5 Powerhouse Programs off to a Slow Start on 2014 Recruiting Trail
Approximately four schools on this list could be ranked in the 2013 preseason Top 25 rankings. One school saw its head coach bolt for an NFL team and his absence is showing on the recruiting trail.
Another school routinely takes things slow due to its high academic standards. The lone Big Ten program on this list is one of the most inconsistent recruiting schools in the country, but it has signed top talent in the past.
All of the following programs are expected to increase their recruiting output at some point, but have gotten off to slow starts.
Jim Mora and his staff are working diligently to overthrow crosstown rival USC. The Trojans are a dominant recruiting school and UCLA has shown flashes of possessing all of the needed tools to change things.
However, UCLA has not gotten off to an ideal start in recruiting. The Bruins have only two commitments, and 247Sports rates both Barry Ware and Dionte Dykes as just 3-star players.
After bringing in a Top 25 class in 2013, the recruiting mood is somber in Westwood.
In 2012, Mike Riley's team went 9-4 and earned a berth to the Alamo Bowl. The Beavers are not a flashy recruiting team, but they find ways to win games and contend for Pac-12 titles.
Based on how its recruiting is going thus far, it will not be long before things take a turn for the worse at Oregon State. The Beavers only have one commitment, even after Riley's staff pounded the bricks hard during the evaluation period.
The Cornhuskers have the ability to recruit at a high clip but have been inconsistent since moving to the B1G for the 2011 season.
In the three recruiting cycles since its conference switch (2011-2013), Nebraska has finished in the Top 25 recruiting rankings at 247Sports every other year. So based on recent history (No. 22 in 2013), Big Red's slow start of only two commitments will continue and lead to it not finishing inside the Top 25.
Along with Notre Dame, Stanford has become the premier destination for recruits who want to excel academically and on the field. David Shaw leads the program and as an alum, he bleeds Cardinal blood with passion and honor.
Shaw understands that his recruiting pool is limited by the rigorous admission requirements on The Farm. So it is understood why his program is accustomed to slow starts, possessing just two commitments to date.
On the bright side of things, each of Shaw's two pledges (RB Christian McCaffrey and S Brandon Simmons) are 4-star recruits.
Mark Helfrich is the new coach in Eugene, as Chip Kelly is now the leader of the Philadelphia Eagles. Oregon got off to slow starts under Kelly, but consistently picked up the pace as time went on.
The Ducks are one of the top programs in the country and are expected to contend for another berth in the BCS title game. However, they are not recruiting at a championship level, as the Ducks have just three commitments.
Their class is ranked eighth in the Pac-12 by 247Sports.
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.