Each Big 12 Football Team's Ace Recruiter
The Big 12 has seen some coming and going as far as schools go over the recent years, but it still remains one of the better overall conferences in the country. As long as Texas and Oklahoma are in this league, the conference will always be a solid power.
Each head coach in this conference is like many other head coaches around the country: they understand how vital it is to recruit well. Head coaches are charged with so much when running a program that much of the leg work on the recruiting trail is left to their assistant coaches.
One or two assistant coaches are responsible for coordinating the coaching staff's recruiting plan, and each staff has at least coach who is a top level recruiter. For this read, we'll look at each Big 12 conference team's top current recruiter on staff.
Baylor: Kendall Briles
Briles helps coordinate the Bears' offense while also coaching the receivers. He's the son of head coach Art Briles, and his father leans on him to make sure the Bears bring in good talent.
The younger Briles is starting to build a buzz about himself in the coaching profession thanks to his ability to recruit well his great offensive mind. Those two factors usually put a coach on track to being a head coach.
Iowa State: Shane Burnham
Iowa State isn't a sexy recruiting school and doesn't usually bring in many high profile prospects. The program is built on toughness and the staff collectively believes in its ability to teach and develop players.
So there really isn't an "ace" recruiter on staff, but the closest coach to that appears to be defensive line coach Shane Burnham. He brought in five commitments in 2013 and is back to increase that number in 2014 recruiting.
Kansas: Jeff Blasko
Blasko shook up the JUCO trees in 2013 recruiting for Charlie Weis, which led to the Jayhawks signing 16 players from the junior college ranks last cycle.
Blasko coaches the tight ends for Weis on a staff that also has former Notre Dame recruiting coordinator Rob Ianello. Weis seems to want to mine more JUCO talent moving forward, so look for Blasko to be depended on heavily.
Kansas State: Dana Dimel
Between 247Sports and Rivals, Dimel is responsible for seven commitments between the 2013 and 2014 recruiting cycles. He coaches the running backs and has some greater overall offensive responsibilities for Kansas State.
Bill Snyder is another coach who likes getting JUCO players, so Dimel plays a role in that in addition to recruiting on the high school trail.
Oklahoma: Mike Stoops, Jerry Montgomery and Bill Bedenbaugh
Stoops made things interesting at Arizona when he was a head coach and recruiting for the Wildcats, but he's always been known as one of the better and hardest working recruiters in the business.
Montgomery comes down to Norman from Michigan to not only coach the DL unit but to also give Bob Stoops' recruiting attack a needed jolt.
Bedenbaugh will also be counted on to lure top talent to the Sooners' roster, as he was a key recruiter for Dana Holgorsen at West Virignia last year while coaching the offensive line.
Oklahoma State: Glen Spencer
Spencer has coached the defensive line and linebackers for the Pokes. Now he is running the entire defense, and you can bet your bottom dollar he is putting an emphasis on getting more defensive standouts to Stillwater.
Mike Gundy's top recruiter and defensive chief, Spencer brought in several talented DL prospects last year and has two LB commitments already for 2014. So when the Cowboys are playing solid defense down the road, look back to this time and Spencer's recruiting, not just his coaching.
TCU: Clay Jennings
Gary Patterson runs a 4-2-5/3-3-5 defensive scheme at times in Ft. Worth, so he always needs versatile and smart defensive backs. Patterson also must have a good DB coach, which Jennings is.
What makes this work so well is that Jennings is also a pretty good recruiter. He got a couple good DBs to sign with the Horned Frogs last year, and Patterson also charged Jennings with keeping TCU in the fold for Justin Manning, according to Rivals.
Texas: Several Coaches to Name
Texas has a very good staff of recruiters, so it's not easy to name just one or two as its ace recruiter. This is a staff with several coaches who are proven recruiters and have done it at various stops around the country.
Larry Porter, Major Applewhite, Darrell Wyatt, Duane Akine, Stacy Searles and Manny Diaz are the standouts. However, the whole staff does an excellent job of recruiting, which is why Mack Brown is always celebrating a top-end class every February.
Texas Tech: Sonny Cumbie and Mike Jinks
Cumbie runs the WR room and assists with offensive game-planning and play-calling for the Red Raiders. This is a new staff and head coach Kliff Kingsbury has some moxie, so I expect Texas Tech to make some noise on the trail going forward.
Jinks coaches the running backs and according to 247Sports, already has three commitments for this year. Keep your eye on Cumbie and Jinks as two up-and-comers on the recruiting trail.
West Virginia: Erik Slaughter
This pick would have been more easier had Bill Bedenbaugh stayed in Morgantown. Yet, he's now at Oklahoma so that leaves Slaughter, Dana Holgorsen's DL coach.
Slaughter brought in four commitments last year and also made an effort to get Mackenro Alexander to sign with the Mountaineers. He's got Texas ties on the trail and that's key, because I think WVU wants to get more into the Lone Star State's recruiting trail.
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 and Cleveland Browns.