Power Ranking 10 Best College Football Recruiters of 2013 Class
Like anything in the game of football, recruiting is a team effort.
Head coaches tend to get all the glory when their program brings in a stacked recruiting class, but lost in that is the fact that assistants and recruiting coordinators play a big role in that process.
That said, some head coaches are so good on the recruiting trail themselves that the very fact that they are the head man of a program gives that school a major draw on the recruiting trail.
Generally, it comes down to a combination of assistants, coordinators and the head coach to put together a great recruiting class.
With that in mind, here's a look at my top ten recruiters from the 2013 recruiting cycle.
10. Will Muschamp, Head Coach, Florida
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Will Muschamp is one of the best recruiters in college football, and his 2013 class will go a long way towards backing up that statement.
The Gators were on a ton of elite recruits' interest lists and they even made a strong final push for No. 1 overall recruit Robert Nkemdiche. Although Florida wasn't able to land Nkemdiche, it still came away with one of the best defensive recruiting classes in the country.
Florida received signatures from marquee defensive recruits like 5-star cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III, 4-star outside linebacker and former Notre Dame commitment Alex Anzalone and 4-star outside linebacker Daniel McMillian.
The Gators also signed 5-star running back Kelvin Taylor.
Overall, Muschamp did an excellent job on the recruiting trail in 2013, and the future of the Gators' program is extremely bright.
9. Brian Kelly, Head Coach, Notre Dame
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Brian Kelly had the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as one of the hottest programs on the recruiting trail for a majority of the 2013 cycle.
The Fighting Irish fell off a bit after losing to Alabama in the national championship, and his interview with the Philadelphia Eagles didn't help on the recruiting trail. But when all was said and done, Notre Dame still finished with an elite class.
5-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes was a huge late addition for the Fighting Irish, and he's a recruit that possesses star potential as a defensive lineman. Notre Dame was also able to sign 5-star outside linebacker Jaylon Smith, who will be one of the best linebackers in the country in time, and elite running back recruit Greg Bryant.
The Fighting Irish started strong on the recruiting trail, and they finished very strong. Credit Kelly for making the Irish a legitimate contender on the field, which in turn made them a legitimate contender on the recruiting trail.
8. Gus Malzahn, Head Coach, Auburn
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I can't say enough about the job Gus Malzahn did with Auburn's 2013 class.
He took a program that was trending in an extremely negative direction after Gene Chizik was fired and turned it completely around.
Auburn went from very cold on the recruiting trail to very hot, and the Tigers ended up with one of the more impressive classes in the nation.
Much of that credit has to go to Malzahn.
He came in right away and instilled a sense of direction into the program. The prospect of his spread offense scoring a ton of points started to really build up some momentum around the program, and he did an excellent job of putting together a staff that was strong in regards to recruiting.
Considering the direction Auburn recruiting was heading, there's no way Malzahn could be left off this list.
7. Rodney Garner, Defensive Line Coach, Auburn
It would be wrong to credit Malzahn as a recruiter and not mention the terrific job that Rodney Garner did for the Tigers.
Malzahn was able to hire Garner away from Georgia, and he brought his impressive recruiting resume along with him. His presence on Auburn's staff as the defensive line coach was a game-changer for the Tigers.
He gave that staff a ton of credibility from a recruiting standpoint, and look no further than the defensive line recruits that were brought in for proof of that statement.
Auburn was able to hold on to 5-star defensive end Carl Lawson, and that was a marquee win for the Tigers. On top of that, though, the Tigers landed 5-star defensive tackle Montravius Adams on signing day, and he has the potential to be one of the best defensive players in the country.
The Tigers were also able to flip 4-star defensive end Elijah Daniel away from Ole Miss on signing day.
Malzahn will get a ton of credit for Auburn's turnaround on the recruiting trail, but Garner undoubtedly played a huge role for the Tigers.
6. David Beaty, Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Texas A&M
Texas A&M was one of the hottest programs on the recruiting trail in 2013.
Much of that had to do with Johnny Manziel's Heisman season and the Aggies' huge win over Alabama. Head coach Kevin Sumlin and Texas A&M established themselves as a legitimate contender in college football when they took down the Crimson Tide of Alabama.
The Aggies backed that claim up with an impressive 41-13 win over Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl.
Texas A&M looks to be here to stay, and that was huge on the recruiting trail. That said, I'd be remiss not to mention the job that A&M's recruiting coordinator, David Beaty, did in 2013.
The Aggies brought in 32 recruits through the 2013 class, and somebody had to keep track of all of those players. Somebody also needed to make sure that each of those recruits got the proper attention and felt like a major part of the 2013 class.
That job falls on the recruiting coordinator more often than not, so Beaty deserves some major props.
Texas A&M also brought in a handful of talented wideouts, including 5-star receiver/athlete Ricky Seals-Jones and former USC commitment Sebastian LaRue. It's worth noting that Beaty is the wideouts coach for A&M as well.
5. Jeremy Pruitt, Defensive Coordinator, Florida State
Bringing Jeremy Pruitt onto the staff from Alabama was a major recruiting landscape altering move by Jimbo Fisher and the Florida State Seminoles.
For one, Pruitt is known as a pretty good recruiter, so the Seminoles were adding a coach that could make a big impact in that department.
Even more important, though, was the connection that Pruitt has made with elite defensive back recruits as the secondary coach at Alabama—mainly 5-star cornerback Jaylon Ramsey.
Ramsey was committed to USC, but he started considering FSU as soon as Pruitt got the job, per a report from Paul Thomas of Warchant.com.
Without a doubt, Pruitt's addition to Florida State's staff was a major game-changer for the Seminoles.
4. Hugh Freeze, Head Coach, Ole Miss
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At this point, there's no doubting the fact that Hugh Freeze is one of the best recruiters in college football.
He was able to take advantage of Robert Nkemdiche's family ties to the Rebels' program and build a ton of hype around the program.
Nkemdiche is obviously Ole Miss' marquee recruit, but the Rebels also landed No. 1 overall wideout (247Sports Composite) Laquon Treadwell, No. 1 overall offensive tackle (247Sports Composite) Laremy Tunsil and 5-star safety Tony Conner.
Freeze and Ole Miss had an epic signing day and it was really one for the ages.
I have to credit Freeze for creating buzz around his program, because in college football recruiting today, hype is everything.
You could tell there was a genuine excitement surrounding Ole Miss football on the recruiting trail, and the Rebels were able to out-recruit some of the best programs in the SEC, including Alabama, LSU, Florida and Georgia.
3. Urban Meyer, Head Coach, Ohio State
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Urban Meyer really backed up his reputation as a "closer" on the recruiting trail in 2013.
The marquee recruiting win for Meyer and the Buckeyes was landing 5-star safety Vonn Bell over Alabama and Tennessee. Bell has superstar potential, and his commitment really made Ohio State's 2013 class elite. Meyer was also able to flip 4-star recruit Dontre Wilson away from Oregon after Chip Kelly left for the NFL.
Other notable recruiting wins during the 2013 cycle include 4-star inside linebacker Trey Johnson choosing Ohio State soon after decommiting from Auburn and 4-star linebacker Mike Mitchell committing to Ohio State over Texas A&M and Florida State. The Buckeyes also landed the signature of the No. 1 player from the state of Ohio (247Sports Composite)—4-star wideout Jalin Marshall.
Meyer is one of the best recruiters in college football. He can win on the field and on the recruiting trail, and he has a history of doing both.
He proved that again in 2013.
2. Mike Groh, Wide Receivers Coach/Recruiting Coordinator, Alabama
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Mike Groh is obviously doing something right as the recruiting coordinator at Alabama.
Either way, there's no doubting the fact that this was an elite class.
As the recruiting coordinator, Groh had to oversee the most dynamic class in the country. Lost in the star rankings and overall class rankings is the fact that Alabama's roster is incredibly deep and talented.
Many of these recruits could have gone to other programs and started from day one. At Alabama, they may have to wait a few years to see meaningful playing time. The fact that Groh was the recruiting coordinator for a class that brought in so much talent (six 5-star recruits according to the 247Sports Composite) into an already talented program is a testament to the job that he did in 2013.
Those recruits had the offers to easily go to another major school and get playing time right off the bat.
Notable recruiting wins include flipping 5-star offensive/defensive tackle A'Shawn Robinson away from Texas a few days before signing day, and the deep running back class Alabama put together, highlighted by 5-star running back/athlete Derrick Henry.
Note: 247Sports named Groh the recruiter of the year.
1. Nick Saban, Head Coach, Alabama
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The reality of Mike Groh's success as the recruiting coordinator at Alabama is that it all derives from the fact that Nick Saban is the head coach.
Saban is the reason that Groh can put together arguably the best recruiting class in college football. He's the best coach in the country right now, and his presence alone as head coach of Alabama football is enough of a draw for many elite recruits.
He's respected for what he's able to do on the football field and what he's able to do as a recruiter. He has a meticulous plan and a system that he sticks to—and the results are rather obvious.
Alabama is known as a place where recruits can go to compete for national championships. That's the goal and that's the standard, and I would argue that almost nothing is a stronger draw on the recruiting trail.
The credit for that mindset goes to Saban, and he continues to prove why he's the best recruiter in college football.