Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 2/2/12

Urban Meyer’s first recruiting class at Ohio State is ranked 3rd or 4th in the nation, depending on who you ask. So much for being hurt by NCAA sanctions/the stain of Jim Tressel/Terrelle Pryor corruption. Meyer’s recruiting class and alleged lack of class has caught the attention of Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema.

The Badgers leader was asked Wednesday if he thought Meyer would change recruiting in the Big Ten and Bielema had some choice quotes. From CBS Chicago:

“I hope it doesn’t change. I think the potential for change is there,” Bielema said. “There are a few things that happened early on that I made people aware of that I didn’t want to see in this league, that I had seen take place in other leagues. Other recruiting recruiting tactics, other recruiting practices that are illegal.

“I was very up front and was very pointed to the fact, actually reached out to Coach Meyer and shared my thoughts and concerns with him. The situation got rectified.”

Wow. Smack down! Sounds like something shady could be going down with Meyer, who’s sanctified in the college football world…for now. I predict stuff will come out on him eventually. This Big Ten banter reminds me of 2007, when Illini Coach Ron Zook hauled in an impressive class despite the program being really bad. It prompted then Michigan State coach John L. Smith to accuse him of chicanery and perhaps even malfeasance (and not in those words) stating “where’s there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Well, at least the Zooker hung around for a little while longer than Smith did.

Meanwhile back in Columbus:

“Everything went smooth today,” Meyer said. “I love to recruit and I love to recruit great players.”

The 2012 recruiting class includes 16 from the state of Ohio, including as many as five of the Top 10 players in the state according to most rating services.

Meyer said the defensive linemen who signed were a real strength of this class and the key development. All four of the defensive linemen are among the Top 100 players in the nation, with Noah Spence, a 6-4, 245-pounder from Harrisburg, Pa., and Adolphus Washington, a 6-5, 245-pounder from Cincinnati, each considered among the Top 5 defensive ends in the nation. Tommy Schutt, who goes 6-3, 300 and is from Glen Ellyn, Ill, is Top 5 defensive tackle. And Se’Von Pittman, a 6-5, 245-pounder from Canton, Ohio, is in the Top 25 for all defensive linemen. Three of the four are considered five-star prospects with the fourth rated as a four-star.

“The defensive line is the strength of this class and the prize of this recruiting class,” Meyer said. “But with that said, I am really pleased with the entire group as a whole. We filled some needs with some quality players, and I think overall we have a very solid class.”

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.

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