National Signing Day 2011: Power Ranking the Top College Football Coaches
Naturally, coaches are at the forefront of the recruiting efforts for their teams.
Coaches are the face of the program, and what they say goes. Of course, a strong call from or a visit with a prospective coach will weigh heavily upon a potential recruit's decision.
Some coaches hit the trail harder than others, and some are simply better than others at selling the program's message and getting a high school football player to come and play for his team.
Of course, this theory goes both ways. For all the good a coach can do on the recruiting trail and positive energy he can provide when things go well, he also plays the part of the fall guy when things don't necessarily go as planned.
Here is a breakdown of the top college football coaches after National Signing Day...
10. Jim Tressel
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Ohio State is typically considered the top recruiting destination in the Big Ten and one of the more powerful programs in the country from year to year.
Tressel did very little to disprove that theory again this season, pulling in the Big Ten's top class and one Rivals.com considers No. 11 in the nation.
9. Brian Kelly
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Following a building-block year on the field, the Irish hit the recruiting trail hard.
Kelly and Co. went after their targets hard and landed a host of 4- and 5-star recruits, including defensive ends Aaron Lynch, Stephon Tuitt and Ishaq Williams.
8. Dabo Swinney
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Despite some struggles on the field, you can't discount what Swinney did on the recruiting trail this year.
The Tigers were the talk of National Signing Day, pulling in four Rivals.com 5-star recruits and 29 total. With Tony Steward, Charone Peake, Sammy Watkins and Mike Bellamy on board, the Tigers are bound for greatness.
7. Mark Richt
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He talked the talk and walked the walk.
Hailed as his "Dream Team," Richt put his money where his mouth was and assembled a fantastic 2011 recruiting class.
Led by Ray Drew, Isaiah Crowell and Jay Rome, the Bulldogs are set up from sideline to sideline for years to come.
6. Mack Brown
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It looked a little shaky at first, but in the end, Texas compiled a Texas-sized class.
Brown and Co. endured the loss of top recruit Christian Westerman to Auburn and wrapped up the recruiting season as a Top 5 class.
5. Lane Kiffin
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How on earth did he do it?
Kiffin is fast becoming a top recruiter after convincing 31 recruits, including 10 ESPN150 recruits and 15 Rivals.com 4- or 5-star recruits into heading to the Trojans despite a bowl ban and a loss of scholarships following the NCAA's investigation.
A truly valiant effort for Kiffin on the recruiting front.
4. Les Miles
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Miles continued his strong recruiting at LSU by putting together the No. 6 class in the country, according to Rivals.com.
Miles received Letters of Intent from 22 total recruits, including three 5-star players and nine 4-stars.
3. Gene Chizik
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Talk about an encore.
Chizik followed up an undefeated National Championship season by compiling a stellar recruiting class.
All told, the Tigers acquired 24 recruits, including one Rivals 5-star and 13 Rivals 4-star recruits. Christian Westerman, Auburn's No. 1 recruit, committed after pulling his verbal from Texas.
2. Nick Saban
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Nick Saban did it again.
Saban went right back to work on the recruiting trail, compiling a class that consists of 21 total recruits, including 14 Rivals.com 4-star recruits and a pair of 5-star players.
And think, Alabama's class will become infinitely better if and when Jadeveon Clowney commits.
1. Jimbo Fisher
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After his first year on the job, Fisher wanted to make a splash on the recruiting trail. He did just that, and more.
All told, Florida State has 29 commitments, including 12 ESPN150 recruits, five Rivals.com 5-star players and 13 4- and 3-star players, respectively.
With Tim Jernigan, Karlos Williams, Nick O'Leary, James Wilder and so many more, the Seminoles are set up for years to come. Florida State fans can thank Jimbo Fisher for that.