Power Ranking 10 Best Recruiters in College Football

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IJanuary 24, 2013

Power Ranking 10 Best Recruiters in College Football

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    As a head coach in college football, one of the major components to building your program is the hiring of your staff of assistants. To go even further in that statement, college head coaches face a little different obstacles when constructing their staffs than NFL head coaches do.

    College head coaches have to not only hire coaches who are great teachers, but they also have fill their staff with assistant coaches who are great recruiters. So some coaches may hire a coach who's a better recruiter than on-field teacher due to the talent that coach can lure to their program.

    The country has a wealth of great recruiters and this piece will power rank the top 10 who are the best at it. Here are the 10 best best recruiters in college football right now.

10. John Lilly, Georgia

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    Lilly is Mark Richt's TE coach during the season, but his true value comes as Georgia's top recruiter, especially this year.

    Rivals.com credits Lilly with seven commitments this year, including S Tray Matthews and WR/CB Tramel Terry.

    Richt also has charged Lilly with being his co-pilot to help get LB Reuben Foster. Lilly also is one of the main reasons why Georgia looks pretty for OT Laremy Tunsil. 

9. Frank Wilson, LSU

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    Wilson is the RBs coach for LSU, but he also coordinates the recruiting attack for the Tigers too. Les Miles leans on him a lot in recruiting and Wilson is a known man on the trail.

    He's responsible for the commitments of ATH Kendell Beckwith and CB Jeryl Brazil, says Rivals.com. Also add WR Ricky Jefferson and WR John Spears to his 2013 belt too. 

    Wilson has his hand in everything that is LSU recruiting and is a prime reason why the Tigers have another top 10 class in the works. 

8. Churk Martin, Notre Dame

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    When Brian Kelly isn't in the room, he leaves the keys to the offense and QBs to Martin. A former secondary coach, Martin has brought in some big-time commitments this year.

    The Irish have a top-five class in the works and Martin can be credited (Rivals.com) for getting RB Tarean Folston, OLs Hunter Bivin, Steve Elmer and Colin McGovern while also convincing QB Malik Zaire and ATH James Onwualu to come to South Bend.

7. Fred Jackson, Michigan

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    As I said in the intro, a college head coach has to balance his staff with great recruiters ad on-field coaches. One of the shrewd moves Brady Hoke made upon his hiring was keeping Jackson as his RBs coach.

    Jackson is a great teacher of the art of toting the rock, but he's also an ace recruiter too. Rivals.com credits him with nine pledges of the outstanding 26-man Wolverine class this year.

    QB Shane Morris, OG David Dawson and Jourdan Lewis are just the tip of the iceberg of the recruits Jackson has gotten for Big Blue in 2013 recruiting. 

6. Clarence McKinney, Texas A&M

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    Kevin Sumlin gets most of the credit for the Aggies' rise, but the main man behind the scenes is McKinney, who serves as the RBs coach and coordinates the recruiting for Sumlin.

    McKinney also got a new title in recent weeks: offensive coordinator.

    He's notched nine commitments this year, per Rivals.com, including WR's Ricky Seals-Jones and Derrick Griffin along with QB Kohl Stewart among others.

    So not only does McKinney coordinate the plays for Johnny Manziel, he also plays a vital role in stocking the Aggie roster with young talent.

5. Tosh Lupoi, Washington

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    Steve Sarkisian plucked Lupoi off Jeff Tedford's staff from Cal last year and almost immediately the wonderful Bear recruiting class fell apart.

    Washington is going to land ing the top 25 recruiting rankings this year and that's a credit to Lupoi. Even convincing LB Reuben Foster to trip to Montlake is a coup that Lupoi pulled.

    I'll also state that one can bet Lupoi is playing a huge role Eddie Vanderdoes' interest in the Huskies. Any time a national prospect mentions U-Dub, just know that Lupoi is likely the reason why.

4. Lane Kiffin & Ed Orgeron, USC

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    I lump these two together because they are the co-faces of USC recruiting.

    Orgeron coordinates the Trojan recruiting plan every year, but Kiffin is very involved too.

    The Trojans have brought in some of the best players in not only USC history but college football history during their stints in Los Angeles. The Trojans have a likely top-10 class this year, and Kiffin and Orgeron are once again responsible for a talented group of players incoming to Troy. 

3. Urban Meyer, Ohio State

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    Meyer has his assistants do a lot of the leg work, but he's still a great recruiter from the head coach position. Some football CEOs don't get too involved in recruiting until late in the process, if at all.

    Not Meyer; he's full tilt in recruiting year-round and this year, he has the Buckeyes looking at a top five finish.

    Meyer has connections in Florida and around the South from his time in Gainesville and has also done a fabulous job of connecting with Midwest high schools.

2. D.J. Lurkin, Florida

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    Durkin just got a promotion to defensive coordinator at Florida after doing a lot of special teams stuff and working with the linebackers.

    He was Rivals' top recruiter last year, and with Florida currently having the best class this year, you can bet a lot of that is thanks to Durkin.

    Durkin is responsible for flipping Matt Rolin from South Carolina and Alex Anzalone from Notre Dame, according to Rivals.com. Durkin also has his hand in many other recruits that Florida has picked up and still targeting. 

    He'll now be in charge of the defense for Will Muschamp, but Durkin will continue to serve as an ace recruiter for the Gators too.

1. Nick Saban, Alabama

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    Any recruit in the country stops when he gets word that Alabama is looking at him. That reason is because of Nick Saban, as he casts a large shadow in the recruiting world.

    Saban has seen several assistants leave from under his wing and yet he still brings in elite class after elite class. That's proof that he's main reason for his program's recruiting success.

    'Bama has a chance to bring in another No. 1 class this year and every single recruit that has interest in the Crimson Tide has interest because of the thought of playing for Saban.

    It may not the be No. 1 on all of their lists, but I'm sure it's high. Recruits view Saban as their conduit to the NFL, and as long as he's in Tuscaloosa, Alabama will continue to recruit at a high clip.

    He's tops right now.

    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.