Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Best Pac-12 recruiters
By Erik McKinney
Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.
With money pouring in from television deals with the Pac-12 Network, ESPN and Fox, recruiting is heating up in the Pac-12 conference like never before. Every program in the conference has either recently made huge upgrades to its football facilities or will do so in the near future, and assistant coaches in the Pac-12 are reaping the rewards. The conference has become something of a shark tank on the recruiting scene, and narrowing the entire group down to a top 10 was almost as difficult as the task these coaches face in going against each other for the region's top recruits.
1. Lance Anderson, OLB coach, Stanford
Forget the facts that Anderson was the key cog in the Cardinal signing one of the best offensive line classes in the history of college football in 2012 and that he took the lead in getting commitments from Georgia standouts Kirk Tucker (Tucker, Ga./Tucker) and Denzel Franklin (Atlanta/Pace Academy) in the 2014 class and Arrington Farrar (College Park, Ga./Woodward Academy) in the 2015 class. Anderson would top this list simply due to his standing as the admissions liaison on the Cardinal staff. He works with every one of Stanford's recruits and commits to make sure they hit every stringent requirement for admission, which makes him a vital component for a staff that has put together phenomenal recruiting classes in recent years.
2. Adrian Klemm, OL coach, UCLA
Klemm made himself right at home upon returning to Los Angeles after a stint at SMU and has established himself as one of the top recruiters in the country, let alone the conference. With the 2013 class, Klemm set his sights on putting together a strong offensive line class, and he delivered with seven signees -- two of whom are now starting. This year, he wasn't able to hang on to commitments from two junior college tackles who committed early in the process, but Klemm will keep the Bruins in the discussion for several of the top prospects in Southern California.
3. Tosh Lupoi, DL coach, Washington
Lupoi made a name for himself as an assistant at California and didn't miss a beat when he made the move to Washington. He keeps the Huskies in the mix for the top prospects in the region and across the country. His youthfulness and passion resonates with recruits, who often can't quite put their finger on what exactly makes him such a good recruiter, but continue to say that there is just something about him with which they connect.
4. Tony Dews, WR coach, Arizona
In his second season at Arizona, Dews has made a quick impact on the recruiting trail. Responsible for the Los Angeles area, Dews landed commitments from teammates Rodney Carr and Jamardre Cobb (Los Angeles/Salesian) as well as quarterback Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) in the 2014 class. He also assisted with Cameron Denson (Tucson, Ariz./Salpointe Catholic), Jonathan Haden (Washington/Friendship Collegiate Academy) and Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco). The Wildcats have done a terrific job in Southern California each of the past three classes, and Dews has been at the heart of much of it.
5. Tee Martin, WR coach, USC
USC assistant coach Tee Martin had plenty of success with Robert Woods and Marqise Lee.
Martin didn't have much experience in Southern California after playing at Tennessee and coaching at New Mexico and Kentucky, but it spoke volumes that former head coach Lane Kiffin put Martin in charge of several of high-priority local recruits for the Trojans, including those at target-rich programs Gardena (Calif.) Serra and Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. The success of Robert Woods and Marqise Lee under Martin gives him instant credibility with recruits, and like a number of the other coaches on this list, recruits say there's just something about Martin's personality and demeanor that makes him accessible and relatable.
6. Gary Campbell, RB coach, Oregon
Several Ducks coaches could have made this list, as Scott Frost, Don Pellum and Steve Greatwood all draw strong reviews from recruits, but it's tough to argue with Campbell's results at the running back position. De'Anthony Thomas was the headliner of the 2011 class, but Tra Carson -- since transferred to Texas A&M -- was in that class as well. The 2012 class included Byron Marshall, the No. 10 tailback in the country and the younger brother of an Arizona State standout. In 2013, Oregon signed Thomas Tyner, the No. 6 back in the nation, and the Ducks have already hit two home runs in the 2014 class with ESPN 300 prospects Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif./Imperial) and Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville).
7. Noel Mazzone, offensive coordinator, UCLA
The Bruins' success in Arizona can't all be credited to Mazzone, but he deserves praise for a significant chunk of it. While serving as the offensive coordinator at Arizona State, Mazzone missed out on Brett Hundley, but he was able to join the top target one year later at UCLA. His time at ASU gave him plenty of credibility in the eyes of Arizona recruits, and in the 2012 class the Bruins were able to sign Javon Williams and Paul Perkins, then follow that up with a terrific trio of Priest Willis, Jalen Ortiz and Kenny Lacy in the 2013 class. In 2014, the Bruins are already on the board with Dionte Sykes (Chandler, Ariz./Chandler).
8. Joe Seumalo, DL coach, Oregon State
Seumalo's success as a recruiter has gone largely unnoticed by the general public, but the Beavers' defensive line coach has turned into a force in California's Inland Empire and with junior college defensive linemen. In 2013, Oregon State signed two of the top 10 juco defensive tackles in addition to nine players out of the Inland Empire. The 2014 class of commits doesn't have any from that area, but it is strong on the defensive line, with Sumner Houston (Concord, Calif./De La Salle), Shane Bowman (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) and Glyeb Ewing (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon).
9. Chip Long, tight ends, Arizona State
As the Sun Devils' recruiting coordinator, Long has Arizona State out to a strong start this season. He set a plan in motion to begin locking down the Arizona borders, and while some of the top players have left the state, the Sun Devils remain in contention for ESPN 300 teammates Casey Tucker and Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton). Long also strayed outside the state to reel in one of the biggest commitments in this class in ESPN 300 defensive end Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic).
10. Rod Smith, co-offensive coordinator/quarterbacks, Arizona