Power Ranking the 10 Best Recruiters Among College Football Head Coaches
A big part of the job of a college football head coach is to be a great recruiter. Being a tactical genius is fantastic, but coaches need talented players to execute their schemes.
The coaches and programs that have the most success are the ones that annually bring in the best recruiting classes. Head coaches have to evaluate prospects properly, utilize their recruiting contacts, work the phones, host players on official trips and seal the deal during in-home visits to bring in top talent.
So who is the best at doing that right now, you ask? An SEC coach has his program recruiting like clockwork, while a coach in the ACC has brought a former powerhouse "back." Plus the Big Ten has a coach or two who deserve to be on this list.
10. Mack Brown, Texas
Although Texas head coach Mack Brown is facing some heat in Austin, he's still one of the best recruiting head coaches in the country. What's remarkable about Brown's recruiting prowess is that he rarely ventures out of the state of Texas for a recruit.
Brown has built his program almost exclusively on Texan talent, and cleans up around his state. To prove how great a recruiter Brown is, during this tense time and people calling for his job, he still has a top-10 recruiting class, per the 247Sports recruiting rankings.
9. Al Golden, Miami
A previous knock on Miami head coach Al Golden was that he wouldn't aggressively pursue elite talent to lure to Coral Gables.
Golden must have gotten tired of the criticism as he now has a top-5 class full of great players, according to the 247Sports recruiting rankings. Golden may not be as popular as several other coaches on this list, but the guy works hard and is committed to building Miami back into a national powerhouse.
If he keeps recruiting like he currently is, he will soon reach his goal.
8. Mark Richt, Georgia
The only reason Georgia head coach Mark Richt is not ranked higher is that he will let a top in-state prospect or two get away each year.
However, Richt is still one of the best recruiting head coaches in the business. He does an excellent job of not only recruiting the player, but also striking up a good relationship with the recruit and his family.
Richt knows how to sell his program, the University of Georgia and the community of Athens. He has the No. 4 recruiting class in the country, according to 247Sports, and that is not a fluke.
Look for Richt to acquire a few more good players before the end of this cycle, which will only add to his recruiting power.
7. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State
If anyone had doubts that Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher could continue the Seminoles' legendary recruiting ways after Bobby Bowden retired, they have been proven wrong.
Fisher, who has a top-10 recruiting class via the 247Sports recruiting rankings, is a terrific recruiter. He is big on evaluating, fosters relationships with prospects, families and high school coaches and he knows how to sell his program.
Fisher also is not afraid to go out of talent-rich Florida to land a coveted recruit, evidenced by going to Alabama for star quarterback Jameis Winston in 2011.
6. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
Recruiting at Notre Dame is not easy. South Bend and its neighboring lands do not produce a ton of local talent, academic requirements are demanding and the weather isn't great.
However, year in and year out head coach Brian Kelly gets the job done. Kelly recruits from a national perspective, as he plucks talent from states all over the country. The Irish have a top-10 class, says 247Sports, and 13 different states are represented.
Much of that is a testament to Kelly and his growing reputation as a recruiter. He has great instincts with recruits, as he knows what to say to a player to peak their interest in Notre Dame.
5. Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M
Although Texas A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin is still relatively "new," he has quickly entrenched himself among the best recruiting head coaches in the country. Not only does he have another top-10 class in the works, per the 247Sports recruiting rankings, Sumlin also has the Aggies on the minds of several uncommitted elite prospects.
Sumlin has done a masterful job of taking advantage of the vast resources available at Texas A&M, while adding in his player-friendly principles and schemes. The Aggies run an offense that scores a lot of points and plays with a style that is attractive to offensive prospects.
Sumlin may have been fortunate to be at the right place at the right time, but he has done a great job of recruiting. He's won several big-time recruiting battles, and continues to make sure Texas A&M is a sexy school on the trail.
4. Brady Hoke, Michigan
With another elite recruiting class being constructed, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has proven to be a consistent recruiter. Hoke always has Big Blue lurking in the top-tier recruiting class rankings, and he can go after a 5-star recruit anywhere, at anytime.
The Wolverines have the ability to recruit nationally, and they take full advantage of it. However, Hoke does a great job at putting an emphasis on the Midwest.
It appears he loves to pluck toughness and size in the trenches from Big Ten country, while venturing into other regions for speed, quickness and athleticism. Hoke has ascended to a recruiting status among the best head coaches in the nation.
3. Will Muschamp, Florida
Although it's not too tough to recruit at Florida, give head coach Will Muschamp credit. He took the job as a first-time head coach, following the footsteps of a guy who did some legendary things with the program, and faced a lot of pressure.
All Muschamp has done is deliver, and he continues to do so today. If anyone wants to criticize the offensive personnel at Florida, Muschamp can counter with the fact that he has three 5-star offensive commitments for 2014, per 247Sports.
Muschamp runs the program with NFL-style schemes, knows he is in a talent-rich state and has expanded Florida's recruiting reach a little more than his predecessors, as the Gators do not exclusively recruit in SEC country.
2. Urban Meyer, Ohio State
Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer is not only one of the best recruiting head coaches now, he's one of the greatest ever.
Meyer is a passionate recruiter, loves the thrill of chasing high school football players and knows what to say in a meeting. He does a good job of evaluating, is a mastermind at selling his program and has the No. 2 recruiting class in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.
Recruits flock to him because he is a proven winner. Meyer also knows how to recruit a prospect's family, too.
1. Nick Saban, Alabama
This should be no shock, as Alabama head coach Nick Saban is the best in the business. The Crimson Tide practically draft recruits these days, as they win a large majority of the recruiting battles they get into.
Saban's presence, NFL-style approach and history of winning attracts prospects from all over the country. Alabama doesn't just stick to the South, as it can take its recruiting show on the road and go anywhere.
That is thanks to the plan Saban has in place, which he executes during each recruiting cycle. Alabama has another No. 1 class in the making, according to 247Sports, and that probably will not change, thanks to Saban.