Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Huge turning point for Hoke and Wolverines in recruiting fight with Ohio State

It is a sad commentary for Ohio State football that on the day the Buckeyes welcomed back one their great heroes, Mike Vrabel, to help clean up the mess left by Jim Tressel, it was totally overshadowed by the comments of a high school recruit who shunned the Buckeyes.
And to a degree by Vrabel's past.
Vrabel's press conference was in the morning of the day Kyle Kalis, an offensive lineman rated by some as the best prep lineman in Ohio and a 4- or 5-star recruit (depending on the service) announced he was going to Michigan.
But it wasn't just rescinding his initial commitment to Ohio State that was so revealing, but it was what Kalis told ESPN.Com about the decision:
"I believe the Michigan-Ohio border is now open. I think you're going to see eight or nine guys from the state of Ohio going over to Michigan this year."
He talked about wanting, "a solid, grounded coaching staff."
Kalis had originally committed to Ohio State when Tressel was coach, and briefly to Tressel's replacement, Luke Fickell, but decommitted in June.
Vrabel is a tremendous football player, but his inclusion on Ohio State's staff under the circumstance of scandal can legitimately be questioned. This is how the Associated Press described his past legal issues:
"Vrabel has had at least two skirmishes with the law. During his Ohio State playing days, he was arrested along with a teammate for beating up a man in a bar parking lot in Kent, Ohio. They eventually pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct, paid a fine and performed 30 hours of community service. Their attorney in that case was Chris Cicero, the Columbus lawyer and former Ohio State walk-on who sent emails to Tressel in April 2010 that players were taking improper benefits from a tattoo-parlor owner. Just this past April, Vrabel was arrested for theft from an Indiana riverboat casino. The charge will be dropped if he isn't charged with another crime for 180 days, according to a diversion agreement signed in late June."
Brady Hoke and his coaching staff have huge ammunition at this point to recruit against Ohio State. So does Mark Dantonio at Michigan State, who like Hoke, has strong recruiting ties in Ohio.
This could be a major turning point, especially for Hoke and the Wolverines.



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