College football recruiting: Ranking the top 10 recruiters that hauled in the Class of 2019
These are the assistants that did the heavy lifting throughout the 2019 recruiting cycle
The 2019 recruiting cycle is in the books, and while a new crop of talent takes center stage across the nation, it's largely the same coaches who are tasked with hunting those prospects down. As the Class of 2020 begins to emerge and a new push gets underway, let's look back at the best recruiters from the 2019 cycle and how they made their mark.
The 247Sports recruiter rankings were used to help create the list below. Check out the entire set of rankings and sort them by conferences by clicking here.
1. Tennessee tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer: Jeremy Pruitt and his Volunteers were one of the biggest storylines of National Signing Day in February thanks in large part to the 30-year old Niedermeyer. The Vols landed five-star offensive tackle Darnell Wright out of West Virginia along with four-star linebacker Henry To'oto'o all the way from northern California, and Niedermeyer was the lead of a staff-wide effort on both. He also landed two prospects to bulk up his own room in tight ends Sean Brown and Jackson Lowe, but it was Niedermeyer's coast-to-coast success getting that signing day coup and four-star Quavarus Crouch in the December early signing period that landed him atop the list of big game hunters in 2019.
2. Texas wide receiver coach Drew Mehringer: Before Tennessee surprised the nation to swipe To'oto'o from Alabama and Washington, it looked like Mehringer would be the nation's top recruiter. The 31-year old will have to settle for No. 2 but can take solace in the fact that he gets to reap all the rewards from his effort. Mehringer was the primary recruiter for one of the best wide receiver classes in the country featuring Texas native Jordan Whittington, Arizona native Jake Smith, Missouri native Marcus Washington and the gem of the class, five-star USC decommit Bru McCoy. Mehringer's relationship with McCoy was critical and Texas nearly landed him in the early signing period before getting him back on board in January.
3. Oklahoma wide receiver coach Dennis Simmons: Oklahoma put together arguably the nation's top offensive skill group. The quarterback, tight end and wide receiver talent collectively was hard to beat and Simmons can take the most credit for those wide receivers. Trejan Bridges and Theo Wease were two of the top pass catchers in Texas, while the nation's No. 1 WR Jadon Haselwood came all the way from Georgia after decommitting from the Bulldogs. Even more impressive is that this ranking doesn't include the significant role Simmons played in the Jalen Hurts recruitment out of the transfer portal.
4. Georgia inside linebackers coach Glenn Schumann: At only 28 years old, Schumann is about to enter his fourth season at Georgia under Kirby Smart. You don't have that kind of success at that age unless you can recruit, and in 2019, all Schumann did was land the No. 1 player in the country, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings. Nolan Smith is an outside linebacker with immediate impact potential. He also landed a versatile four-star linebacker out of Florida named Rian Davis and assisted in the recruitments of some of Georgia's biggest signings such as LB Nakobe Dean, defensive lineman Travon Walker and offensive lineman Clay Webb.
5. Michigan safeties coach, special teams coordinator Chris Partridge: A former New Jersey high school coach that has worked his way up the latter under Jim Harbaugh from an off-field role into special teams coordinator and safeties coach, Partridge has made Michigan incredibly relevant in the state of Georgia. Four-stars Chris Hinton, Trente Jones and Jalen Perry all left SEC country for the Ann Arbor, Michigan. So too did IMG Academy defensive back and Georgia native DJ Turner. Partridge also landed four-stars Quinten Johnson out of Washington, D.C. and David Ojabo out of New Jersey while assisting on the No. 1 safety in the country, Daxton Hill, whom he had to beat out Alabama to land.
6. LSU defensive line coach Dennis Johnson: At age 30, Johnson has become one of the heaviest hitters within the LSU recruiting machine. He was instrumental in helping Ed Orgeron lock down the state of Louisiana once again by securing in-state talents Trey Palmer, Devonta Lee and Joseph Evans. He also went to Texas and landed one of the most athletic defenders in the country in five-star Marcel Brooks. Johnson also had a heavy hand in the continuation of a Polynesian pipeline into Baton Rouge with the signings of Utah native four-star Siaki Ika and JUCO DL Soni Fonua.
7. Penn State running backs coach Ja'Juan Seider: When Seider was hired last year to replace departing running backs coach Charles Huff, he brought with him to Penn State a reputation as a great recruiter, especially in the state of Florida. In Year 1, Seider backed up that reputation. Penn State landed one of the nation's best running back classes with Devyn Ford and Noah Cain, two guys that have the potential to contribute immediately. Cain is a Sunshine State native and Seider landed two more from Florida with him in wide receivers John Dunmore and TJ Jones. He even pulled in a quarterback for the Nittany Lions in Michael Johnson Jr. out of Oregon.
8. Auburn defensive backs coach Marcus Woodson: In his first year at Auburn, Woodson delivered in a big way on his Mississippi roots. The Ole Miss alumnus landed cashed in on a historically good year for talent in the state by pulling in three four-star recruits, all in the defensive front seven. Charles Moore, Jaren Handy and Derick Hall are all rare-bodied, athletic difference makers that Auburn had to beat the in-state powers for in addition to the regional heavyweights. Additionally, Woodson was key in landing versatile athlete Cam'Ron Kelly out of Virginia to add to his own secondary.
9. Georgia offensive coordinator James Coley: Newly promoted, Coley has already made a huge impact in recruiting. Before being hired at Georgia in 2016, the Miami native had coached inside the state of Florida with the Dolphins, FIU, Miami and Florida State every year since 2005. He's also a former high school coach in Florida. That background has helped Georgia find a lot of success over the last few cycles with five-star defensive back Tyrique Stevenson being Coley's most recent gem. He also landed a college-read receiver in Dominick Blaylock and helped add some quarterback depth by flipping Dwan Mathis from Ohio State.
10. Alabama inside linebackers coach, co-defensive coordinator Pete Golding: A Louisiana native with some history coaching in the state, Golding landed two huge commitments from his home state in defensive tackle Ishmael Sopsher and linebacker Christian Harris. Sopsher was a win over LSU that kept the Tigers from landing a virtual sweep of Louisiana, while Harris was a steal from Texas A&M that the Aggies thought was the exact type of player that could help them beat the Tide. Byron Young was also a huge pull out of the state of Mississippi as a typical physical Alabama defensive lineman.
Bonus -- Maryland coach Mike Locksley: If head coaches were eligible for this list, Locksley would be No. 1. Before he left Alabama to take the head coaching job at Maryland, he successfully landed Nick Saban the nation's No. 1 running back in Trey Sanders, the No. 1 offensive tackle in Evan Neal and three of the top four players out of the state of Maryland. When Locksley did arrive at Maryland, he hauled in the only top four player he hadn't already brought to Saban by flipping the No. 1 player in the state Nick Cross from Florida State.
Bonus -- Ohio State coach Ryan Day: Throughout most of the fall, Day operated in a hybrid state. He was acting head coach, then he was offensive coordinator until he was head coach in waiting before finally officially becoming the head guy. In the process, he gets credit for landing and holding on to Garrett Wilson with the help of new receivers coach Brian Hartline. He was critical in landing the nation's top center in Harry Miller out of Georgia and he finished the cycle with a splash by beating the west coast powers for Hawaiian offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi. With big shoes to fill behind Urban Meyer, Day had a strong first act.
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