Take a glimpse at the average college football program's annual budget and one of the biggest line items will almost assuredly be recruiting.
At the University of Georgia -- which, according to an ESPN.com story last year, ranks among the sport's biggest recruiting spenders -- that line item accounted for $600,000 of the football program's $14,069,837 budget in the 2011-12 academic year.
But where does that money go? The only more costly budget items -- coach compensation, stadium expenses for home games, team travel and opponent guarantees -- are straightforward expenses. Recruiting, however, is a more nebulous spending category, and yet few elements in the sport are any more important in building and maintaining a competitive program.