Committed 2014 College Football Recruits Who Are Great Recruiters for Their Team
Some college football recruits choose to commit to a program and then spend their senior season focusing on training and academics. There is nothing wrong with this approach, and it is the common route committed prospects take with their recruitment.
However, other committed recruits choose to make sure they will be part of a great recruiting class. These enthusiastic recruits take it upon themselves to help their programs attract other talented prospects by operating as unofficial recruiters.
They call, text, tweet and email other prospects and paint a promising picture of the program.
Michigan has a pair of commitments who are recruiting well for Big Blue, and one Wolverine commit may be the primary recruiter for defensive end Da'Shawn Hand. Auburn has several Tiger commitments working the trail and Virginia's crown jewel is making sure he will not be alone.
Jalen Hurd, RB and Todd Kelly, Jr., Safeties—Tennessee
The Vols' top two commitments also happen to be their top two committed recruiters. Hurd, who is a 6'3" and 230-pound running back, made a surprising early commitment to Butch Jones.
Kelly, who's father played for Tennessee, is a 6'1" 190-pound safety. The talented pair of Tennessee pledges are close friends who are active recruiters for the Vols, says Scout.com.
Their approach might be working, as 247Sports ranks Tennessee's class at No. 4.
Drake Harris, WR – Michigan
Harris, who had more than 2,000 receiving yards as a junior, was once committed to Michigan State.
However he flipped to Michigan and has been a main recruiter for Big Blue.
Harris, according to Scout.com, is actively recruiting big defensive tackle prospect Malik McDowell. Although other Michigan pledges are also in McDowell's ear, Harris appears to be the most aggressive. Michigan is a main suitor for McDowell, and its chances to land him are good, thanks to the aid of its top offensive commitment.
Harris will come to Ann Arbor to play receiver, however he has a have a future as a recruiter when he's done catching passes.
Auburn, who fired Gene Chizik after the 2012 season, is under new leadership with Gus Malzahn. Chizik recruited at a high clip on The Plains and Malzahn will be forced to sustain the standard established by his predecessor.
Malzahn has received commitments from prospects such as linebacker Tre' Williams, defensive end Justin Thornton, offensive lineman Josh Casher and linebacker Deshaun Davis.
The quartet took it upon themselves to really recruit hard for Auburn at its Big Cat weekend last month, per Scout.com (membership required). The event is a great recruiting tool for Auburn, who invites prospects to its campus to socialize, visit and become more familiar with the program.
Auburn's class is currently in the top-25 at 247Sports, so this four-man recruiting attack has a chance to build a great class.
Wilton Speight, QB—Michigan
Speight, who committed to Michigan in February, is a great quarterback prospect. He is 6'6", 220 pounds and can spin the football as well as any passer in the country.
An additional talent Speight has is recruiting other football players. Speight has been a driving force in making sure the Michigan recruiting class stays close and told Scout.com last month that he is relishing the role of de facto recruiter.
Speight, who will challenge incoming freshman quarterback Shane Morris for the starting job later in his collegiate career, has helped Michigan construct a great class to date. The Wolverines are working on third consecutive top-10 haul, and one of the reasons is because of its quarterback recruit.
Quin Blanding, S—Virginia
Blanding, who is an excellent safety prospect, is Virginia's top commitment. Mike London and his staff are grinning ear to ear due to the excitement of a player of Blanding's caliber coming to Charlottesville.
Although stud defensive end Da'Shawn Hand will end up elsewhere, that has not stopped Blanding from going after other recruits in his home state of Virginia. Top recruits such as defensive tackle Andrew Brown, athlete Jamil Kamara and defensive lineman Derek Nnadi are all targets on Blanding's radar, says Scout.com.
This is a special year in Virginia for recruits, and the Cavaliers are looking to gather as many top prospects as possible. With its most prized recruit openly campaigning for others to join him, Virginia could finish with a top-25 class.
Drew Barker, QB—Kentucky
Barker, who committed to Kentucky in May, is a great fit for Mark Stoops' offense. The Wildcats will run a version of the Air Raid offense, coordinated by Neal Brown.
Barker wants to make sure he has talent around him in Lexington, as he told Scout.com when he committed to Kentucky that he has a list of recruits whom he wants to join him. Barker, a talented quarterback, is already showing the leadership qualities needed to succeed at the position.
Since Barker pledged on May 10, Kentucky has received an additional 13 commitments.
Jabrill Peppers, ATH—Michigan
Peppers, who is a rare talent, is the most versatile football player in the country. He is the best player in Michigan's class and would be the headliner at any program in America.
According to Sam Webb of Scout.com, it is tough for recruits to speak with defensive end Da'Shawn Hand about his decision-making process. However, Peppers has made great strides with Hand and the two have developed a friendship.
Other Michigan recruits will continue to attempt to speak with the talented pass-rusher. However, it will be Peppers who will work with the Wolverines coaches in an attempt to lure Hand to Ann Arbor.
Not only is Peppers the most important recruit in Brady Hoke's class due to his outstanding talent, his value is also high because of his ability to reach Hand.
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.