Predicting How Each New FBS Head Coach Will Finish on 2015 Recruiting Trail

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IDecember 16, 2016

Predicting How Each New FBS Head Coach Will Finish on 2015 Recruiting Trail

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    Approximately 20 FBS schools will have new head coaches for the 2014 season. Among the things these head coaches will have to do is establishing themselves on the recruiting trail for their new programs.

    It's not an easy thing to do, as some new head coaches will find it tough to sign a good recruiting class. However, some new FBS head coaches appear to already have the energy and charisma to pull in terrific talent.

    At the end of National Signing Day next year, some new FBS coaches will be celebrating, while some will be disappointed at how they finished the recruiting cycle.

    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Craig Bohl, Wyoming

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    Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl made a name for himself by winning a ton of games at North Dakota State. However, he's going to quickly learn that recruiting is tough at Wyoming.

    The Cowboys do not land elite prospects, and they only have one commitment for 2015. Bohl may be a great on-field coach and tactician, but he's not going to make a big impact on the recruiting trail at Wyoming.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 65

Jeff Brohm, Western Kentucky

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    Jeff Brohm got the head coaching job at Western Kentucky when Bobby Petrino decided to head back to Louisville. Brohm is an offensive-minded coach who should help the Hilltoppers continue to score points.

    However, do not expect Brohm to land any top-tier prospects in his program's region. WKU is not a main attraction for recruits, even though Brohm will go after a few top prospects.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 60 

Chris Petersen, Washington

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    After several years of flirting with other programs before opting to stay at Boise State, Chris Petersen finally left the Broncos for Washington this past winter.

    Petersen is one of the best coaches in the business, and it will be interesting to see how he does in Seattle. He didn't build Boise State into a powerhouse by winning many high-profile recruiting battles, so he'll need to step up his recruiting efforts for the Huskies. 

    Petersen has three commitments so far.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 35-45 

Dave Clawson, Wake Forest

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    Formerly the head coach at Bowling Green, Dave Clawson was once the offensive coordinator at Tennessee. Today, he's the head coach at Wake Forest, as he will replace Jim Grobe.

    Clawson's experience on Rocky Top will help him as he gets used to recruiting at a school in a major conference again. However, he's not going to land any 5-star or elite 4-star recruits, as Wake Forest rarely does.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside Top 50

Derek Mason, Vanderbilt

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    Vanderbilt saw James Franklin bolt for Penn State, so it plucked Derek Mason from his position as Stanford's defensive coordinator to be its head coach.

    Mason has a great deal of energy and enthusiasm to continue building Vandy into an upper-echelon SEC program. He may not be as dynamic a recruiter as Franklin was in Nashville, but Mason will not be far behind.

    The Commodores have two commitments for 2015.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 40-45 

Steve Sarkisian, USC

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    After five seasons as head coach at Washington, Steve Sarkisian has returned "home" to USC. The former offensive coordinator for the Trojans fully understands how everything works in Troy, which will be a huge help.

    Sarkisian has assembled a great staff of recruiters, and California is exceptionally deep with talented prospects this year. USC could sign its best recruiting class since the glory recruiting days of former head coach Pete Carroll.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 10

Bill Clark, UAB

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    UAB head coach Bill Clark spent a lot of time as a high school coach in the South. He then became the defensive coordinator at South Alabama, before landing the head coaching job at Jacksonville.

    Now, he begins his quest as head coach of UAB. Clark and his staff have a chance to elevate the Blazers' program, however they're not going to make a major impact on the recruiting trail. UAB is a notch below the SEC programs in its region, which is why it will likely never sign an elite class.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 70

Charlie Strong, Texas

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    With Mack Brown gone, Charlie Strong is now the head coach at Texas. A defensive-minded coach, Strong is all about football.

    He's going to have to maneuver his way through the politics that come with his new job, and that includes the recruiting trail. However, Strong has the charisma and intelligence to be fine.

    Things will be tough since Texas A&M is the sexy school at the moment for Lone Star State prospects, but Texas' brand still resonates with every recruit.

    Strong already has eight commitments

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 15-20

James Franklin, Penn State

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    James Franklin has taken over as head coach at Penn State, and recruiting in the Big Ten will be more competitive because of it. Franklin is as passionate a recruiter as any head coach in the country.

    He certainly has what it takes to make the Nittany Lions a recruiting juggernaut, and results are already starting to show. Franklin's 12-man 2015 class is ranked No. 1 in the nation by 247Sports

    Tyler Fenwick of wrote on March 29:

    Franklin is wrecking the recruiting trail in his first year at Penn State, and that may be putting it lightly.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 10-15 

Chuck Martin, Miami (OH)

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    Former Notre Dame assistant Chuck Martin is the new head coach at Miami (OH). The MAC has always been a great conference to develop head coaches, so Martin will get a great amount of experience leading the Red Hawks.

    Yet, he'll learn that there's a big difference in recruiting at Notre Dame versus recruiting at Miami (OH). Martin will use his recruiting contacts and connections he secured during his days in South Bend, but he's not going to shake up the recruiting trail.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside Top 55

Mark Whipple, UMass

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    Mark Whipple didn't coach in 2013, but he spent the 2011 and 2012 seasons as the offensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns.

    Whipple is starting his second stint as head coach at UMass, where he was top dog from 1998-2003. He's a bright coach, but don't expect much impact to be made on the recruiting trail at UMass.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 70


Bobby Petrino, Louisville

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    Bobby Petrino is another coach who is starting his second stint at a school. Petrino led Louisville from 2003-2006, before leaving for a bad experience with the Atlanta Falcons.

    Renowned as one of the best offensive minds and play-callers in the game, Petrino should have the Cardinals ready to score a lot of points. His resume, along with the fact that Louisville is now in the ACC, should help him in recruiting.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 40-45

Charlie Partridge, Florida Atlantic

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    Former Arkansas and Wisconsin assistant coach Charlie Partridge has finally become a head coach, as he has replaced Carl Pelini at Florida Atlantic.

    Partridge has a lot of experience recruiting in the Sunshine State, which will come in handy. That experience has helped Partridge secure four commitments, including one from 4-star running back Jordan Scarlett

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 45-50 

Willie Fritz, Georgia Southern

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    Georgia State is now in the FBS, as they will compete in the Sun Belt Conference. The Eagles hired Willie Fritz from Sam Houston State in January, and he'll lead them into FBS waters.

    Georgia State could slowly begin to become a solid alternative for Peach State prospects. However, Georgia is the dominant program in the state, and Georgia Tech is above GSU in the state's pecking order.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 80

Chris Creighton, Eastern Michigan

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    Former Drake head coach Chris Creighton is now at Eastern Michigan, where he is taking over for Ron English. A former quarterback, Creighton has a been a head coach at three other programs.

    He and his staff will hustle to do a good job with the Eagles, but EMU isn't a significant recruiting school. Creighton will get some solid football players, but he won't land any major recruits.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 60

Bob Diaco, UConn

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    Bob Diaco is another coach who left Notre Dame during the winter to become a head coach. He is replacing Paul Pasqualoni at UConn.

    Diaco, who was the defensive coordinator for the Fighting Irish, should make the Huskies' defensive unit a strong one. UConn may not land a class full of 5-star prospects, but Diaco is capable of pulling in a 4-star recruit or two.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 50-60

Dino Babers, Bowling Green

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    Dino Babers has made some impressive stops in his career. Bowling Green's new head coach has been an assistant at schools such as Texas A&M, Baylor and UCLA.

    Babers' expertise is on the offensive side of the ball, which should help the Falcons. Yet, it's going to be awfully challenging to bring in a top-tier class at Bowling Green, as the program is not known for its great recruiting.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 65

Bryan Harsin, Boise State

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    Bryan Harsin came up through the coaching ranks as an assistant at Boise State. He then became the offensive coordinator at Texas, with Arkansas State naming him head coach before the 2013 season.

    Now, Harsin has returned to where it all started to become head coach at Boise State. Chris Petersen built the Broncos into a respected program, and Harsin must do all he can to sustain it.

    However, the young head coach could take the Broncos to a new level by raising their recruiting profile. 

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Top 50

Jeff Monken, Army

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    Jeff Monken is a big believer in the option offense, which makes him a good fit at Army. He'll take what he did at Georgia Southern and bring it to West Point.

    Army could get a boost from Monken's ways of doing things, but the Black Knights are not major players on the recruiting trail. That will not change under Monken.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside top 80

Blake Anderson, Arkansas State

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    An offensive-minded coach, Blake Anderson left his post as offensive chief as North Carolina to become the head coach at Arkansas State.

    Anderson will get a chance to get extensive experience as a head coach in Jonesboro. He'll have the opportunity to test ideas and theories with his schemes, plus see how it is when forced to make big decisions. 

    Yet, Arkansas State just isn't a program that attracts many top recruits.

    Predicted 2015 recruiting finish: Outside Top 75


    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.