College Football Recruiting 2013: 5 Teams Putting Up a Wall Around Their State
When you're a college football program, your recruiting is vital to any success you want to have. You have to go out and get the best players to stock your roster with talent. The first place to look for the best players is in your state of course.
While you're looking, you will find out that your rival programs are also sniffing around your territory trying to get the best players in your state to come to their school. Therefore, in recruiting, a wall must be built.
You have to build a wall that keeps rival programs out of your state and the best prospects from getting out of your state. You won't always be successful with every single recruit, but a strong wall will help you dominate your state's recruiting and weaken your rivals' recruiting.
Here are five teams doing a good job of this in 2013 recruiting.
The Texas Longhorns almost never leave their state for a prospect unless they think he is going to be a top NFL draft pick.
Most of their classes are made up of Texas prospects because they do a great job of making other schools know that Texas has first dibs.
This year, their class of 15 commits has 14 players from Texas. The class is considered one of the 10 best in the nation, so what does that tell you about Texas' recruiting wall? They boast 11 of the top 37 Texans in their class.
4. Mississippi State
The Mississippi State Bulldogs face a massive showdown this weekend with the Alabama Crimson Tide, and this game will be a barn-burner. Alabama is the superior recruiting school, but MSU has done an excellent job of locking down its state this year.
Half of the top 20 players in Mississippi have committed to Dan Mullen, and the top uncommitted Mississippi players very well could sign with the Bulldogs. Ole Miss is a foe, but SEC teams coming to the Dixie now know MSU is not going down without a fight.
The Florida Gators making this list this year is very impressive because they sit in one the three best states to get a high school football player and have to deal with in-state rivals Miami and Florida State.
Then the Gators have to also fend off Alabama, Georgia, USC, Clemson, LSU and more. Yet, they still have convinced nine out of the top 30 prospects to come be a Gator.
It's impossible to get every single prospect in the Sunshine State, but when you get nine out of the top 30, that's almost like batting .400 in baseball.
The LSU Tigers have always locked down their state and put a wall up around it. This year is no different with 12 of the top 30 prospects in the Bayou State all pledged to LSU.
To even further that analysis, five out of the top 10 prospects from Louisiana are headed to LSU, and 10 out of the top 20 are also future Tigers.
That's extremely impressive, and those stats number could increase as the state's top two uncommitted prospects are seriously considering LSU.
The USC Trojans are a dominant recruiting program—both nationally and regionally.
They also do an excellent job of not overlooking local prospects within their state of California, and all three approaches allow them to haul in annual elite recruiting classes in their sleep.
This year, their wall practically has barbed wire around it as the top-five prospects from California are all USC commits. USC has commitments from seven of the top 10 prospects in California, and it could be eight if safety Tahaan Goodman finds room.
Lane Kiffin has convinced 11 of the top 23 high school football players in the state of California to come to USC, including the five very best. That's remarkable, and that's what I call a strong recruiting wall.
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.