Which five coaches who kicked it all in on the recruiting trail after getting a full year to make their pitch? Which coaches improved in Year Two?
Anything a new head coach can get in a first recruiting class is gravy. It takes more than a year to establish the ties, friendships, and trust with the prospects, making it almost impossible to put together anything amazing right away.
But the nice part about a coach going into Year Two is the relative stability. Of course coaches can and will move or get fired at any time, but when it comes to rolling the dice that a guy might be around five years after a prospect sends in the fax, it’s about as safe as it gets.
Keeping in mind that some coaches and schools – like Willie Taggart at Florida State and Joe Moorhead at Mississippi State – are doing a strong job, but also were good last year, too, here are five coaches who have bumped up their recruiting classes now that they’ve been around for more than a season.
5. Jeremy Pruitt, Tennessee
Tennessee is supposed to be able to recruit among the elite of the elite, but it’s not quite there yet.
The hope was for Pruitt to come in like a speeding recruiting train – like Kirby Smart at Georgia – and sign every other five-star guy right away, but that might be coming soon.
After the disaster and clown show that was the Tennessee coaching search last season – before getting it right – the recruiting took a hit. For a program used to being fixture in the recruiting top 15 – and even moving deep into the top ten at times under Butch Jones – it still came up with a very, very nice class last season.
There might not have been the elite of the elite gets that Alabama and Georgia were able to sign, but there were enough good talents to start the rebuild.
This year’s haul doesn’t have the superstar five-star guys, either, but there are a whole lot of excellent upper-class prospects – and there’s still time to do more. As is, though, Pruitt’s class should put Tennessee back up in the top 15 again in the final recruiting rankings.