Top recruiters by conference
To this point in the 2014 recruiting cycle, these assistant coaches are the best recruiters in the five best conferences.
Within college football programs, assistant coaches do most of the recruiting. Here’s a look by conference at which coaches are on top of the 247Sports Recruiter Rankings for the 2014 cycle to date.
Noteworthy: Pruitt, the 247Sports National Recruiter of the Year for the 2012 cycle when he was an assistant at Alabama, has seven pledges to his credit in the 2014 class for the Noles, including a trio of four-star linebackers- Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby), Delvin Purifoy (Pensacola, Fla./Catholic) and Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood). Pruitt is outstanding at working the I-10 corridor from Jacksonville, Fla. west to Mobile, Ala. Six of his seven commits are from along that stretch this cycle.
Noteworthy: Briles, the son of Bears head coach Art Briles, may have the finest group of receivers committed of any one single recruiter in the country as Davion Hall (Texarkana, Texas/Liberty-Eylau), KD Cannon (Mount Pleasant, Texas) and Ishmael Zamora (Houston, Texas/Elsik) all are elite prospects (Hall could end up on defense at the end of the day). Briles and the rest of the Baylor staff do an excellent job of evaluating talented players early in the process. Often the Bears are the first to the offer party with top prospects in the Lone Star State and players on their commit list (Hall is one this cycle) often are the top target of out-of-state or in-state poachers later. Obviously, they’ve held on to most and built a roster capable of competing for Big 12 titles and Briles is a major part of that.
Noteworthy: Vrabel, who was one of the all-time greats for the Buckeyes as a player, is the primary recruiter of record for four-star offensive tackle Jamarco Jones (Chicago, Ill./De La Salle) and four-star outside linebacker Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary), along with Booker’s speedy high school teammate, athlete Parris Campbell. He also was the secondary recruiter for four-star defensive end Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor), who was somewhat of a surprising pledge to Ohio State at the time. Vrabel is the secondary recruiter for two remaining top targets for the Buckeyes- defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas) and defensive tackle Thomas Holley (Brooklyn, N.Y./Abraham Lincoln).
Noteworthy: Sanford is the recruiter of record for five-star Cardinal quarterback commit Keller Chryst and four-star running back Christian McCaffrey (Littleton, Colo./Valor Christian) and four-star safety Brandon Simmons (Mansfield, Texas/Timberview). He’s also recruiting elite defensive end Solomon Thomas for Stanford and has the Cardinal positioned as the team to beat for the U.S. Army All-American. Sanford, whose father was the head coach at UNLV and current head coach at Indiana State, does an excellent job of selling Stanford University's academic appeal on a national scale and is one of the best relationship-builders in the country.
SEC: Travaris Robinson, Florida Defensive Backs Coach
Noteworthy: Robinson, who is currently No. 1 in the 247Sports National Recruiter Rankings for 2014 with seven commits, is the primary recruiter-of-record for the Gators for the two highest-ranked offensive commits in the class and three prospects who could help Florida's offense immediately. The key is holding on to them. Five-star running back Dalvin Cook (Miami, Fla./Central) and five-star receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla.), along with four-star wide receiver J.C. Jackson (Immokalee, Fla.) could all end up elsewhere. Cook appears to be on the verge of a flip to rival Florida State, and Lane says he will take visits, so it may be tough for Robinson to maintain his lofty perch both nationally and in the conference. Regardless of how this cycle ends up, the former Auburn defensive back is widely regarded as one of the top recruiters in college football because of his tenacity on the trail and ability to relate to prospects given his playing experience and personality.
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