL Dublin Coffman 6'7" 308 5.3 6.1 1 Ohio State
Jake Stoneburner TE Dublin Coffman 6'6" 223 4.5 5.9 3 Ohio State
Bradley McDougald DB Dublin Scioto 6'0" 181 4.5 5.8 11 Kansas
Antonio Jeremiah DT Hilliard Darby 6'4" 280 5.1 5.9 14 Michigan State
Jim Cordle OL Lancaster Lancaster 6'5" 285 5.1 5.9 7 Ohio State
Bobby Carpenter LB Lancaster Lancaster 6'3" 235 4.6 5.9 13 Ohio State
Storm Klein LB Newark Licking Valley 6'2" 220 4.5 5.8 11 Ohio State
Eilar Hardy DB Pickerington Central 6'1" 175 4.5 5.8 15 Notre Dame
Jamie Wood DB Pickerington Central 6'2" 190 4.5 6 4 Ohio State
Justin Boren OL Pickerington North 6'3" 319 5.2 6 1 Michigan
Tim Schafer DE Upper Arlington Upper Arlington 6'5" 245 4.9 5.9 12 Ohio State
Nathan Williams DE Washington Court House Miami Trace 6'5" 245 4.7 5.9 5 Ohio State
George Cooper TE Westerville North 6'5" 250 4.8 5.9 14 Georgia Tech
Nick Vannett TE Westerville Westerville Central 6'6" 230 N/A 5.8 13 Ohio State

I see a few 5.8s going to ND or other Big Ten schools. I don't know their stories but it could be some guys who felt they had to wait too long for an offer? Or else just 18-year-olds who can go anywhere for free and don't want to live 20 minutes from Mom & Dad and the high school girlfriends going to CC. The only 6.0 and higher who got away from Columbus was Mr. Plow.