7 Coaches That Recruit the Best with the Fewest Resources
There are a ton of factors that go into being successful on the recruiting trail. One factor—much needed I might add—is resources. From having a big budget to have your coaches travel all over the country looking for players to having top-notch facilities that impress recruits when hosting them for visits to having a complete off-field recruiting staff, there are lots of things to finance.
In the days of highly competitive college football, it's extremely important for a program that wants to win to have vast resources. Although every school has some sort of recruiting budget and resources to help, there are many schools that lack the resources the powerhouses have.
For this read, I have seven coaches for you. These seven coaches have shown that, while they don't have the resources some of their bigger counterparts at other programs have, they can still get it done on the recruiting trail.
Here are the seven coaches that recruit the best with the fewest resources.
7. Mario Cristobal, Formerly at FIU
I know Cristobal got fired (wrongly) from FIU after the 2012 season, but he was a beast on the recruiting trail.
FIU doesn't have nearly the resources that Miami, Florida and Florida State possess. FIU probably doesn't even have the resources that South Florida possesses. Yet, Cristobal built the program up by recruiting at a relentless clip.
His biggest coup was landing T.Y. Hilton, who now is a budding star at wide receiver for the Colts.
6. Kevin Wilson, Indiana
Bloomington is basketball country, through and through. Hoosiers athletics is basketball and then everything else. Football is secondary, which is rare in the world of college athletics.
Kevin Wilson is just 5-17 in his tenure and IU doesn't have much of a rich football history. Also, Wilson is in the same conference as two national heavyweights, Ohio State and Michigan, so resources are not overflowing from his cup.
Yet, last year, Wilson somehow convinced Gunner Kiel to commit to being a Hoosier for a short period of time. This year, he has solid recruits like Rashard Fant, Antonio Allen, Darius Latham, who he took from Wisconsin, and David Kenney coming in.
5. Art Briles, Baylor
The Bears don't have the resources that Texas and Oklahoma have, and I'd put them behind even Oklahoma State in that category.
Sure, Art Briles has some positives at Baylor resource-wise, but nothing major.
That doesn't stop Briles from going out and plucking good talent from the fertile Texas recruiting grounds every year. Quarterback Chris Johnson and wide receiver Robbie Rhodes are stud prospects that bypassed some other higher profile schools to come to Baylor and ball for Briles in Waco.
4. Chris Peterson, Boise State
The Broncos never land a Top-25 class. They never land any 5-star or upper-level 4-star recruits. They reside in Idaho, which is frankly not the sexiest state in the country.
However, all Chris Petersen and his staff do is bring in smart, tough and coachable players that play with a chip on their shoulder and win football games. This staff has to be commended for its player development skills and ability to teach.
The recruiting system at Boise State is fine, even though their resources are lacking. Petersen has the results to prove it.
3. Gary Patterson, TCU
TCU is like Boise State with a little more resources—the biggest being that their program is in Texas.
Patterson and his staff also do a great job of evaluating talent, and now that they are in a BCS conference, the Big 12, their recruiting reach should start to expand.
An excellent football coach, Patterson can look around him to Mack Brown at Texas, Bob Stoops at Oklahoma and even Kevin Sumlin at Texas A&M to see that he doesn't have the big time resources they have.
Yet, Patterson just goes about his business, signs players that he and his staff like and wins games in the fall.
2. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State
Mullen may see his Egg Bowl rivals doing well this year in recruiting, but his class is nothing to sneeze at. Mullen has quietly put together some pretty good classes over his short tenure in Starkville.
He doesn't have the resources that Florida and Alabama have, but still goes to head to head with them in the south for prospects.
Whether it's holding on to defensive end Chris Jones this year or beating Alabama last year for defensive tackle Quay Evans, Mullen has proven that while his resources may not be of the wealth of some of his conference foes, he can bring some talent to MSU.
1. James Franklin, Vanderbilt
Franklin has outstanding enthusiasm, passion and energy to recruit. Vanderbilt is not Florida, Alabama, LSU, Georgia or Auburn as far as resources go in the SEC.
We all know that.
Yet, after next Wednesday, there is a great chance that we will be saying Franklin has signed two consecutive Top-25 recruiting classes for the Commodores. That's an excellent feat, especially when you consider the many obstacles Vanderbilt and Franklin face at the start of every recruiting cycle.
Right now, Franklin is the best coach in the country at recruiting more with less.
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.