Locking up your backyard in recruiting has to be rule No. 1 in a program's approach. Making sure that the top local players in your territory are coming to your program is imperative.
After you have that aspect under control, it's then time to start venturing out on the recruiting trail. Ideally, you want to get to a point where you, as a program, can go anywhere in the country to get a good football player.
Not having any geographical limitations is the recruiting status that you want your program to attain. The following list is made up of seven schools that don't seem to have any limits to where they can go to recruit.
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The Ducks' of late have really broken any geographical limitations imposed by the Pacific Northwest. They seem to have a good presence in Texas and that has helped land them Darron Thomas, Dontre Wilson and LaMichael James, among others.
They have started to move even further east in their current recruiting. Prospects James Quick of Kentucky, Derrick Green of Virginia, Ricky Seals-Jones of Texas, Leon McQuay of Florida and Robert Nkemdiche of Georgia have all mentioned Oregon at one time or another.
The Crimson Tide know that they make their hay in the South on the recruiting trail, and they'll never forget that. Yet Nick Saban has also gotten 'Bama to reach out nationally too.
Mark Ingram came in and won a Heisman from Michigan. Maryland product Cyrus Kouandjio starts at LT, and Jesse Williams, a future NFL DT, is from Australia. Even this year they went to New York and got Leon Brown.
The Crimson Tide have arrived as a national recruiting program.
Brady Hoke is going to make sure that the Midwest is where Michigan gets a good number of prospects, which makes all the sense in the world.
Yet Hoke knows that Big Blue can go anywhere to recruit. In years past they went to Texas for Ryan Mallet, Florida for Denard Robinson, Missouri for Ondre Pipkins, California for Leon Hall and New York for Mike Hart.
Even this year they have been n the hunt for Leon McQuay of Florida, Derrick Green of Alabama and Alquadin Muhammad of New Jersey.
The Cardinal have very high admittance policies and guidelines, so they're almost forced to go everywhere and anywhere each recruiting cycle when looking for players.
Located in Northern California, it's no shock when an East Coast or southern player opts for Stanford.
Whether it's getting some QB from Texas named Andrew Luck, going to Georgia for James Vaughters, to North Carolina for Peter Kalambayi or being a favorite for 2013 WR prospect Jordan Cunningham of Florida, Stanford doesn't have much of a regional limit at all.
Ohio State has always recruited well on the national level, but the presence of Urban Meyer is certainly going to enhance its national recruiting appeal. Meyer is definitely going to continue to plant the Buckeye flag in Florida.
Florida brought OSU Santonio Holmes, so I'm sure the speed and athleticism that the state has growing on trees will lure Meyer going forward, as he's already landed Joey Bosa.
Toss in California, Texas and New Jersey as other states where Meyer has gone to land prospects this year. The Scarlett and Gray is known all around the Red, White and Blue.
The Irish are located in South Bend, Indiana and almost have to recruit nationally. Each conference and every school within keeps an eye on Notre Dame, because the Irish go into everyone's territory looking for players.
Whether going into California, digging around Florida or checking out Texas, Notre Dame is almost an exclusive national recruiting program. Out of the 11 Irish commitments that are in the ESPNU 300, 10 of them are not from Indiana.
The epitome of a program that has locked down recruiting in its backyard and extended its recruiting reach to all corners of the country is none other than USC.
The Trojans will go to the depths of the Earth to recruit, and they usually have a good chance of landing national prospects.
Whether it's going to Florida for Mike Williams, Nelson Agholor or Nickell Robey, New Jersey for Brian Cushing and Dwayne Jarrett, Louisiana for John David Booty and Joe McKnight, or getting a young Jarvis Jones from Georgia to sign with them, the Trojans can do it.
Toss in raiding Delaware for Kenny Bigelow, taking Jalen Ramsey from Tennessee or getting Jeff Byers and LenDale White from Colorado, and you easily see USC's national recruiting reach is flat out ridiculous.
It's not even close when it comes to deciding which is the No.1 program in college football recruiting.
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.