College Football Recruiting: 6 Second-Year Coaches Who Are Here to Stay
As a head coach, going into your second year is always a bit nerve-wracking. Year 1 was tough because you were setting up new offensive and defensive schemes, establishing new recruiting relationships and taking on various other less-publicized responsibilities.
Then comes Year 2, when you're expected to show immediate results from everything you set up in the first year.
Ahead are some top coaches who are in Year 2 and proving their worth, especially on the recruiting trail. Recruiting is a beast no matter where you are, but some of these guys' programs aren't as established as their rival schools, so it has been especially tough.
Regardless, the following coaches are standing up to the challenge.
Dana Holgorsen (West Virginia)
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Dana Holgorsen came to Morgantown from Oklahoma State and hit some rough waters early on. Yet all Holgorsen did in Year 1 was win 11 games, a share of the Big East title and an Orange Bowl victory.
In Year 2, Holgorsen has to deal with WVU moving to the Big 12. This means playing newer opponents and having new areas from which to recruit.
Using his old connections from Houston, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State, Holgorsen has gone into talent-rich Texas over the past few years to get a couple commitments while planting the WVU flag in the Lone Star State for the future.
Scout.com currently ranks Holgorsen's 2013 class at No. 32 in the country.
Al Golden (Miami)
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Al Golden comes into his second year at Miami with some future dilemmas on his hand, most notably how to deal with the likely upcoming sanctions.
Golden had a pretty good class last year that was more quantity over quality, but he got himself a future star with RB Duke Johnson. I still think Golden and his staff are too conservative on the trail; they recruit like they're still at Temple.
But when they see a big-name player, they will go after him. It shows with seven 4-star pledges out of their 10 commitments. Golden got himself a future leader and stud QB in Kevin Olsen, while CB Artie Burns and TE Travis Johnson should be good, too.
Scout.com ranks the 2013 Miami recruiting class at No. 27.
James Franklin (Vanderbilt)
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In their first game of the season, the Commodores fought hard but came up short to a South Carolina team that has SEC title aspirations. Despite that, James Franklin has done a great job with this program, and the future looks bright in Nashville.
Franklin flirted with a top-25 class last year, and some critics chimed that maybe he was having a lucky year. If that's the case, I'm not sure what the critics are going to say this year, because ESPNU has Vanderbilt sitting No. 19 in the recruiting rankings.
Franklin is going to get better like fine wine at Vandy.
David Shaw (Stanford)
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David Shaw has a big task at hand in replacing Jim Harbaugh, but last year he guided the Cardinal to the Fiesta Bowl and a top-10 recruiting class. Stanford made one of the best recent National Signing Day runs over the past few years.
While this year's class is not big at all, it still packs a punch in quality. Shaw has seven commitments, and four reside within the ESPNU 300, giving him a second consecutive top-25 class at the moment.
With the facilities, beauty of the campus, education and other impressive elements to the Stanford program, I think Shaw is going to be just fine.
Will Muschamp (Florida)
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Will Muschamp is replacing Urban Meyer, who won two national titles and landed some of the best recruiting classes ever at Florida. Muschamp's first recruiting class was a bit subpar, but he came back strong last year.
Entering his second year on the field, Muschamp has finally settled on a QB, and his defensive and offensive schemes are now starting to be established.
On the trail, Muschamp has clearly shown he can recruit with the best of them. ESPNU agrees with that assessment, as it currently positions Florida with the No. 3 class for 2013.
Brady Hoke (Michigan)
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Hoke-ah-Mania enters Year 2, and while the Wolverines got waxed by Alabama last week, they have some big things coming on the horizon.
Hoke had a great recruiting class last year—it ranked in the top 10 on many different lists, including mine. This year, he had the No. 1 class for a while before USC took over.
Hoke and his staff have exhibited great recruiting prowess, strategy and the ability to identify and land excellent talent. If Hoke keeps up the pace on the recruiting side of things, that surely will lead to a boatload of wins and an approach to legend status in Ann Arbor.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects & writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine