College Football Programs Struggling to Recapture Past Recruiting Success

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IDecember 22, 2013

College Football Programs Struggling to Recapture Past Recruiting Success

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    College football programs all go through peaks and valleys. However, the best programs make sure that when they reach a valley, it's not for long.

    Unfortunately, that's easier said than done, especially when it comes to recruiting. Right now, several schools appear to be in a valley when it comes to bringing in great classes. Having past success on the trail helps, but some programs continue to struggle.

    The Pac-12 dominates this list, but the Big 12 also has a representative.

Washington

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    Current 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 95th

    Washington has enjoyed good recent success on the recruiting trail. It had the No. 24 class in 2011, No. 23 class in 2012 and No. 18 class in 2013.

    Although Steve Sarkisian is now at USC, he still wasn't exactly setting the recruiting trail on fire at U-Dub this year. The former head coach was struggling to sustain his past recruiting success, and now the Huskies have one of the worst classes in the country. 

    New head coach Chris Petersen wasn't known as a dominant recruiter at Boise State, so the recruiting struggle may continue a bit longer in Seattle. 

California

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    Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

    Current 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 60th

    While California has never been a consistent juggernaut on the national recruiting trail, the Bears have been one of the better recruiting programs in their region through the years.

    Remember, this program has won past recruiting battles for players such as Kyle Boller, DeSean Jackson, Shane Vereen, Viliami Moala and Bryce Treggs. Plus, Cal had a talented class in 2012 that fell apart close to signing day. 

    It has had a tough time recapturing that magic this year. Perhaps the most revealing sign is 5-star running back Joe Mixon—and local recruiting priority—not naming the Bears as a finalist, per Brandon Huffman of Scout.com. 

UCLA

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    Current 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 40th

    UCLA is another Pac-12 program struggling to recapture its past recruiting success. For this list, the focus will solely be on head coach Jim Mora's tenure in Westwood.

    Hired in December of 2011, Mora and his staff were impressive initially on the recruiting trail. UCLA had the No. 17 class in 2012 and then followed that up by finishing seventh in 2013

    Things haven't been so great this year, as the Bruins only have 13 commitments and are ranked 40th in the 247Sports recruiting class rankings

     

Oklahoma

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    Current 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 28th

    Oklahoma is one of the top programs in the nation. It has good tradition, plus the Sooners win a ton of games. Head coach Bob Stoops has also done excellent in recruiting.

    While OU doesn't have a bad class this year, it's still not the typical group the Sooners usually bring to Norman. Finishing among the elite in the final recruiting rankings has suddenly become a challenge for Stoops, as his program was once a national recruiting juggernaut. 

USC

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    Current 247Sports recruiting class ranking: 30th

    While USC is ranked 30th in the 247Sports 2014 recruiting rankings, the Trojans have had to use a recent surge just to get to that spot.

    They simply do not have the same recruiting magic and sexiness that they had during former head coach Pete Carroll's tenure. That's not a knock on the current class, but Carroll brought in some legendary recruiting groups, which became the standard in Troy.

    USC is used to being in the running for the No. 1 class in the country every year. This year, it appears the Trojans will be fortunate to finish in the top 25. 

    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.