5 Recruiters Bound to Under-Perform in 2014 After a Big 2013 Haul
Being consistent on the recruiting trail is what separates the good recruiting programs from the great ones. Teams have to bring in solid hauls each year, and when a down year happens, they're more than likely setting up their rosters to field a down team for a few seasons.
Last year, in 2013 recruiting, several programs had surprisingly good recruiting classes and celebrated big hauls. Some of those programs I truly believe can repeat their performances, but there are also several that I believe are bound to under-perform in 2014.
Here are five recruiters/programs who likely will under-perform during this 2014 recruiting cycle after a good 2013 performance.
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I'm not putting Alabama on this list because I don't think it will have a good recruiting class, so settle down, Tide fans.
Alabama has brought in No. 1-caliber recruiting classes just about the past four to five cycles, so just by law of chance, isn't the Tide due for a down (by its standards) recruiting year?
They can't possibly continue to land No. 1 class after No. 1 class, can they? Last year's class was a phenomenal haul. Is it realistic to expect 'Bama to keep topping itself in recruiting every year?
Alabama is bound to under-perform the ridiculous recruiting expectations at some point, and this 2014 cycle could be that point.
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ESPNU ranked the Hoosiers' 2013 class No. 44 in the country. Even though that's not a Top 25 placement, that's a high ranking for Indiana.
It was a great class for Kevin Wilson, led by S Antonio Allen, ATH Rashard Fant, DE Darius Latham and WR Taj Williams.
This year, things may get tougher because defensive assistant Mike Ekeler has left for USC. Ekeler was a key recruiter for Wilson, and right now, Indiana has no commitments for 2014.
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The Cornhuskers brought in a Top 25 class, based on the ESPNU 2013 recruiting rankings last year.
I'm high on OLB Josh Banderas and QB Johnny Stanton, plus JUCO DE Randy Gregory should make an immediate impact.
This year, things appear to be looking a lot less stellar, as Nebraska lacks a commitment for the 2014 class right now. Big Red appears bound to under-perform this year when compared to last year's recruiting success.
2. Ole Miss
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Is it realistic to expect the Rebels to land a second consecutive Top 5 class in 2014 with elite talent like 2013's Robert Nkemdiche, Laremy Tunsil, Laquon Treadwell and Antonio Conner?
That may be asking too much.
However, I do believe Hugh Freeze's program can finish in the Top 25 again. But expecting the Rebels to bring in another class like their 2013 haul is pretty wishful thinking.
1. Penn State
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Bill O'Brien pulled off one of the greatest recruiting jobs ever in 2013. Faced with severe sanctions, the first year lead Lion somehow got PSU into many top-25 recruiting rankings.
In 2014, I just don't expect Penn State to do it again. I just feel it could be asking too much for the Nittany Lions to repeat that performance.
The scholarship limit is going to really hurt, and I wouldn't be shocked if this 2014 PSU class is in single digits as far as signees go. If you think Penn State is going to match what it did in 2013, you're likely wrong.
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.