College Football Coaches at New Schools Killing It on the Recruiting Trail
The college football offseason brought 21 coaching changes, and more than a handful of the new arrivals have already made significant progress on the recruiting trail.
After a frenetic end to the 2018 cycle, these bosses have settled into the all-important initial full year on the trail. Immediate on-field success is often challenging to achieve, so stocking the roster during the opening recruiting cycle is imperative.
Six coaches have already assembled classes at their new schools that sit in the top 25 of 247Sports' composite rankings.
This breakdown of the best 2019 hauls outlines the top prospects in each group and is ordered based on overall class rankings.
Mario Cristobal, Oregon
Composite ranking: 25
April was a busy month for Mario Cristobal, who received a promotion from interim boss to head coach in December.
During the 30-day stretch, the Oregon Ducks brought in prized pledge Mase Funa—the No. 3 outside linebacker and No. 37 overall prospect. Keyon Ware-Hudson (No. 295 OVR), Jayvaun Wilson (No. 442) and Cameron Williams (No. 525) also committed during April.
Dan Mullen, Florida
Composite ranking: 18
Dan Mullen has withstood the mass exodus that followed Jim McElwain's October dismissal. From late November through late January, Florida lost nine commits.
Since then, the former Mississippi State coach has landed a couple of 4-stars. Tyron Hopper is the No. 22 outside linebacker, and Jalon Jones is considered the cycle's 10th-best dual-threat quarterback.
Joe Moorhead, Mississippi State
Composite ranking: 14
Mullen's replacement in Starkville, Joe Moorhead, has snatched eight new 2019 commits for the Bulldogs since his November hiring.
Defensive end Charles Moore, who committed to the former staff, is Mississippi State's highest-rated prospect at No. 91 overall.
Matt Luke, Ole Miss
Composite ranking: 10
Although he oversaw Mississippi State last season, Matt Luke earned the permanent head coaching job in late November. Now, he can recruit for himself—not an unknown coach, as was the case in 2017.
And Luke has done an admirable job.
In December, the Rebels picked up No. 67 prospect Jerrion Ealy and 3-star safety Tavario Standifer. Luke and Co. added four pledges—Jalen Jordan, Jamar Richardson, Tariqious Tisdale and JaVonta Payton—in February and another—Bryce Ramsey—in March.
Willie Taggart, Florida State
Composite ranking: 4
Jimbo Fisher left Willie Taggart with a decent foundation for 2019. Akeem Dent, a 5-star cornerback, gave his pledge to Florida State in July 2017, and 4-stars Mike Morris (No. 252 OVR) and Quashon Fuller (No. 254) and 3-star Tru Thompson were in the fold.
That shouldn't diminish what Taggart has accomplished, though.
Renardo Green, a highly valued 3-star at No. 383 overall, joined the class during the month.
Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M
Composite ranking: 3
Safety Brian Williams is the clear prize, holding a 5-star billing and No. 20 national ranking. But defensive tackle DeMarvin Leal (No. 73), wideout Kam Brown (No. 124) and safety Demani Richardson (No. 132) are all coveted prospects, too.
Braedon Mowry (No. 232), Baylor Cupp (No. 278), Josh Ellison (No. 315) and Kenyon Jackson (No. 350) are also 4-star talents. Three-star outside linebackers Andre White Jr. and RJ Orebo wrap up the 10 talents who committed after A&M hired Fisher.
All recruiting information via 247Sports. Stats from NCAA.com, cfbstats.com or B/R research. Quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Follow Bleacher Report CFB Writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR.