It's easy to say head coaches are the reason why a team has a successful recruiting class. Yet any college football connoisseur knows the backbone is the assistant coach who spends countless hours making calls, in-home visits and wooing top recruits.
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Rivals.com goes deeper into each conference to name our top 10 recruiters in the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Non-Big Six conferences.
RIVALS.COM TOP RECRUITERS BY CONFERENCE
RIVALS.COM ACC RECRUITER OF YEAR
JAMES COLEY, FLORIDA STATE
Coley was involved with almost every top recruit who ended up choosing the Seminoles. He was also instrumental in the recruiting turnaround at FSU when Jimbo Fisher took over for Bobby Bowden. Lamarcus Joyner, Jeff Luc, De'Joshua Johnson, Greg Dent, Mike Harris and others are all on Coley's resume. He is credited with bringing or assisting on nine recruits, including five ranked four-stars or higher. Coley is the main reason, aside from Fisher, that FSU finished in the top 10 and had the top class in the ACC.
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LAWRENCE DAWSEY, FLORIDA STATE
Dawsey did a tremendous job recruiting wide receivers - and other athletes - to FSU this year. He reeled in Christian Green, Kenny Shaw and De'Joshua Johnson as well as athletes Greg Dent, Jarred Haggins and defensive back Terrence Brooks. Dawsey has six signees on his resume, including four four-star recruits.
JAMES FRANKLIN, MARYLAND
Franklin had a hand in 10 commitments for the Terps and did a great job keeping local talent at home. He flipped linebacker Javarie Johnson back to Maryland from Miami and pulled in four-stars Titus Till and Nathaniel Clarke. He also brought in quarterback Tyler Smith from Pennsylvania and helped Maryland hold onto prep school stud David Mackall. Franklin remains Maryland's best recruiter and one of the best in the ACC.
CHARLIE HARBISON, CLEMSON
Harbison had a banner year for the Tigers, pulling three prospects each out of heavily recruited Georgia and Alabama. In Georgia he won the battle for Darius Robinson, Corey Crawford and David Beasley. In Alabama, he took away Desmond Brown, D.J. Howard and Demont Buice. In a year where a lot of prospects in the state of South Carolina left home, Harbison's efforts out of state were key for Clemson.
WESLEY MCGRIFF, MIAMI
McGriff is credited with recruiting or assisting on eight signees for the Hurricanes, including two four-stars. The defensive back coach helped lure four-star tailbacks Eduardo Clements and Storm Johnson. He also brought in defensive backs Kacy Rodgers and Keion Payne. McGriff was also instrumental in adding Tyrone Cornelius, Jeremy Davis, Chase Ford and Delmar Taylor. Without McGriff, Miami would have fallen outside the top 25.
CURT NEWSOME, VIRGINIA TECH
Newsome is emerging as one of the best young recruiters in the ACC. He landed two four-stars, Nick Acree and Nick Dew, as well as three-star Dominique Patterson. The battle for Acree was a massive one, and Newsome fought for Dew until he committed to the Hokies. Patterson, meanwhile, could end up being the sleeper in this class for Tech.
SAM PITTMAN, NORTH CAROLINA
The best offensive line class since Mack Brown was at North Carolina can be attributed to Pittman, the UNC offensive line coach. Pittman reeled in top-50 player James Hurst from Indiana, in-state four-star T.J. Leifheit as well as the nation's No. 8 center in Russell Bodine. On top of that, Virginia tackle Nick Appel could be the sleeper in this class. UNC does not have a great tradition of recruiting offensive linemen, but that could be changing. Pittman's efforts this year were key for the Heels to stay near the top of the ACC.
TOMMIE ROBINSON, MIAMI
Robinson teamed with McGriff to keep Miami's class in the top 25 and near the top of the ACC. As the Miami running backs coach, Robinson was crucial in landing Storm Johnson and Eduardo Clements. He also reeled in another talented back, Darion Hall. Robinson is also credited with defensive end David Perry and offensive lineman Johnathan Feliciano.
MIKE SIRAVO, BOSTON COLLEGE
Siravo is emerging as one of the top recruiters and recruiting coordinators in the ACC. He brought Rivals250 linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis to The Heights despite overtures from numerous major programs. He also landed two three-star prospects in Dominic Appiah and Sean Sylvia. Wide receiver Alexander Amidon could be the sleeper in this class for the Eagles. Siravo also became one of BC's better on-campus closers this year.
JASON SWEPSON, N.C. STATE
Swepson is credited with only three commitments for 2010, but two of them really make this Wolfpack class special. Swepson's efforts helped N.C. State win the in-state battle over UNC, Wake Forest and Duke. Swepson got an early commitment from five-star offensive tackle Robert Crisp and kept many big schools at bay down the stretch. He also earned the signature of four-star wide receiver Anthony Creecy, a Rivals250 member. It was quality over quantity for Swepson this year.
RIVALS.COM BIG EAST RECRUITER OF YEAR
CHRIS BEATTY, WEST VIRGINIA
Beatty did a tremendous job pulling in talent from Virginia and Washington, D.C. He also kept this class somewhat intact after the departure of Doc Holliday to Marshall. Beatty signed four-star offensive lineman Quinton Spain as well as three-star running back Trey Johnson and three-star offensive guard Marquis Wallace from the Richmond area. He also kept four-star wideout Deon Long in the fold out of prep school. Add in defensive back Ishmael Banks and athlete Avery Williams, and you have the main reason West Virginia was on top of the Big East recruiting rankings.
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GREG ADKINS, SYRACUSE
Adkins has always been known as a solid recruiter, and this year he was the key to Syracuse's class. He pulled in the highest-ranked prospect in the 2010 group by landing four-star Marquis Spruill from Fork Union in Virginia. Adkins is also credited with three-star prospects Jerome Smith, Adrian Flemming and Louiszell Alexander. All in all he had a hand in eight commitments for the Orange.
KENNY CARTER, LOUISVILLE
When it comes to Louisville's raid on the Miami area late in the process, Carter was Charlie Strong's right-hand man in Dade and Broward counties. He was instrumental in bringing wide receiver Michaelee Harris from Miami as well as running back Corvin Lamb and sleeper Jamaine Brooks, among others. Carter also had a hand in numerous top prospects from that area taking late visits to Louisville.
KERRY COOMBS, CINCINNATI
Coombs was the guy who kept things together for Cincinnati when Brian Kelly headed off to Notre Dame and Butch Jones took over the program. Coombs landed the top prospect in the class for the Bearcats in wide receiver Dyjuan Lewis. Coombs was also instrumental with three-star prospects Camaron Beard, Anthony McClung and Solomon Tentman. Ask most prospects in the 2010 Cincinnati class who was the key, and the answer will be Coombs.
MIKE FOLEY, CONNECTICUT
Foley, the offensive line coach at UConn, landed two three-star prospects for the Huskies as well as a two-star who could be the steal of the class. Foley is credited with defensive end Reuben Frank, a top-10 player in New York who had offers from both Division I in-state schools. Foley also signed linebacker Yawin Smallwood, who was recruited by Boston College, Maryland and others. Foley recruited quarterback Scott McCummings from Massachusetts, who should be the signal-caller of the future.
LONNIE GALLOWAY, WEST VIRGINIA
Galloway is credited with two of the five four-star recruits in the West Virginia class. Galloway sealed the deal with wide receiver Ivan McCartney and linebacker Bruce Irvin. McCartney is another national recruit from Miramar, Fla., to spurn the big three in the Sunshine State and head to Morgantown. Irvin had offers from Tennessee, Arizona State and others. Galloway also recruited wide receiver Quantavious Leslie and helped keep four-star Deon Long in the fold.
JEFF HAFLEY, PITTSBURGH
All four of Hafley's recruits hail from the state of New Jersey this year. But with Penn State and others targeting western Pennsylvania, his efforts in the Garden State were crucial to the Panthers. He signed two of the top three players in Jersey with defensive ends T.J. Clemmings and Bryan Murphy. Hafley also added three-star defensive back K'Waun Williams. His fourth signee, offensive/defensive lineman Brandon Sacco, could be the sleeper in this class. Pitt has become a major factor in North Jersey mainly because of Hafley's efforts.
ED PINKHAM, RUTGERS
Pinkham was one of the biggest reasons Rutgers closed so strongly in the last few days. Not only did he land Jawan Jamison when Casey Turner flipped to North Carolina, but he also lured Turner back into the fold. Pinkham was also key in beating Michigan for Rashad Knight and Florida State for Jeremy Deering. Pinkham helped move Rutgers' class from near the bottom of the Big East to nearly even with USF and Cincinnati.
LARRY SCOTT, SOUTH FLORIDA
With a late coaching change it was impressive that USF could land four-stars Terrence Mitchell and Todd Chandler from some major programs. Scott was the one who led the charge with Mitchell and Chandler. Scott and the rest of the staff bring an aggressive attitude to USF, and they won't be afraid of going head to head with Florida, FSU and Miami for recruits. As evidenced by Mitchell and Chandler, they will win their share of battles.
DAVE WALKER, PITTSBURGH
Walker is credited with five signees, including four from Ohio. His biggest commitment came from four-star quarterback Mark Myers, who emerged as one of the best QBs in the Midwest. Walker also recruited tight ends Brendan Carozzoni and Dan Schneider and offensive lineman Matt Rotheram from Ohio. Walker also kept running back Derrick Burns in state.
RIVALS.COM BIG TEN RECRUITER OF YEAR
TOM BRADLEY, PENN STATE
The Nittany Lions took back western Pennsylvania this year, and Bradley led the way. He landed Rivals250 offensive linemen Miles Dieffenbach and Thomas Ricketts, who have family ties to Pitt but chose Penn State over the Panthers and others. Three-star offensive guard Luke Graham had many of the same offers and also pledged to Bradley and Penn State. Bradley also brought in Rivals250 prospects Paul Jones and Mike Hull, a pair of U.S. Army All-Americans. Reclaiming the Pittsburgh area played a huge role in giving the Nittany Lions the Big Ten's top recruiting class.
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TONY ALFORD, NOTRE DAME
Alford took on the responsibility of keeping Notre Dame's recruiting class intact during the coaching transition. He landed Louis Nix - the Irish's first Rivals100 defensive tackle since 2002 - while Notre Dame was still looking for a head coach. Alford inked Tai-ler Jones, a Rivals250 wide receiver who had offers from many of the nation's top programs. Alford also held on to three-star Florida defensive backs Spencer Boyd and Lo Wood. Alford helped Notre Dame push back up the team recruiting rankings in February by landing four-star athlete Danny Spond out of Littleton, Colo. The Irish finished 14th in the team recruiting rankings, which would have placed them second in the Big Ten.
MARK HAGEN, PURDUE
The Boilermakers had never signed two of Illinois' top 10 players in the same class. Hagen changed that this recruiting season. Bruce Gaston Jr. and Sean Robinson are huge pickups for Purdue. Gaston, a defensive tackle, had offers from Penn State, Iowa, Notre Dame, Boston College and others. Robinson has as much raw ability as any quarterback in the Midwest, and he had offers from across the country.
THOMAS HAMMOCK, MINNESOTA
Hammock has established himself as the top recruiter on the Gophers' staff. He landed four-star athlete Lamonte Edwards and pulled talented safety prospect James Manuel out of one of Indiana's top high school programs (Warren Central). Hammock also went down to Florida to land four three-star prospects - Tyrone Bouie, Johnathan Ragoo, Donnell Kirkwood and Devon Wright.
DARRELL HAZELL, OHIO STATE
Hazell gets credit for landing two of Ohio State's 18 commitments, which is not as many prospects as some of his fellow staff members signed. Landing Corey Brown and James Louis, however, proved Ohio State can recruit anywhere in the country. Brown, a Rivals250 athlete, had offers from Florida, Florida State, UCLA, Tennessee, Penn State, and others. Louis, a Rivals250 prospect, took official visits to Florida and Virginia Tech in January. Hazell, however, held on to his commitment.
LARRY JOHNSON, PENN STATE
Johnson is no stranger to these lists. He landed a trio of four-star prospects in Kyle Baublitz, Dakota Royer and Zach Zwinak. He also partnered with assistant coach Bill Kenney to land Evan Hailes, a three-star defensive tackle who had offers from Clemson, Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and others.
PAT NARDUZZI, MICHIGAN STATE
Like Hazell at Ohio State, Narduzzi did not land a long list of prospects. But he is responsible for the Big Ten's highest-rated incoming prospect, William Gholston. The five-star defensive end made an early commitment to Narduzzi and Michigan State, but was offered - and in some cases continuously recruited - by programs such as Alabama, Florida, Miami, Oklahoma, USC and others. Gholston is Michigan State's first five-star commitment. Narduzzi also reached out to northeast Ohio to land three-star athlete Kurtis Drummond.
PHIL PARKER, IOWA
Parker did an excellent job in Ohio and Michigan. His biggest get is Rivals250 OT Andrew Donnal, a Toledo (Ohio) product and a U.S. Army All-American. Donnal chose Iowa over Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, South Carolina and others. Parker landed two good ones in Michigan, Austin Gray and Carl Davis. B.J. Lowery and Anthony Hitchens flew under the radar, but they have a chance to be big-time players at Iowa.
CHARLIE PARTRIDGE, WISCONSIN
Bob Bobstad did a great job in-state for the Badgers, but Partridge gets the nod for continuing Wisconsin's success in south Florida. Peniel Jean has a chance to be a great one, and James C. White is a talented running back from St. Thomas Aquinas - one of the nation's best high school programs. White may be a steal not only because of his abilities, but also to keep the door open for Partridge at one of Florida's top talent-producing schools.
ROD SMITH, MICHIGAN
Smith played a huge role in signing the Big Ten's second-best class. In-state, he landed Devin Gardner - Michigan's highest profile recruit in the Class of 2010. Smith also landed three-star prospect Austin White, a versatile running back who will be dangerous in Michigan's system. But Smith made more of an impact in Florida by landing four-star prospects Marvin Robinson and Richard Ash, as well as three-star receiver Ricardo Miller before Miller transferred to Ann Arbor (Mich.) Pioneer.
RIVALS.COM BIG 12 RECRUITER OF YEAR
WILL MUSCHAMP, TEXAS
In addition to taking the lead role in the recruitment of prospects like Jordan Hicks, Jackson Jeffcoat, Reggie Wilson and Tevin Jackson, Muschamp was personally involved in the recruitment of each defensive prospect the Longhorns landed. Muschamp's final tally: two five-stars and nine four-stars. His haul included the No. 1 strongside defensive end, No. 1 outside linebacker, No. 3 outside linebacker and No. 4 strongside defensive end.
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CHRIS ASH, IOWA STATE
Ash, who just left Iowa State to become the secondary coach at Wisconsin, helped the Cyclones climb to the No. 10 spot in the Big 12 rankings. That might not sound great, but those that follow the Big 12 know that is a major move forward for the Cyclones. Ash landed eight players in Iowa State's class, plus he was the recruiting coordinator. He also was able to pull in several of ISU's best recruits: three-star safety Durrell Givens, three-star tight end Ricky Howard and four-star cornerback Anthony Young. He also opened up the state of California to the Cyclones with his effort.
CORNELL FORD, MISSOURI
The Tigers' class was one of the biggest surprises in the nation. Mizzou landed a top-20 class, and Ford's efforts had a lot to do with the Tigers' success. Ford landed four-star receiver Jimmie Hunt early in the process. He also got Rivals100 offensive tackle Nick Demien and swayed Tyler Gabbert to switch from Nebraska to Missouri. He supplemented his class with three-star lineman Anthony Gatti. For the first time in six years, Missouri landed the top three players in the Show-Me State.
CALE GUNDY, OKLAHOMA
Oklahoma is used to success in the Midlands Region, especially in Oklahoma and Texas. But Florida and California have never quite been fertile recruiting territories for the Sooners under Bob Stoops. However, Gundy went into California to land four-star Brennan Clay and into Florida to land four-star Roy Finch. Clay was one of the most heavily courted players in the Golden State, and numerous ACC and SEC programs wanted Finch. What's even more impressive is that Clay and Finch both rank in the top four in the all-purpose back position. Convincing one top back to come is tough, let alone two. Gundy is also Oklahoma's recruiting coordinator.
BOBBY KENNEDY, TEXAS
Kennedy assisted Will Muschamp with Reggie Wilson and Jackson Jeffcoat, plus he was the lead on Taylor Bible, Adrian White and Adrian Phillips. Kennedy also helped piece together one of the nation's top receiver classes with Mike Davis, Darius White, Chris Jones, Darius Terrell and John Harris. Each receiver was a four-star prospect, and many - especially Davis - could see the field quickly for the Longhorns.
CHARLES MCMILLIAN, TEXAS A&M
Even though he lost Corey Nelson on Signing Day, McMillian was huge in helping the Aggies become a force again in the Dallas Metroplex. McMillian landed three four-star prospects, highlighted by Rivals100 offensive linemen Luke Joeckel. McMillian also landed two other three-star standouts. It was vital for the Aggies to get back involved with many of the top players in Dallas. That fertile recruiting territory had become a wasteland for A&M over the past few years.
REGGIE MITCHELL, KANSAS
Mitchell has always been one of the best recruiters in the game, and this year he showed it again. After coming to Lawrence from Illinois, Mitchell was able to help the Jayhawks steal Dexter McDonald away from rival Missouri. Mitchell also snagged four-star Brandon Bourbon away from Stanford in less than three weeks. In less than a month Mitchell has shown his talents at Kansas, and many are excited what the future holds.
JOHN PAPUCHIS, NEBRASKA
Papuchis landed five quality prospects in Texas, Louisiana, Minnesota and Missouri for the Huskers. Plus, he had Nebraska in the final group for five-star Owamagbe Odighizuwa. Defensive line was a huge need, and the Huskers are hoping Jay Guy and Chase Rome could play early; both were recruited Papuchis. He basically is responsible for the entire defensive line recruiting class - one of the better defensive line recruiting classes in school history.
JAMES PATTON, OKLAHOMA
There wasn't a bigger need in Oklahoma's class than offensive line, which is why Patton's efforts have landed him on this list. He helped Oklahoma land four four-star prospects at the offensive line. After picking up Rivals250 offensive guard Bronson Irwin, Patton went into Texas to score Tyrus Thompson, Daryl Williams and Austin Woods. Because of depth, many of these linemen could be asked to play early for the Sooners.
JOE WICKLINE, OKLAHOMA STATE
Wickline helped Oklahoma State land both quality and quantity in this class. Overall, Wickline had a hand in eight players that signed with the Cowboys. All eight of them were three-star prospects, and four of them were from the offensive line - the position he coaches. Wickline also got what many think is the steal of the OSU class, quarterback Nathan Sorenson from Texarkana, Texas. Wickline also went into Florida and Arkansas to help OSU land quality prospects.
RIVALS.COM PAC-10 RECRUITER OF YEAR
TOSH LUPOI, CAL
The numbers on Lupoi's resume from this recruiting season speak for themselves - two five-star players and four four-star players. While that matches what others on this list accomplished, what's more impressive about Lupoi's results is his haul came from five states. He landed five-star Keenan Allen and four-star Chris McCain from North Carolina, reeled in Nick Forbes from Maryland, five-star Chris Martin from Colorado, Gabe King from Oregon and Cecil Whiteside from California. He also managed a difficult situation with Allen after he de-committed from Alabama. Lupoi got several national prospects to take a long look at Cal, and many of them are moving across the country to Berkeley.
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LANCE ANDERSON, STANFORD
Stanford is a school that looks at transcripts first, and then evaluates film. That makes Anderson's job even more difficult as the recruiting coordinator. Stanford also lost four of its coaches in the offseason, but Anderson helped the Cardinal land a top-30 recruiting class. Anderson has put together back-to-back elite classes and has built a strong relationship with Stanford admissions, greatly helping recruits navigate through that tough process. Stanford also landed commits from prospects in 13 states.
GARY CAMPBELL, OREGON
Campbell, Oregon's running back coach, was given the task to go find the best rushers in the country to be a part of the Ducks' spread offense. Boy did he deliver. Campbell only landed three prospects, but what a three they were. He went into Big 12 territory to reel in five-star running back Lache Seastrunk of Temple, Texas. He did it again with four-star Dontae Williams out of Houston. Campbell also provided one of the biggest Signing Day surprises when he was able to reel in Josh Huff. The four-star all-purpose back was committed to TCU, one of the top programs in the country, but Campbell convinced him that Oregon's offense was the best fit for him.
BRENNAN CARROLL, USC
Ed Orgeron got a lot of attention in the final few weeks for his efforts in helping USC land several national recruits, but Carroll is another huge reason why USC landed the nation's best recruiting class. Carroll helped keep the USC class in place while the Trojans were without a coach. He also landed four-star Demetrius Wright while the program was in limbo. Many of the 11 original commitments in the class said Carroll was a key reason why they stuck. He burned up the phone lines and stayed in constant contact with many high profile guys like George Uko and Dillon Baxter.
TODD HOWARD, UCLA
UCLA clearly needed to sign some impact defensive linemen in this recruiting class. When the Bruins needed to close along the defensive front, they sent Howard to seal the deal. Howard was responsible for helping reel in top-10 prospect Owamagbe Odighizuwa, arguably the most highly regarded player signed by UCLA in the Rick Neuheisel era. Howard also helped turn Cassius Marsh, another top-100 prospect. Howard also had a hand in many of the Bruins' other d-line commits, like Derrick Bryant, Wesley Flowers and Sealii Epenesa.
TIM KISH, ARIZONA
Kish, who picked up eight commitments, also had a hand in picking up two of Arizona's best recruits in four-stars Marquis Flowers and Derek Earls. Landing Flowers was huge because Arizona hasn't landed the top prospect in the state since it landed Mike Bell in the 2001 class. Kish also helped reload the linebacker position for the Wildcats with three quality prospects.
MATT LUBICK, ARIZONA STATE
Lubick, Arizona State's recruiting coordinator, showed again why he's one of the best recruiters in the conference. He had his hand in 12 commitments for the Sun Devils, including four-star prospects Deantre Lewis and Nduka Onyeali. Lubick is widely respected as one of the best recruiters in California's Inland Empire; he was able to recruit six high-profile prospects from the region this year.
DEMETRICE MARTIN, WASHINGTON
Looking for a reason why Washington is involved with many of the top prospects in Los Angeles? Look no further than Martin. He had a role in helping Washington land star safety Sean Parker, who was down to USC, Washington and Michigan. He also pulled in great prospects like four-stars Deontae Cooper and Kevin Smith. Cooper is an impact running back, and Smith has an amazing upside. Recruits love Martin's energy, and his enthusiasm helps him be one of the best recruiters in the conference.
JOHN NEAL, OREGON
Neal had his hand in scoring six players for the Ducks, including four-star defensive backs Erick Dargan and Dior Mathis. Both were two of the most heavily recruited players in their region, and pulling Mathis away from Big Ten programs was something that caught a lot of national attention. Neal also landed players from four states. Cornerback Terrance Mitchell from Northern California was a big steal for the Ducks.
ED ORGERON, USC
Looking for a reason why USC landed the nation's best recruiting class? Look no further than "Coach O." Orgeron, who was named Rivals.com's recruiter of the year in 2004, was back in his element in Heritage Hall. Time after time, Orgeron's name was mentioned by recruits signing with USC. "Coach O, he's the man," five-star receiver Markeith Ambles said. Orgeron is a tireless recruiter. Basically, if there's a player Coach O wants - particularly on the defensive line - he'll likely be a Trojan.
RIVALS.COM SEC RECRUITER OF YEAR
STEVE ADDAZIO, FLORIDA
Florida offensive coordinator Steve Addazio had a big recruiting year for the Gators. Addazio had his hand in recruiting two five-star defensive tackles from the Northeast in Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley. Floyd and Easley are the nation's top two defensive tackles. That he signed them from Pennsylvania and New York, respectively, made his feat more impressive. Addazio also helped Florida sign three four-star players in offensive tackles Ian Silberman and Chaz Green and safety Jonathan Dowling. Floyd, Easley, Silberman and Green are all members of the Rivals100. In addition, Addazio also recruited two quarterback prospects in three-star Trey Burton and two-star Tyler Murphy.
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RODNEY GARNER, GEORGIA
Year in and year out, Garner is one of the most consistently successful recruiters. This season was no different. The Bulldogs didn't land their typical stellar class, but Gardner did his part to keep the Dawgs in the top 20. Garner pulled in Rivals100 recruits in defensive end T.J. Stripling and safety Alec Ogletree. Garner also signed four-star defensive tackle Mike Thornton and four-star running back Ken Malcome.
CURTIS LUPER, AUBURN
Luper landed two five-star prospects for the Tigers: junior college QB Cameron Newton and RB prospect Michael Dyer from Arkansas. He helped the Tigers with Louisiana four-star athlete Trovon Reed, and three-star offensive tackle Ed Christian was Luper's responsibility. Luper was also the primary mastermind behind "Tiger Prowl" and "Big Cat Weekend." Those two recruiting events helped create a great buzz for Auburn.
GARRICK MCGEE, ARKANSAS
Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee pulled a major surprise on National Signing Day by helping the Hogs land four-star defensive tackle Calvin Barnett. McGee also pulled in three three-star athletes in Jatashun Beachum, Eric Bennett, and Jarrett Lake. Linebacker Courtney Gaston, offensive lineman Denton Simek, and Jacoby Walker are three other three-star prospects who were recruited by McGee. All of his signees for the Hogs were out-of-state players.
KIRBY SMART, ALABAMA
Defensive coordinator Kirby Smart had a super year recruiting for the Crimson Tide. In all, Smart helped recruit nine prospects to Tuscaloosa. The headliner, of course, is five-star cornerback DeMarcus Milliner. Smart also landed six four-star prospects in junior college defensive back Dequan Menzie, running back Corey Grant, defensive end Adrian Hubbard, safety Nick Perry, tight end Brian Vogler and athlete Blake Sims. Rounding out his group are two three-star prospects in offensive lineman Austin Shepherd and wide receiver Ronald Powell. In all, six of Smart's recruits were from Georgia (Menzie played his high school football in Columbus, Ga.
MELVIN SMITH, MISSISSIPPI STATE
Cornerback coach Melvin Smith had a great haul for the Bulldogs, signing seven prospects. Smith was responsible for three four-star prospects: offensive tackle Damien Robinson, athlete Michael Carr and defensive Kaleb Eulls. Smith also got linebacker Ferlando Bohanna, athlete Jay Hughes, cornerback Jamerson Love and defensive tackle Curtis Virges - all three-star prospects.
SAL SUNSERI, ALABAMA
Sunseri helped sign four prospects for the Crimson Tide. He landed the nation's No. 2 pro-style quarterback prospect in Phillip Sims from Virginia. He also went to Maryland to land four-star offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio and to North Carolina to get four-star defensive end Alfy Hill. Sunseri also landed three-star defensive end Wilson Love.
TROOPER TAYLOR, AUBURN
Taylor had a big year for the Tigers. He went to Mississippi and landed five-star offensive line prospect Shon Coleman. Taylor went to Louisiana to sign four-star athlete Trovon Reed. Taylor helped Auburn get a big one on Signing Day in four-star defensive end Corey Lemonier. Taylor also got three from Georgia: four-star wide receiver Antonio Goodwin, three-star defensive back Demetruce McNeal and athlete Shaun Kitchens. Four-star defensive end Joel Bonomolo is a junior college transfer from California. Taylor also landed a big in-state commitment in four-star wide receiver Jeremy Richardson. Seven of Taylor's eight prospects were from out of state.
LANCE THOMPSON, TENNESSEE
Thompson and Jim Chaney were both instrumental in helping Tennessee keep its class mostly intact after Lane Kiffin left for USC. They both also played a huge role in Tennessee keeping all eight early enrolles. Thompson also recruited four-star prospects in running back Rajion Neal and offensive lineman Jawuan James. Athlete Marcques Dixon, defensive end Martaze Jackson, and linebacker John Propst are all three-star prospects who were recruited by Thompson.
BRIAN WHITE, FLORIDA
Gators tight end coach Brian White helped UF sign five players with an average ranking of four stars. White landed the nation's top prospect, five-star defensive end Ronald Powell from California. White also recruited three four-star prospects in cornerback Joshua Shaw, wide receiver Adrian Coxson and athlete Travon Van. White also landed tight end prospect Michael McFarland.
RIVALS.COM NON-"BIG-SIX" RECRUITER OF YEAR
MORGAN SCALLEY, UTAH
Scalley was responsible for recruiting the Houston area, and he managed to beat Big 12 programs such as Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Missouri for several players from Texas. Scalley's early evaluations on guys like Josh Huff, Archie Muniz and Terrell Reese were spot on. That became more apparent when several schools tried to poach his recruits. The biggest feat for Scalley was landing Reese, a Rivals250 receiver. Scalley stole Reese right from under the nose of Texas A&M, which is just a 50-mile drive from Reese's hometown. Scalley was also the recruiting coordinator for one of the top classes outside of the "Big Six" Conferences.
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JARRETT ANDERSON, TCU
East Texas has always been a good area for the Horned Frogs to recruit. A big reason why they've always been successful is because of Anderson's efforts. This season, Anderson reeled in Ethan Grant, Blake Roberts, Antonio Graves and Chris Hawkins. Grant's pledge was huge, because he's a four-star running back from Florida. The others in Anderson's haul are just as big because they come from top programs in East Texas and should be excellent fits for TCU. Ask high school coaches who does the best job of recruiting in East Texas, and Anderson's name will be on the list.
BILL BLANKENSHIP, TULSA
When you think of Tulsa football, Bill Blakenship's name should come to mind. Not only was he one of the city's most prolific high school coaches before he moved to TU, he has also become one of the region's best recruiters. When Tulsa needs to land a top-flight kid in Oklahoma or the surrounding areas, they send Blankenship to get him. He collected nine of Tulsa's 23 commitments this season, including five players in the Oklahoma top 35. This includes five three-star prospects. He also battled head-to-head with Oklahoma State for talented receiver Thomas Roberson and came out on top on Signing Day.
JASON CANDLE, TOLEDO
Candle has been successful everywhere he has been, including playing a role in five national championships at Mount Union as a player and a coach. So it's no surprise to see him quickly develop into one of the MAC's top recruiters in just one year at Toledo. He helped recruit seven prospects for the Rockets, including four-star James Green - a one-time Minnesota commitment. Candle also landed four-three star recruits. He has strong ties in Ohio, and that has paid off well. But he was also to go to Florida and land four really talented prospects.
BRANDON DOMAN, BYU
Doman helped the Cougars land one of the best classes outside the "Big Six" conferences. He signed all the in-state recruits for the Cougars, including talented prospects Algrenon Brown, Toloa'i Ho Ching, Tuni Kanuch, Joey Owens and Bryan Sampson. But where he really made his mark was with the recruitment of Jake Heaps. The nation's No. 1 quarterback, Heaps was recruited by a host of national programs. However, Doman convinced Heaps that Provo was the best place for him. Heaps could play as a freshman next season. Without Doman, Heaps wouldn't have signed with BYU.
BARNEY FARRAR, SOUTHERN MISS
Known as one of the hardest working recruiters in the business, Farrar is responsible for five of Southern Miss' top recruits - including both of the Eagles' four-star players in this year's class. He recruited Lamar Holmes and O.C. Brown, and he also snagged what some think is Mississippi's best receiver in Markese Triplett. Farrar also had the Eagles in the hunt with a talented group of prospects from Olive Branch. Farrar's story is even more special because he's been doing all of this while battling throat cancer.
DREW HILL, FRESNO STATE
Hill, the Bulldogs' recruiting coordinator, helped Fresno sign the best class in the WAC and finish at No. 52 in the nation - a spot that ranks as the highest ever for the Bulldogs. Overall, Fresno landed one four-star recruit and 15 three-star recruits. Hill's efforts in guiding the staff also helped Fresno beat out several Pac-10 schools for recruits like four-star prospect and former Cal commitment Joshua Harper. Hill also landed former USC commitment Matt Darr, a three-star kicker that ranks among the nation's best.
DAVID KELLY, UCF
Kelly, one of the best recruiters in the game, might have been responsible for more recruits than any other coach in the country. Kelly was responsible for 14 of the Knights signees, including two four-star prospects and six three-star prospects. Kelly also made UCF a big factor in Miami's Dade County, one of the best areas for talent in the country. Kelly's biggest signees were four-star offensive linemen Torrian Wilson, three-star quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey and four-star receiver Joshua Reese.
PAT MEYER, COLORADO STATE
In the past three years, Meyer has gone from a strength and conditioning coach at Florida State to the offensive coordinator at Colorado State. Now, he's a member of Rivals.com's top 25 recruiters. Meyer was the lead recruiter on 12 of Colorado State's 27 signees. He went into Florida and convinced 10 players to head to Fort Collins. Meyer also went into Texas to help solidify Tony Drake, a one-time Michigan commitment. Meyer's effort helped CSU finish in the top 60 nationally and fourth in the Mountain West behind national powers Utah, BYU and TCU. The Rams also finished ahead of in-state rival Colorado largely thanks to Meyer.
JASON PHILLIPS, HOUSTON
One four-star recruit and four three-star prospects are on Phillips' list. Many believe he landed four of the top players in Houston's class. Four-star quarterback Terrance Broadway out of Louisiana had numerous options in both the Big 12 and SEC, but Phillips convinced him to come to Houston. Phillips also did a very nice job at the receiver spot, helping the Cougars pull in three-star pass catchers (Jordan Jolly, DeAndre Perry and Langston Williams). Houston had its best class in recent history, and Phillips' efforts played a big part in that result.
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