8 Teams off to Surprising Starts That Will Help Them on 2014 Recruiting Trail

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst ISeptember 24, 2013

8 Teams off to Surprising Starts That Will Help Them on 2014 Recruiting Trail

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    With the college football season entering Week 5, many teams now have a solid sample size for observers to start to evaluate them. Some teams are off to expected good starts, but others have surprised the country by how well they've played early on.

    As with anything that has to do with a college football team, recruiting factors in. The teams off to surprising starts to this 2013 season have a chance to use that as a boost on the trail.

    A Big 12 program already has surpassed its win total from last year, which should help show recruits that improvements are being made. An SEC team in its second year is off to an admirable start, plus a Big Ten team's recruiting should be helped by its current record.



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    The Buffaloes are 2-0 under new head coach Mike MacIntyre, as their win over rival Colorado State in Week 1 was huge for the program. They are starting to fit right in the Pac-12, as their passing offense has been impressive so far.

    This is a program that only won one game last season, so to see where they're at now is a surprise.

    Colorado likely will not land any 5-star or elite 4-star prospects, but its chances to land players like 3-star cornerback Dominique Barnett and 3-star safety Courtland Sutton have been helped by its good start to this season.


Texas Tech

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    New head coach Kliff Kingsbury has brought a swagger to Lubbock, and his alma mater appears to have bought into what he's selling.

    Texas Tech is off to a 4-0 start, including a signature 20-10 victory over TCU. Kingsbury has not changed much to the Red Raider's offense, as it is fourth overall in passing yards, according to ESPN.

    With its hot start to to the season, Texas Tech is slowly gaining steam on the trail. Recruits such as 3-star defensive end Silvester Hayes, 3-star athlete Keyon Dilosa and 3-star JUCO defensive lineman Will Coleman could be Kingsbury's next commitments.

    The perception of Red Raiders' program is starting to change, and part of that is thanks to their good start to this season. 


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    Minnesota faces its stiffest test so far this season this Saturday, as it takes on Iowa. But with a 4-0 record, it is all smiles around the program, as its hot start should be evidence to Midwestern recruits that things are changing with the Gophers.

    They have scored more than 40 points three times this season, as the offense is averaging nearly 42 points a game, per ESPN. Also, Minnesota can run the football extremely well, evidenced by its average of 282 rushing yards per game, which is good for 13th overall.

    The Gophers' rushing offense should be a big help in their efforts to keep 4-star running back Jeff Jones committed. 


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    Although one of its victories is over South Dakota, Kansas will tell you a 2-1 record is all that matters. The Jayhawks didn't set the world on fire last season anyway, as they won only one game.

    This year, they're doing it with defense, as they're only allowing 15.7 points a game, says ESPN.

    Head coach Charlie Weis has commitments from players such as 4-star running back Traevohn Wrench and 3-star linebacker Kyron Watson, and Kansas' solid sprint out the 2013 gate should help keep them pledged.

    If Weis can continue his hot start, the Jayhawks will land a few more solid commitments. 


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    The Tigers went 5-7 last season, which was their initial campaign as a member of the SEC. So far this year, it seems they've gotten back to playing their style of football.

    Missouri's offense appears to be back, as it is averaging 47 points a game, is 17th in rushing yards and 22nd in passing yards, according to ESPN. Head coach Gary Pinkel has the team sitting with a 3-0 record coming into this week's matchup with Arkansas St. 

    Prospects such as 3-star running back Markel Smith and 3-star JUCO defensive tackle Calvin Heurtelou are realistic possibilities now for Mizzou. 

Washington State

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    The Cougars were a 3-9 football team in 2012, but have already matched last year's win total with a 3-1 start to the 2013 season.

    Head coach Mike Leach needs something to bring attention to his program, so it will be noticed by recruits. This surprising start could be just what the doctor ordered, especially after Washington State went to Los Angeles and beat USC in a close 10-7 game early in the season.

    The signature win and good start has caught the attention of prospects, evidenced by 4-star defensive tackle Ainuu Taua now considering the Cougars, according to 247Sports



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    The Hurricanes are 3-0, but what's most important is their inspired 21-16 win over Florida. It was a huge victory for head coach Al Golden, as it shows that he is indeed on the right track in Coral Gables.

    Miami is a player for the ACC crown this year, led by a defense that is surrendering only 9.7 points a game, according to ESPN. Running back Duke Johnson is one of the better players in the ACC, and a large amount of young talent is on the roster.

    Golden has assembled one of the best classes in the country for 2014, and his hot start could help him seal the deal with recruits such as 4-star defensive tackle Anthony Moten and 4-star receiver Johnnie Dixon.



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    The Terps and head coach Randy Edsall needed to show improvement on the field this year, and so far that's what they've done after losing their final six games in 2012.

    Maryland is 4-0 to start the season, as quarterback C.J. Brown has been steady and do-it-all player Stefon Diggs has been wonderful.

    However, the defense is story, as it only giving up 10.3 points a game, per ESPN, and is fresh off a shutout of traditionally offensively potent West Virginia last week. 

    This is exactly the kind of start Maryland needed to help keep them in the race for local 5-star prospects cornerback Jalen Tabor and offensive tackle Damian Prince

    Now, about those uniforms... 

    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.