College Football Recruiting 2012: The Top 5 Coaches Recruits Want to Play For
There are a number of coaches that if you met in person, you would like for your son to go play for them for four years. Being a head coach ensures you as the face and main voice of a program. Not all coaches have favorable images, and some who do have may not be so favorable in private.
Yet, the head coach is always a critical draw for landing a recruit. What is he about? How does he help his players? How does he take care of them?
The assistant coaches do the leg work and form the tightest bonds with recruits, but the head coach has to seal the deal. If you're a head coach with a negative public image or a troubled past, then that will hinder your recruiting efforts.
Here are the top 5 head coaches, right now, that it seems recruits want to play for.
5. Bill Stewart: West Virginia
Stewart is a popular figure in the West Virginia area, as there is no one more passionate about WVU Football than him. Well, maybe the guy that dresses up like a Mountaineer, but that's another story.
Players really love Stewart because he is like a father to them, really looks after them and is very enthusiastic. He always thinks positively and is extremely loyal. This really has players willing to run through a brick wall for him and makes him a popular figure among the fans.
Dana Holgersen is a great coach and offensive mind, but he will have a long ways to go to match the popularity and admiration that Stewart has garnered in his years at WVU.
4. Jim Tressel: Ohio State
The sweater vest is hypnotizing. His calm, efficient demeanor is admirable. And he oozes class.
Yes, Jim Tressel is Ohio's most interesting man. Tressel is known for his care of players as he is winning Big Ten titles. Players love him and always speak about how he personally cares for their well being, getting their education and being honest.
He does a lot of work to help players off the field and always preaches that being a Buckeye is a sacred privilege. Ohio State is generally regarded as a classy program, much of that is thanks to Tressel.
When he was hired, many raised an eyebrow about a coach making the jump from FCS/1-AA Youngstown State to the big leagues in Columbus. Quickly, Tressel proved he could recruit well, develop talent, win championships and beat Michigan. And he's done it the right way.
3. Mack Brown: Texas
Brown could run for governor of Texas and would probably win. He's that beloved around the state and has amazing people skills.
He really know show to handle himself with anyone and makes everyone around him feel comfortable. Even his assistants have said he is the perfect boss to work for. He does well in the recruiting area of the program by using his people skills, calmness and laid back demeanor to make players feel comfortable with him.
He dazzles in home visits, always knows what to say and has a "cool grandpa" type of feel to his personality. This is evidenced by the Longhorns signing top 5 classes year in and year out during his tenure in Austin.
2. Gene Chizik: Auburn
There is always one constant that I notice that I hear in almost every Gene Chizik interview, the term "Auburn Family".
Chizik really preaches that the program is one family and really looks to take care of his players. He's loyal and very honest with his players. He is the first one to congratulate them after doing something well and the first one to chastise them for a bad mistake.
He treats his players like his sons and like men, and this is really what young adults want. Chizik is also a nice fellow with a homely feel to him. He has a calm demeanor in private settings and does seem have a sound sense of humor to relate well in all settings, which is why Auburn has recruited very well since he was named head football coach.
1. Nick Saban: Alabama
Yeah, yeah, yeah...say what you want about Saban's personality and the stories we've all heard. But this is a list that is of coaches "recruits want to play for" and Saban tops out.
For starters, look at how well Alabama has recruited under his direction. The Crimson Tide have hauled in some serious talent to Tuscaloosa with Saban, and that leads me into my next point.
Saban is seen as a coach who can help get a player into the NFL. He runs the program like an NFL team, his offensive and defensive philosophies are from the NFL and recruits know this. They think going to Alabama and playing for Saban will prepare them very well for the NFL.
Every highs school player dreams of playing in the NFL. Saban runs the program in an NFL way and has a wealth of NFL contacts. Recruits know this and that's why he's the top coach recruits want to play for.