College Football Recruiting 2014: 6 Classes Coming on Strong to Finish the Year
They say it's not how you start but, rather, how you finish. So, a lot of programs are going to use that advice to finish the year strong on the recruiting trail.
Some schools love to burst out of the gate at the beginning of a recruiting cycle as it helps them focus on their team through the bowl season. Other schools gradually increase their effort on the trail as, the closer National Signing Day gets, the harder they try to lure recruits to their campus.
The latter appears to be the way the following six schools planned it. A Big Ten team is getting hot at the right time while an SEC program has caught magic in a bottle.
Plus, a Pac-12 school is surging up the recruiting rankings.
Among the group of prospects to pledge to the Cornhuskers during that time is 4-star defensive tackle Terrell Clinkscales. The surge of commitments Nebraska has recently landed has pushed its class to the No. 32 spot in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.
Another program that is coming on strong is West Virginia. Head coach Dana Holgorsen and his staff will be back next year, so that has helped them attract prospects to Morgantown.
The biggest recent commitment is 4-star athlete Dravon Henry. However, Holgorsen has gotten four other recruits to commit since October, including 3-star, dual-threat JUCO quarterback Skyler Howard and 3-star defensive lineman Jaleel Fields (247Sports).
The Mountaineers 18-man class is No. 38 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings, but they're on pace to move up.
Here comes UCLA. The Bruins have a great staff of assistant coaches who can recruit, and they are starting to generate momentum on the trail.
UCLA has gotten six commitments since November, with two big ones coming in recent days. Ainuu Taua, a 4-star defensive tackle, vowed to play in Westwood, while 4-star safety Jaleel Wadood will join him.
With 14 commitments, the Bruins will surely look to add more talent to their class before February.
Auburn has 19 commitments, but its class will see a big boost thanks to the Tigers playing in the national title game.
Head coach Gus Malzahn really turned up Auburn's recruiting efforts starting in October as 3-star recruits Xavier Dampeer and Myron Burton committed. November brought the Tigers recruits such as 3-star JUCO defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey and 4-star cornerback Stephen Roberts.
Plucking Roberts from Alabama felt so good to Malzahn that he plucked 4-star cornerback Kalvaraz Bessent from the Crimson Tide in December.
The sleeper of the Ducks' 15-man recruiting group is 3-star safety Glen Ihenacho, who committed on Nov. 21. However, 4-star JUCO offensive guard Haniteli Lousi, who committed in December, could make a quicker impact.
Since November, no team has been hotter on the recruiting trail than Tennessee.
The Vols have notched eight commitments since the start of the 11th month of the year, but it should be noted that they also got four pledges in October.
The group of recent commitments includes 4-star players such as receiver Josh Malone and defensive tackle Charles Mosley. Head coach Butch Jones' large 34-man class is now ranked No. 2 in the 247Sports recruiting rankings.