Thursday, November 15, 2012
Gareon Conley next Urban Meyer flip?
By Brad Bournival
In the recruiting world, they call it flipping when one school has a recruit under its wing but by signing day that athlete commits to a different university.
As the days dwindle until national signing day, attention has turned to which players Urban Meyer and Co. might roll their way in an all-important 2013 recruiting class for Ohio State.
Some look at Tony Stevens (Orlando, Fla./Evans) or Trey Johnson (Lawrenceville, Ga./Central Gwinnett). However, if odds were set, the most likely candidate is one most fans already know about.
Gareon Conley (Massillon, Ohio/Washington) has made it no secret that he wants to take visits -- whether official or unofficial -- before giving Michigan his signature.
A longtime Wolverine pledge, the cornerback has said he chose Michigan because no other big-name schools were really after him.
The Wolverines were the only visit Conley took, but now that he has interest from schools including Oregon and Ohio State he wants to see what they’re all about, even if that means he is no longer committed to Michigan.
The Ducks have shown strong interest, while Ohio State has extended an offer.
The offer from the Buckeyes is for him to play as an athlete, just like former Buckeye and two-way standout Chris Gamble. While Conley has gone on record as saying Oregon is his favorite school, for him it's really about making the best choice for himself.
That’s why the 6-foot-1, 165-pound ESPN 150 member -- he’s No. 69 overall in the nation -- isn’t turning his back on Meyer and assistant Mike Vrabel as they continue to recruit him.
“I’m going to do it,” Conley said of his visits after his team's 28-19 Division I, Region 2 playoff win Saturday over Canton McKinley. “It’s still Oregon and Ohio State.”
Nowhere in the statement did he mention Michigan, though he has told Wolverines assistants he plans to take the other visits -- considered taboo amid U-M coach Brady Hoke’s no-visits policy.
Don’t think for a second that Ohio State’s offer is just one to mess with that team up north. When Meyer sees an athlete he likes, he’s relentless.
In fact, Meyer is one of the best at it because of his persistence.
The first-year OSU coach doesn’t have to look far to find athletes on the 2012 roster who were ticketed for other schools before signing with the Buckeyes back in February.
Freshmen Taylor Decker, Kyle Dodson, Se’Von Pittman, Joey O’Connor, Tommy Schutt, Armani Reeves and Camren Williams were all destined for other universities before becoming Buckeyes nine months ago.