Power Ranking SEC's 8 Best Recruiters of the BCS Era
The SEC has seen some of the best coaches in college football history coach in its league throughout various stages of history. With more of an emphasis on the BCS era of the conference, let's take a quick look and power rank the top recruiting coaches in the history of the SEC.
As you'll come to see, many of the top coaches that the league has had are on the list because they were great recruiters. With the competitiveness and insane intensity this league operates at, having talent on your roster separates the men from the boys.
The coaches that recognized that the quickest and attacked the trail with the most passion usually got the best recruits and that led to them winning the most games. So here are the best eight recruiters of the SEC's BCS era.
8. Tommy Tubervile, Auburn
Top 25 Recruiting Classes: 6
Tuberville had a good run at Auburn and had a few teams that were BCS title game worthy. He pulled in six top 25 classes during the BCS era on The Plains and built the program to be known for being big, tough and physical.
Jason Campbell was probably Tuberville's best QB and Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown were probably his best two overall players. Tubs is one of the top recruiters in the SEC's BCS era.
7. Mark Richt, UGA
Top 25 Recruiting Classes: 8
Richt seems as if he's always in another SEC coach's shadow, but the people in Athens know he's a good one. His recruiting has been locked in for most of his tenure and he's re-established a tighter fence around the Peach State.
With recruits like Aaron Murray, Matthew Stafford and A.J. Green over the years, Richt has pulled in his fair share of great talent in the BCS era.
6. Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee
Top 25 Recruiting Classes: 7
Fulmer got fired from Rocky Top in 2008, but he did bring Tennessee a BCS title at the start of the BCS era. He was a solid recruiter who brought in players like Eric Berry, Montario Hardesty, Erik Ainge, Jerod Mayo, Robert Ayers, Jason Allen and Gibril Wilson.
5. Gene Chizik, Auburn
Top 10 Recruiting Classes: 3
Chizik wasn't at Auburn very long, as he was HC of the Tigers from 2009-2012. However, he recruited at an excellent clip, bringing in three top 10 classes. It wasn't recruiting that was Chizik's demise, that part is obvious.
He got a JUCO QB to come to Auburn by the name of Cam Newton, then followed that up by stocking the Tigers' roster with a wealth of young talent.
4. Les Miles, LSU
Top 25 Recruiting Classes: 8
Miles has LSU as a national powerhouse both on the field and on the recruiting trail. He has a good grip on his talented state's fence and usually lands a good chunk of the top talent in Louisiana.
LSU is almost always a top-10 ranked team and contender for the SEC and BCS crown annually. That's due having a great amount of talent that Miles and his staff bring to Baton Rouge every February.
3. Urban Meyer, Florida
Top 10 Recruiting Classes: 4
They say you always want to be the guy to replace the guy who replaced the legend in sports. Meyer replaced Ron Zook, who replaced Steve Spurrier and became a legend in Gainesville almost immediately.
He signed four top 10 classes and probably two or three of them were regarded by many as the nation's No. 1 class. He brought in Tim Tebow, Percy Harvin, Joe Haden and many other recruits who helped get Florida two SEC and BCS titles.
2. Steve Spurrier, Florida/South Carolina
Top 25 Recruiting Classes: 9 (est)
Spurrier left Florida after the 2001 season, right when recruiting rankings were just starting to get more coverage. However, with the talent his Florida teams had during that time, he likely had top 25 classes from 1998-2001.
Spurrier took over South Carolina in 2005 and has brought in six top 25 classes to Columbia during his stay there. He's clearly one of the best SEC coaches ever.
1. Nick Saban, Alabama/LSU
Top 10 Recruiting Classes: 7
Saban started his SEC HC career at LSU and left for the NFL after the 2004 season. He returned to the league as Alabama's football chief in 2007 and has led the Tide on a dominant and historic run.
Combining both of his LSU and Alabama recruiting hauls, Saban has seven top 10 recruiting finishes in the BCS era. Several of his classes were No. 1 groups, and pound for pound, he's probably the greatest recruiting coach in SEC history.
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.