Best Coach vs. Coach Recruiting Battles Set to Take Place in Class of 2015

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IMarch 3, 2014

Best Coach vs. Coach Recruiting Battles Set to Take Place in Class of 2015

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    Coach versus coach recruiting battles take place every year. However, the battles that receive the most attention are between the most high-profile coaches in the game.

    Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and Alabama's Nick Saban will fight over a 5-star defensive tackle, while USC's new coach Steve Sarkisian and UCLA head coach Jim Mora will have multiple quarrels over prospects.

    Plus, Florida State's Jimbo Fisher and Georgia head coach Mark Richt both have their eyes set on a 5-star defensive lineman.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Nick Saban vs. Larry Fedora for 5-Star Defensive Tackle Shy Tuttle

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    Shy Tuttle is a 6'3", 315-pound defensive tackle from North Carolina who is wanted by many schools across the country. However, the 5-star prospect has North Carolina and Alabama out in front, per 247Sports

    The Tar Heels are led by head coach Larry Fedora, an enthusiastic coach who is slowly turning UNC into one of the better recruiting programs in the country.

    Fedora may face his biggest recruiting challenge yet, as Alabama head coach Nick Saban is arguably the best recruiter in the history of college football. Keeping Tuttle home will be a tall task for Fedora.

Brady Hoke vs. the LA Coaches for 4-Star Defensive End Keisean Lucier-South

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    Michigan head coach Brady Hoke has shown he can go anywhere in the country to land a recruit. California is not out of his reach, and the Golden State once again has a player Hoke likes in 4-star defensive end Keisean Lucier-South.

    However, Hoke is going to have to deal with USC head coach Steve Sarkisian and UCLA head coach Jim Mora, as both schools are among Lucier-South's favorites, says 247Sports

Kyle Whittingham vs. Brady Hoke, Bob Stoops and Gary Andersen for Osa Masina

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    The state of Utah is an underrated area for talent, as it produces several solid recruits each year. Among the top players in the state for 2015 is 4-star athlete Osa Masina, who is 6'4" and 218 pounds.

    Masina has Utah as his leader right now, according to 247Sports, but head coach Kyle Whittingham cannot celebrate just yet. Masina also has Michigan, Oklahoma and Wisconsin hot on his trail.

    Michigan head coach Brady Hoke and Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops are never easily defeated in recruiting battles, and Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen should also not be counted out. 

Hugh Freeze vs. Dan Mullen for 4-Star Guard Javon Patterson

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    The No. 58 player in the 2015 247Sports composite rankings, 4-star guard Javon Patterson is going to have both schools in his native state of Mississippi fighting over him.

    That means Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze and Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen will be locked in a fierce recruiting battle. While Alabama, Auburn and LSU are still in the mix, 247Sports has the Egg Bowl schools as Patterson's leaders.

James Franklin vs. Nick Saban for 4-Star Guard Richie Petitbon

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    This one could be the most interesting coach versus coach recruiting battle in 2015. Richie Petitbon, a 4-star guard from Washington, D.C., has Penn State and Alabama as his top schools, according to 247Sports.

    Alabama head coach Nick Saban practically selects recruits these days, while Penn State's James Franklin never quits on the recruiting trail.

    Can Franklin's energy and charisma help him defeat Saban's power and track record for Petitbon? Only time will tell.

Mark Richt vs. Jimbo Fisher for No. 1 Overall Recruit Trent Thompson

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    Trent Thompson is a 5-star defensive tackle who is the No. 1 prospect in the 2015 247Sports composite rankings.

    The 6'4", 292-pounder is a Georgia native, and the Bulldogs appear to be the school to beat for him right now, per 247Sports. However, Florida State is also a major player.

    UGA head coach Mark Richt has his work cut out for him, as beating Florida State head coach Jimbo Fisher for an elite recruit is not exactly a piece of cake. 

Urban Meyer vs. Brady Hoke for 5-Star Running Back Damien Harris

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    A former Michigan commit, 5-star running back Damien Harris is now back on the market. He appears to be open to several schools, but 247Sports shows Michigan and Ohio State as his favorites.

    That means Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer and Michigan head coach Brady Hoke will once again do battle over a 5-star recruit. This one could get mighty interesting.

Mike London vs. Nick Saban & Urban Meyer for 5-Star Defensive Tackle Tim Settle

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    At 6'3.5" and 305 pounds, 5-star defensive tackle and Virginia native Tim Settle has the size and strength to contribute as a true freshman on the college level.

    That's part of the reason why Virginia head coach Mike London will do all he can to keep Settle home. Yet, Settle also likes Alabama and Ohio State, according to 247Sports

    When the Crimson Tide and Buckeyes are in the mix for a prospect, that means Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are lurking around. That's not good news for London, as Saban and Meyer are the two premier recruiting head coaches in the business.

Steve Sarkisian vs. Jim Mora for Several Recruits

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    The state of California has an exceptional number of high-end recruits for 2015, so many coaches will be flocking to the Golden State before the end of next February.

    However, the two coaches who stand to gain the most are USC head coach Steve Sarkisian and UCLA head coach Jim Mora.

    With 5-star recruits such as defensive tackle Rasheem Green and linebacker John Houston being just the tip of the iceberg of common targets between the two coaches in Los Angeles, it's going to be interesting to see who wins more recruiting battles in 2015.

Gus Malzahn vs. Nick Saban for 5-Star Defensive Tackle Daron Payne

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    At 6'2" and 316 pounds, 5-star defensive tackle Daron Payne has excellent size, strength and quickness. He has solid awareness and range, plus he can keep offensive linemen off of linebackers.

    The Alabama native has both Iron Bowl schools on top, says Justin Hokanson of (subscription required).

    According to Hokanson, "Payne claims no leaders, but admits that the assumption that Alabama and Auburn lead for his services is a correct assumption."

    Simply put, Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn and Alabama head coach Nick Saban will be involved in yet another high-profile recruiting battle for a 5-star recruit inside their state.


    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.