- Jeremy Crabtree, RecruitingNation
The Ultimate ESPN 300 recruiter power rankings is a look at which assistant coaches have done the best on the recruiting trail from 2006 through 2013. Beyond looking at how many four- or five-star recruits were landed in that period, the rankings take into account how well those players performed once they arrived on campus.
Current head coaches weren't considered, which eliminates many great recruiters. Producing the list was a challenge, as compelling cases can be made for a number of other coaches.
1. Lance Thompson
Current school: Linebackers coach, Alabama
2006-2013 positions: Defensive coordinator, UCF (2004-2006); linebackers coach, Alabama (2007-2008); linebackers coach, Tennessee (2009-2011)
Top recruit 2006-2013: Julio Jones
What he's done: Looking for a way to describe Thompson's success on the trail? Just ask one of the best players he landed. "He is the best recruiter ever," A.J. McCarron said in 2008 after picking Alabama. The job Thompson did with the 2008 class helped set the table for Alabama's national title runs, and it included household names like Jones, Mark Barron, Robert Lester and McCarron. In 2009, he signed D.J. Fluker and Trent Richardson, both first-round NFL draft picks. While at Tennessee, he was able to land all-SEC selections Christian Harris and Ja'Waun James, before returning to Alabama to land highly touted recruits Jonathan Allen, Robert Foster and Da'Shawn Hand in the 2013 and 2014 classes.