College Football Programs Who Are the Best at Recruiting Outside Their Region
In order to be a successful recruiting power, a program must first be able to lock down their home turf. Luring top local talent around a school's city, state and region is crucial.
After that phase is completed, then it's time to venture out to other regions and areas of the country—and world. The ability to pluck prospects from all over really puts a program over the top on the recruiting trail and makes it a major threat to the rest of the country.
It's believed that a program always wants to be expand its recruiting reach, so being able to recruit outside its local region is crucial. Some schools like Texas choose to stay mainly within Texas, and that serves them well due to the Longhorns' being located in a hotbed like the Lone Star State.
Other schools, on the other hand, choose to explore all nooks and crannies of the map for prospects. In this read, we'll look at some of the best schools who recruit outside their region.
The Rebels still use the South as the main base for their recruiting, but there are signs Hugh Freeze is branching out their reach.
Ole Miss signed four recruits from Texas in 2013, which is a new feat since usually the program in Oxford doesn't go west of the state. Also, the Midwest is a newly discovered frontier, as Illinois and Indiana have been welcoming Ole Miss coaches.
The Rebels scored Laquon Treadwell last year and even had an early commitment from Antonio Allen at one point before his decommitment and flip to Indiana.
Mississippi is not going to be held to just recruiting the South under Freeze.
Oregon's going to recruit the West Coast hard and especially California. That is where the Ducks get a large portion of their talent from.
Yet, Chip Kelly put in much work to expand Oregon's reach and now Texas is a very kind state to the Ducks. Over the past three recruiting classes, they've signed eight Texans. Keep in mind, prized recruits LaMichael James, Lache Seastrunk and Darron Thomas all come from the great state of Texas.
The Ducks have also signed three players from Iowa in recent classes. Other states recently raided by Oregon include Florida, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio and even Massachusetts.
One of several Pac-12 teams on this list, Stanford has to reach out nationally due to the academic standards of the university. The prospect pool for the Cardinal coaches is limited, so they can't be geographically picky.
David Shaw and his staff will recruit a prospect they deem a "Stanford Man" in the South, Midwest, Heartland, Hawaii or East Atlantic.
From landing some QB from Texas named Andrew Luck, singing Peter Kalambayi from North Carolina last year, bringing Barry J. Sanders from Oklahoma in 2012 to getting Shane Skov from New York, Stanford recruits outside its region consistently.
Ohio is a good football state and serves as fertile ground for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes get after it on the recruiting trail all over the country.
Florida is one of OSU's most trusted states for prospects, dating back to Santonio Holmes to Joey Bosa today. The Buckeyes love them some Sunshine State talent and visit Florida quite often.
Texas, New Jersey, California and Georgia are other states that see Ohio State coaches often. With Urban Meyer wanted more speed on the roster to compete with SEC teams, Ohio State will recruit outside the Midwest even more than it did under Jim Tressel.
"Hoke-A-Mania" isn't just a sensation in Ann Arbor, as evidenced by Michigan's three recruiting classes under Brady Hoke.
Since his arrival during the late 2011 recruiting cycle, Michigan has signed players from states in foreign regions like Colorado, Texas, Florida, Virginia, Utah, Tennessee, New Jersey and all the way out in California.
High school players and coaches around the Midwest aren't sweating, however, because Hoke clearly still understands Michigan's home region is his main pipeline. However, if he sees a player he likes, distance doesn't scare him.
The Irish are located in the Midwest, with Chicago being their nearest "big" city. However, Notre Dame recruits nationally and doesn't limit itself just to one region.
There's not a region on the map Brian Kelly and his staff refuse to go to for a player. Last year alone the Irish signed Greg Bryant from Florida, Eddie Vanderdoes from California, Cole Luke from Arizona, Torri Hunter Jr. from Texas and Devin Butler from D.C.
Notre Dame is definitely a factor around the Midwest and thorn in many Big Ten teams' sides on the trail. Yet, the Irish also challenge many schools outside their region for recruits too.
The Trojans recruit outside their region as well as any program in the country.
One could argue the breakthrough recruit who established USC as a serious national recruiting power was Mike Williams in 2002 out of Florida.
Some of USC's best players came from outside the local region of the West Coast. Brian Cushing and Dwayne Jarrett were from New Jersey, John David Booty and Joe McKnight came from Louisiana, Fred Davis came from Ohio, Ronald Johnson and Nick Perry are from Michigan and the Trojans even signed Jarvis Jones from Georgia.
USC's recruiting reach expanded extremely far under Pete Carroll and continues on today under Lane Kiffin, as he's signed 14 non-West Coast recruits since being named head coach in 2010.
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.