There’s always pressure on the coaches to come up with a big recruiting season, and these five didn’t. They’ll need to be great on the trail next year.
Daily Five: Coaches Who Had A Tough Recruiting Season
Not every dinner can be your favorite, not every movie can be Pulp Fiction, and not every recruiting class can be epic.
Just ask Nick Saban, who put together a whopper and is still getting dogged.
However, for some big programs and high-profile coaches in need of a talent-infusion, that just didn’t happen this recruiting season.
The common theme on the list of five is size. Typically, if you have a big class, the recruiting service types will like you better – recruiting is a contact sport. However, it’s possible to have a good, smallish class if you bring in a few top prospects. That didn’t quite happen for everyone.
Here are five coaches who had rough recruiting seasons, and need to rock in December to make up for it.
5. Chad Morris, Arkansas
Of course Morris gets a free pass, especially when, well … this …
He took on the job late after Bret Bielema was fired, had absolutely no time to work, and there wasn’t much help in place from the previous staff.
But Arkansas is an SEC school. Send out a few form letters and make sure the fax machine is on, and everyone will rank your class somewhere in the top 30 – unless you’re Missouri or Vanderbilt, of course.
This one should be ranked somewhere in the 50s.
Jeremy Pruitt had 15 minutes to put together a real class, and he did okay. The same went for Dan Mullen and Jimbo Fisher.
But Arkansas isn’t Tennessee, or Florida, or Texas A&M in terms of infrastructure and profile. However, it is supposed to at least keep up with Mississippi State, and Joe Moorhead brought in a nice haul.
To be fair, a lot of this is on the previous staff – it’s not hard when half the job is closing guys who wanted to go there, anyway. More than that, after a few big classes, this was a small one.
However, the talent has to upgrade in a big hurry come late December, and/or the players for the passing game have to check in to do what Morris wants.
– Arkansas Recruiting Class Breakdown
4. Jim Harbaugh, Michigan
This is more about perception than anything else.
Had Michigan beaten Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State on the way to the Big Ten title, or if it hadn’t faceplanted in the bowl loss to South Carolina, coming up with a fringe top-25 class would’ve been seen as a total aberration.
Michigan’s 2017 class was awesome. Universally acknowledged as a top five haul, Jim Harbaugh brought in a ton of young talent to groom, so there wasn’t much room for bulk bodies in this year’s class. But that’s when you’re supposed to land quality over quantity, and there wasn’t enough of either.
USC didn’t have any room for a lot of live bodies. Neither did Alabama or Clemson, but the mega-star talents came rolling into all three programs – and that’s why they’re USC, Alabama and Clemson.
Michigan landed the same number of five-star recruits as Harbaugh has wins over Ohio State.
Combine that with the ultimate indignity of having Georgia swoop in on National Signing Day and flat-steal Wolverine superstar linebacker commitment Otis Reese – along with the monster hauls from Ohio State and Penn State – and this wasn’t a pretty recruiting season.
– Michigan Recruiting Class Breakdown