College Football Recruiting 2013: 10 Hardest Schools to Sell to Recruits

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IOctober 15, 2012

College Football Recruiting 2013: 10 Hardest Schools to Sell to Recruits

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    Every school in the country has many great qualities going for it to sell to recruits.

    These qualities can include a great education, being located in a big city, being located in a great college town, excellent and rare academic programs, a great football tradition, good coaching and player development, history of winning and/or a history of putting players in the NFL.

    Other schools may be, well, limited in the good qualities they offer a recruit to lure them to their program. This read will look at the 10 schools who have the toughest time selling recruits to come to their school. Whether the school is located in a bad place, doesn't win a lot of games or anything else, these are the 10 hardest schools to sell to recruits in college football recruiting.

10. Kentucky

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    The Wildcats play in the best conference in college football, but that's just about it. It's hard to sell their program because no matter what the football team does, the basketball team will always be tops in the totem pole.

    Second, Kentucky doesn't win a lot of games. The team is never in the hunt for the SEC title and really serves as a doormat to the true SEC powers. Next, Joker Phillips is likely on the hot seat and it's doubtful he'll be your head coach when you graduate.

9. Boise State

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    The only reason I have Boise State this high on this list is because they can sell to a recruit  they win a lot of games. The Broncos also have an excellent head coach in Chris Petersen that many BCS programs have come after.

    Yet, their location is not the best as Idaho is not the ideal place for a big time recruit from California, Texas or Florida to go play. They are not in a BCS-level conference and have a tough time getting upper echelon recruits to consider them.

8. Washington State

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    The Cougars do have some hope for the future because Mike Leach is their head coach. His offense should attract some good skill position players moving forward.

    That's where it stops for Wazzu, as Pullman is more for recruits who want a college town feel rather than a big city to live. The Cougars haven't been relevant in the Pac-12 since the early 2000's and high school football players of today are too young to remember that.

    Leach will find that he'll need to be extremely creative in his recruiting pitch. 

7. Purdue

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    The Boilermakers football team practically is just there to give the school something to do to waste time before basketball season starts. They aren't an elite program in the Big Ten and haven't been one in awhile.

    Aside from getting early playing time and a solid degree, there aren't many allures Purdue has right now as a football program. I wouldn't be expecting any Top 25 recruiting classes in West Lafayette anytime soon, folks. 

6. Wyoming

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    Wyoming has been playing football since 1892, and the Cowboys have gone to a total of 13 bowl games. They've only produced four All-Americans and have just 15 conference titles.

    Also, Wyoming isn't exactly Metropolis, and if you tell a hot shot high school football recruit at the age of 18 to go live in Wyoming for four years, he's not doing it. 

    It's hard to sell this program to any recruit, and winning the MWC is almost out of the question. 

5. Kansas State

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    The fact  Bill Snyder has the Wildcats in the BCS this hunt this year is practically a miracle considering K-State doesn't get any great recruits. That's a testament to Snyder and his staff's coaching prowess.

    Manhattan, Kansas isn't anything close to Manhattan, New York, and basically no big time talent goes to K-State. Even Arthur and Bryce Brown originally signed with other schools before transferring to Kansas State.

    As long as Snyder's there as coach, the Wildcats will be fine. Once he retires for good, this program could be in trouble—especially on the recruiting trail. 

4. Wake Forest

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    The Demon Deacons won the ACC in 2006 and went to a BCS bowl game under Jim Grobe, but in reality they're a .500 program in his 12 seasons at the helm.

    This program is pretty much the Purdue of the ACC, as the football team gets support but really only until the hoops season starts up. Wake Forest doesn't get much elite talent, and that's alarming because North Carolina is dripping with good prospects.

    None of the top Carolina region prospects on my board this year even mention them. 

3. Indiana

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    The Hoosiers do have Kevin Wilson as their coach, and he'll try to continue doing things the "Oklahoma Way" in his second year. He will need to start to win more games soon because going 1-11 is not going to help sell anything.

    Indiana football is probably never going to be relevant because the community feels that as long as the basketball team is doing well, everything is fine. The Hoosiers are a doormat program in the Big Ten and have only been to nine total bowl games since starting in 1897.

2. Idaho

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    The Vandals have been playing football since 1893 and have gone to just two bowl games. For what it's worth, they've made the playoffs 11 times when they were a 1-AA program. 

    Rob Akey is in his sixth year and has won only 19 games so far. The Vandals are in Moscow, Idaho and let's face it, no elite recruit is going there.

    The location for the program isn't good, and they have no history of consistent winning. 

1. Penn State

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    The Nittany Lions are going to have a very tough time selling their program to recruits over the next decade. They can't go to a bowl game for four seasons and their scholarship limits will cripple their depth.

    Also, the perception of the program outside of their main community is stained by the Jerry Sandusky scandal. That is not fair at all to the Nittany Lions program, but I just think it'll be very tough for the coaches to convince good recruits to come there for a long time.

    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, and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.