The college football recruiting pecking order has many great coaches who are also great recruiters. Coaches such as Nick Saban, Mack Brown, Lane Kiffin, Brian Kelly, Les Miles and Urban Meyer always sign top 10 recruiting classes and get the bulk of the headlines when it comes to great recruiters.
Yet there are also other coaches who do a good job on the recruiting trail but fail to be mentioned in the same breath as the other guys. Well, it's time we give these underrated recruiting head coaches some shine!
In this read, we're going to shine the spotlight on the most underrated recruiters in college football from the head coaching position.
Do you even know that Baylor is flirting with a top 25 recruiting class rankings finish right now? The Bears sit at No. 27 on Scout.com's ranking, and that's thanks to the job Art Briles has done.
With WR Robbie Rhodes leading his class, along with QB Chris Johnson, Briles may sign a top 25 class in February. Last year Scout.com ranked Baylor's class 30th overall, which was great improvement from when Briles first arrived in 2008.
He's found prospects like Robert Griffin III, Kendal Wright, Danny Watkins in the JC ranks and Phil Taylor.
Even before he was fired in 2010, Rodriguez had a good class working at Michigan. Dee Hart was one of his prized commitments, and Rodriguez was recruiting well.
He also had some solid classes at West Virginia and is doing well for himself as a recruiter at Arizona. Scout.com ranks Rodriguez's current class at inside their top 25, at No. 22.
He's getting players that fit his system, and we all know that when given time it's a system that works at the college level. Rich Rod is underrated as a recruiter and has shown that when he has time he can get talent.
Boise State is never going to finish with the No. 1 ranked recruiting class. They're probably not going to land a five-star recruit anytime soon (unless Mackensie Alexander signs with them this year), and they're never going to be a sexy school recruits want to go visit.
However, Chris Petersen and his staff routinely have the Broncos in the hunt for a BCS bowl game year in and year out. They get the job done by evaluating tape the right way.
Petersen annually signs a class of smart, instinctive, tough and versatile football players that can be coached up well. He has a recruiting system in place, and it has netted the kind of results that many BCS conference schools would kill for.
If there's one coach on this list who figures to be on a fast track to moving up in the upper echelon of recruiting head coaches, it's Sark.
The talent level at U-Dub has vastly improved under his tenure, and he's added playmakers at key positions.
From signing WR Kasen Williams, to keeping Austin Seferian-Jenkins at TE, convincing both Cyler Miles and Jeff Lindquist to come to Montlake and snatching up Shaq Thompson, Sarkisian is doing a great job on the recruiting trail.
This year he has a possible top 15 recruiting class in the works. Nobody seems to notice, but this is one great recruiting head coach.
Well, the Hokies have a top 25 recruiting class right now, per Scout.com. Yet, it's the body of work that Beamer has done that has gone unnoticed.
He seems to sign a high level, prized jewel prospect every couple years. From Michael Vick to Kevin Jones to Tyrod Taylor to Ryan Williams to Logan Thomas to Kendall Fuller, Beamer is no stranger at striking gold on the recruiting trail.
Also, he and his staff have done a fantastic job of developing players they've discovered such as low rated prospects like Jimmy Williams, Duane Brown, Xavier Adibi, Brandon Flowers and Jayron Hosley.
If Frank Beamer and his staff at Va-Tech come after you, chances are that means you're a good football player. Based on the national recruiting spotlight and the results Beamer has had, he gets more good football players to sign with him than we the public realize.
Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He 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 and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (formerly 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.