5 College Football Coaches Under the Most Recruiting Pressure
Every college football coach in the country is under recruiting pressure, but some have it worse than others. With recruiting being so fluid and dependent on teenagers making big decisions, having a great deal of recruiting pressure as a coach is not ideal.
However, some coaches have rival schools recruiting awfully well, so they face pressure to catch up. Other coaches have brought in subpar classes, while recruiting pressure is also great when a coach is in his first year taking over a program.
With USC coming back to form, UCLA head coach Jim Mora must respond with a strong class. Charlie Strong is following Mack Brown's footsteps at Texas, so he has huge shoes to fill on the recruiting trail. Plus, a Big Ten coach has recruited well during his tenure, but his rival school has recruited even better.
Chris Petersen, Washington
Yet, he also didn't win a ton of games at Boise State by acquiring superior talent from the recruiting trail. With Washington being in the Pac-12, Petersen is going to have to quickly establish himself as a prominent recruiter in the quality conference.
Sarkisian brought in several solid classes during his tenure at Washington, including the No. 18 class in 2013, so it can be done. Petersen is an excellent coach, but he has pressure on him to prove he can become an excellent recruiter.
Brady Hoke, Michigan
Many other coaches would love to have the recruiting success Hoke has experienced at Michigan, but the only problem is the coach at that school in Columbus has done a bit better.
Hoke's highest-ranked class so far is the above-mentioned 2013 group. That same year, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer signed the No. 2 class in the country. Meyer then finished third in recruiting in 2014, while Hoke finished 20th.
Hoke is under some recruiting pressure for 2015, as he cannot continue to let his rival beat him on the trail.
Steve Sarkisian, USC
USC is now led by Sarkisian, who assembled the No. 11 class in the nation a few short weeks after being hired in late 2013.
While USC appears to be regaining its old recruiting momentum, the Trojans are not fully "back" yet on the trail. The standards are extremely high in Troy, including in recruiting, and Sarkisian faces a lot of pressure to meet those standards.
California is the deepest its been in years with quality recruits, and Sarkisian is expected to clean up around the Golden State. However, it's not at all certain if the new leader of the Trojans will meet the lofty recruiting standards set at USC.
Jim Mora, UCLA
Mora has pulled in talented recruiting classes over the past three cycles. In 2013, Mora signed the No. 7 class in the country, while rival USC finished 12th.
That led many to believe the Bruins, not the Trojans, were the kings of the Los Angeles and California recruiting trail. However, USC responded with the No. 11 class in 2014, while UCLA finished 19th.
With the Trojans looking like they're on their way back to being dominant on the recruiting trail, Mora and his Bruins are under recruiting pressure to either match USC's momentum in 2015 or fall behind.
Brandon Huffman and David Woods of BruinReportOnline.com wrote on Jan. 15:
"Don't think that, privately, Mora isn't driven to out-recruit USC, especially now when he's looking across town at a familiar face in Steve Sarkisian."
Charlie Strong, Texas
Texas finished No. 17 in the country in 2014 in recruiting—its first class under Strong.
That's a fantastic ranking at many other schools across the country but not at Texas. The Longhorns are used to being in the hunt for the No. 1 class, and Strong needs to quickly show he's capable of meeting the recruiting standards that have been set in Austin.
Strong didn't set the trail on fire often in his days at Louisville, so he'll need to step his recruiting game up immediately in a major way. If not, the recruiting pressure he has on him at Texas will eventually engulf him.