Power Ranking Big Ten Coaches by Their Recruiting Skills
The Big Ten is one of the most prestigious college football conferences in the country, and other than the SEC, there may not be a bigger draw for elite recruits than playing for one of their schools.
Big Ten football is about tradition, it's about rivalries, and it's about playing tough, smash mouth football week-in and week-out.
There are some very prestigious programs in the Big Ten, as well as some very impressive coaches.
How do they all stack up as recruiters though?
Here's my rankings of the Big Ten coaches based off of their ability as recruiters:
Rest of the Pack
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Here's the part of the list that you don't want to be on:
12. Jerry Kill, Minnesota
11. Kevin Wilson, Indiana
10. Bill O'Brien, Penn State
9. Danny Hope, Purdue
8. Pat Fitzgerald, Northwestern
7. Tim Beckman, Illinois
6. Bret Bielema, Wisconsin.
5. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa
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Iowa has been a fairly steady factor in the Big Ten, and Ferentz's consistent ability as a recruiter is a big reason why.
There's nothing flashy about Iowa's recruiting classes, but Ferentz continues to bring in quality new recruits on a yearly basis.
He's been able to get commitments from a few quality four-star recruits a year for the past few years, and then he supplements them with a whole bunch of two and three-star players.
Ferentz won't win many recruiting awards, but his consistent method has led to some very solid teams for Iowa.
4. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State
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Mark Dantonio deserves much of the credit for Michigan State's rise to relevancy as a football program.
He's taken a program that has traditionally played second fiddle to Michigan and made them a Big Ten contender. Much of this is due to his ability as a recruiter, especially on the defensive side of the ball.
What makes Dantonio so good is that it's not all about rankings for him. For instance, running back Le'Veon Bell was a 2-star recruit out of Ohio. Now he's one of the best backs in the nation. Dantonio isn't afraid to take a chance on a player and "coach him up."
He still has a ways to go, but the MSU program is where it is because of Dantonio's eye for talent.
3. Bo Pelini, Nebraska
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Bo Pelini and Nebraska's 2012 recruiting class was ranked third in the Big Ten by Rivals.com and featured six four-star recruits.
His 2013 class is currently ranked fourth in the Big Ten by Rivals, but he only has 14 commitments so far (three four-stars), and 247Sports has a few big-time prospects with Nebraska high on their interest lists, including five-star cornerback Priest Willis and four-star corner (five-star according to ESPN Recruiting Nation) MacKensie Alexander.
Pelini has done a great job of recruiting since the Cornhuskers entered the Big Ten, and he'll continue to be one of the bigger names in the conference in terms of recruiting. As long as his teams remain competitive, he'll be able to bring in quality talent.
2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
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Urban Meyer's two National Championship rings speak for themselves, and if that doesn't do the trick, the draw of playing for college football powerhouse Ohio State will.
Meyer was known as one of the better recruiters in the country back when he was with Florida, but he's starting over anew with the Buckeyes, thus preventing him from grabbing the No. 1 spot on this list.
1. Brady Hoke, Michigan
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Hoke has been the definition of a "Michigan Man" since taking over the program from Rich Rodriguez, and he's gotten the Wolverines back near the top of the college football recruiting world.
His current class is ranked No. 2 overall by Rivals and features five-star quarterback Shane Morris. His 2012 class finished with the No. 7 overall ranking in the country, and featured two five-star commitments in offensive tackle Kyle Kalis and defensive tackle Ondre Pipkins.
Michigan is a huge college football name that can essentially recruit itself, but Hoke has brought an enthusiasm back to the program that we haven't seen in years. He really believes in Michigan, and in-turn he can get recruits to believe in the program as well.
Not only is Hoke the best recruiter in the Big Ten, but he's arguably one of the better recruiting coaches in the country.