Ranking the 7 Hardest Schools to Recruit At

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IDecember 21, 2012

Ranking the 7 Hardest Schools to Recruit At

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    Recruiting is hard at every school due to various reasons. You have so much competition for players from rival schools that, along with location and academic factors, can make things tough.

    Many schools figure out a way to get the job done, but others find recruiting just to be an incredibly tough aspect in their program's operation. This read will look at the top seven schools that are the hardest to recruit at.

    These are schools that, for various reasons, find it very difficult to convince good high school and JUCO football talent to come play for them. Also, sure we could have just listed the whole Ivy League, but we're sticking with FBS schools for this list.

    Happy Holidays!

7. Iowa State

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    The Cyclones find it tough to become a recruiting power because, for starters, their in-state rivals of Iowa get more attention than they do.

    Next, they aren't a sexy school that wins a ton of games and don't reside in a plush location. Even after a 2011 season that saw them upset Oklahoma State on national television, the Cyclones still didn't see jolt on in their recruiting.

    Paul Rhoads is a great coach, though. 

6. Wyoming

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    For starters, not a ton of great talent comes from the Equality State. It's not a highly dense or populated hot bed, so not much skill comes from it, as far as high school football goes.

    Next, Wyoming is not a powerhouse program, nor are they in a BCS conference. So as a coach there, you face the fact that, for one, not a lot of great players are in your backyard.

    Then, chances are the players you're trying to lure there are not enchanted with living in Wyoming for four years. 

5. and 4. New Mexico and New Mexico State

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    New Mexico and New Mexico State are both tough jobs for head coaches. New Mexico is not a spiced up place to sell to a 17- or 18-year-old high school stud.

    Both schools really aren't overly winning programs and, unless he's from the state, no high-level four- or five-star prospect is likely to sign there.

    Even Landry Fields left the state to go to Oklahoma. 

3. Duke

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    Duke is and always will be a basketball school. The football team just gives the community something to do until Coach K's season starts.

    Then, the academic standards to get admitted to the university are pretty high. That unfortunately takes the Blue Devils out of the running for many of the nation's best players on the recruiting trail.

    Duke football frankly is not a winning program, and recruits want to go to a team they know they can win with.

    The job that head coach David Cutcliffe has done so far should be viewed in a positive light when you think about the obstacles he faces on a consistent basis. 

2. Idaho

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    Paul Petrino is the new Vandal Football leader, and I honestly think he took this job to get head coaching experience to jump to another program in a few years.

    Getting players to come to Idaho just isn't easy. The Vandals did go to and win a bowl game a few seasons ago, but that's about it, as far as significant winning goes.

    You take this job for the experience of running your own program, working out kinks and getting your feet wet as a head coach. This isn't a permanent head coaching job because the talent in the state isn't good enough to recruit from and no big-time prospects are coming here.

1. Rice

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    Imagine being a program in Texas that has to recruit against the Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners, Texas A&M Aggies, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Texas Tech Red Raiders, TCU Horned Frogs and Baylor Bears, among other schools from out of the area looking to pluck Texan talent.

    Oh, and to add to that scenario, your program is not known for winning and also has tough academic standards. Yeah, Rice is a tough place to recruit at and, to me, is the toughest in the country.

    There's just an overwhelming amount of obstacles stacked against the Owls to overcome to be a good recruiting school.


    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 has also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.