It depends ... if a conference mate is 350 miles from a recruit that is 10 miles from me and I have a need, then I will get on the considering list early if I want to get the guy. Just because someone gets on a guy on turn 1, whether he is in conference or not, the recruit is fair game.
By early, I usually mean some time on the evening of recruiting, but certainly by at the latest the 11am Eastern Time on the day before recruiting.
I don't normally jump in late on conference mates recruits unless I have been unable to recruit at all because of travel or something like that and had to start on the signing day. That has only happened 1 time in the 5 years I have been playing, but in that case, i would post in the coaches corner that I have just started recruiting and that I am sorry but I have to sign a class.
The one exception to that is if I have left over cash after signings start and there is a battle ongoing for a recruit. If 2 or more coaches are battling for a guy and I have significant need and cash after signings start, I might also get in on the battle. This also does not normally happen as I try to sign the guys I want early on.
So, I would say that as a general rule, I do not battle in conference unless we are both on a guy very early.