Four-star offensive tackle recruit Kenny Lacy has been committed to UCLA since September, but there are two major programs that are really starting to gain some traction with the recruit from Phoenix—Michigan and Ohio State.
Of those two Big Ten powerhouses, it would seem as if the Buckeyes have the best shot to flip UCLA's current 4-star commitment.
Marc Gilver of BuckeyeGrove.com is reporting that Lacy is looking to take visits to both programs, citing Lacy's coach Norris Vaughan:
"He's going to visit Ohio State and Michigan in January," said Vaughan. "I don't know if the dates have been solidified yet but one is the second week in January (Ohio State will be the weekend of January 11) and one is the third week."
Vaughan goes on to say that UCLA and Arizona State are still in the running and Arkansas may get a visit. Ohio State is in really good standing with the 4-star recruit, though, per Gilver's report:
The interest in Ohio State has just come about very recently as the Buckeyes put out an offer within the last few weeks. Things have since picked up quickly between the two parties.
"Simply because it's Ohio State, their reputation," Vaughan said, when asked about what has Lacy interested in the Buckeyes. "I don't think he was considering them at all (originally) and then they offered late."
Here's another example of a program being able to recruit itself because of its reputation. Ohio State is one of the biggest brands in college football and it is a national draw. It can draw the interest of elite recruits on reputation alone, and that appears to be the case here with Lacy, especially after OSU made an offer.
That said, Michigan is just as relevant in reputation as well, so what is it that makes the Buckeyes stand apart from the Wolverines?
Look no further than the head coach of each program for the answer to that question.
This isn't meant to disrespect Brady Hoke as much as it's a sign of respect for Urban Meyer. Hoke is a good coach and a great recruiter and in time he very well may experience a ton of success at Michigan, but as it stands, he's nowhere near Meyer's level.
Meyer has proven track record of being an exceptional recruiter and an even better coach. He's won two national championships with Florida and went 12-0 with Ohio State in just his first season with the Buckeyes—under the restrictions of a bowl ban, nonetheless.
He's the reason Ohio State has been rejuvenated and revived to elite status within the college football world, and Meyer himself is a huge selling point for Ohio State. In fact, if you were to put Michigan and Ohio State side-by-side and evaluate both programs, Meyer's presence as head coach gives the Buckeyes a tremendous advantage over Michigan.
Meyer has a 116-23 record as a head coach going back to 2001. Hoke, on the other hand, is 66-56 since becoming a head coach in 2003. Even more telling is their winning percentages. Meyer's win-loss percentage is .835, while Hoke's is .541.
Note: Stats according to sports-reference.com
Hoke has shown that he has the potential to be a great coach during his time at Michigan, but there's no doubt that Meyer already is a great coach.
Ohio State's future is impeccably bright with him at the helm, and the 12-0 season is just a precursor to their success.
If Lacy is really considering a flip, and Michigan and Ohio State are the two schools he's scheduled to visit according to Gilver's report, it's the Buckeyes that have the best shot of landing the talented 4-star tackle.
Their head coach gives them a tremendous advantage on the recruiting trail.