Commentary

Top 10 giants on the recruiting trail

Originally Published: June 7, 2012
By Dave Telep | ESPN RecruitingNation
This list represents the most-feared programs on the trail. In short, if your school is recruiting against one of these teams, you're concerned because of their success rate. This is not a popularity contest about who gets listed by the most prospects. We didn't just add up the numbers of who got the most players or which team cranked out the most draft picks. The teams on this list close players; plain and simple. These programs, in recent years, have experienced sustained recruiting success and are schools other recruiters fear most.

Criteria included:
• Highest-level talent added and fought for on a consistent basis
• Strength of the opponents you recruit against for players
• Ability to not only make the lists of recruits, but be a factor in the final lists
• Current recruiting momentum alongside recent success
• Ability to step outside your natural geographic region and land recruits
• Ability to close the hardest and shut down a recruit's decision-making process before any other programs enter the equation

Note: This list has different levels. Kentucky occupies its own tier, and there's a sizeable gulf (at the moment) between North Carolina and Duke. Kansas, which is No. 4, has moved up and down this list in the last decade but typically is in the conversation as a feared recruiting predator.