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Rival Views: Which head coaches are the best recruiters?

 
Adam Gorney and Mike Farrell
Rivals.com

Rivals.com National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell and National Recruiting Analyst Adam Gorney don’t always see eye to eye. In this edition of Rival Views, the two debate the five best head coaches on the recruiting trail..

 

FARRELL'S VIEW

Nick Saban
 
 
 
 
Nick Saban (AP Images)

1. Nick Saban — is there any doubt? With Urban Meyer gone this is a no-brainer, and even with Meyer it was a debate. Alabama is always in the mix for the top recruiting class in the country and he led LSU to the No 1 class as well. No one can compete with that.

2. Dabo Swinney — The job Swinney does is amazing because he still doesn’t allow commits to take visits and he never loses kids to decommitments. If the Tigers were able to take bigger classes he’d have a No. 1 class by now and 2020 should be his first.

3. Kirby Smart — Back-to-back No 1 classes is no joke and Smart has taken Georgia recruiting to the next level with national pull. It’s a toss-up between Swinney and Smart for me.

4. Tom Herman — Herman may be an odd choice since he’s only been at Texas for a couple of years, but the job he did at Houston was exceptional and now he’s dominating the state at Texas. And he’s just getting started.

5. Jimbo Fisher — Over Lincoln Riley and others? Yes, because you have to include the Florida State years as well and he did an amazing job there. Now Texas A&M is a recruiting power in one of the most competitive regions in the country.

GORNEY'S VIEW

Kirby Smart
 
 
 
 
Kirby Smart (AP Images)

1. Nick Saban - Alabama had an incredible run of team recruiting titles over the past decade and the Crimson Tide can basically pick and choose five-stars and highly-rated four-stars to put in their class. Saban is a great closer, his staff targets and aggressively goes after big-time winners, and every recruiting class is loaded. He and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian were responsible for getting four-star QB 

 to flip over the weekend from USC and that’s just another big recruiting win for Saban.

2. Kirby Smart - Smart is right there, though. Maybe the best head coach recruiter in the last two cycles, Smart is putting together a team to not only compete for SEC titles but to win national championships. The 2018 class was arguably one of the best ever in the history of Rivals with eight five-stars and then three other players who were on the cusp of that ranking. Georgia has won back-to-back recruiting titles and the Bulldogs’ quarterback recruiting is so good that they lost two five-stars in 

and   to transfer and still have a potential first-rounder in   starting.

3. Dabo Swinney - He gets players to campus early, gets them to fall in love with the place for reasons on and off the field, gets their commitments and then there is very little drama with those prospects for the remainder of the recruiting cycle. There is a lot to love about Clemson but a lot of elite athletes are picking the Tigers over Georgia, Alabama, the Florida schools and other places. This recruiting class could be epic as well as there is a very real possibility Clemson could land the top four prospects in 2020.

4. Jimbo Fisher - The job Fisher did with the 2019 class of in-state prospects was incredibly impressive as he landed five-star defensive end 

, who could be a future star, along with fellow five-stars   and  . Others had longer relationships with those players but it didn’t matter because Fisher is a terrific recruiter and people want to play for him. There is always talk that A&M is the sleeping giant nationally and despite the outcome of the game this past weekend by losing to Auburn, I believe it. If Fisher keeps recruiting so well, watch out in the coming years.

5. Lincoln Riley - I thought about putting LSU coach Ed Orgeron in the fifth spot but I decided to go with Riley because he’s not only a genius offensive mind but he’s in a tough place geographically to recruit and he still does an extraordinary job. Recently, Riley has done the best job in the transfer portal - which is a vital place to own recruiting now - by getting former Alabama quarterback 

 to Norman among others. Players see huge results on the field so recruiting sometimes takes care of itself in many ways with Riley but he’s still excellent at what he does.

 

https://n.rivals.com/news/rival-views-which-head-coaches-are-the-best-recruiters-

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Word is, there is indeed reason for hope, as Contractor earlier pointed to, with a certain 5 star DB out of Arizona. Despite his commitment elsewhere, we have remained in contact and it has to a small degree, proved fruitful. Said commit will be visiting Oregon on Oct. 11 and will visit Texas again, this time an OV.

If cards are played right, this could be the second biggest get of the class.

Right now, there's reason for hope and thats all.

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Also from IT, ATH Kelvontay Dixon (brother of Keaontay Ingram) of Carthage was spotted at the game on Saturday night.

Carrington started following him recently, but difficult to say if he'll have a spot in the class with WR LV Bunkley-Shelton looking like your take at slot and there only being a few scholarships left for the senior class.

https://247sports.com/Player/Kelvontay-Dixon-46041043/

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1 hour ago, TFloss32 said:

Also from IT, ATH Kelvontay Dixon (brother of Keaontay Ingram) of Carthage was spotted at the game on Saturday night.

Carrington started following him recently, but difficult to say if he'll have a spot in the class with WR LV Bunkley-Shelton looking like your take at slot and there only being a few scholarships left for the senior class.

https://247sports.com/Player/Kelvontay-Dixon-46041043/

I've been told Dixon is going to flip and LVB-S will never take that visit here.

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26 minutes ago, Sirhornsalot said:

I've been told Dixon is going to flip and LVB-S will never take that visit here.

No doubt in my mind Dixon will flip if given the "go ahead" to do so, but that'd be a premature move by the staff right now even if Bunkley-Shelton already told them he's not coming.

Dixon can be had late, and the staff is banking on having a great season which would only continue their hot recruiting momentum.

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2 hours ago, TFloss32 said:

No doubt in my mind Dixon will flip if given the "go ahead" to do so, but that'd be a premature move by the staff right now even if Bunkley-Shelton already told them he's not coming.

Dixon can be had late, and the staff is banking on having a great season which would only continue their hot recruiting momentum.

Thats the thing . . . I don't think he can be had late. Timing is everything and the timing is about to be right.

I think what it boils down to is the staff really likes what they're seeing of Dixon so far this year. Why go to Cali to get what can be had right in your own backyard, if it's ready to come?

Otherwise, we wouldn't be talking much about him right now.

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1 hour ago, TFloss32 said:

DE Alfred Collins of Bastrop Cedar Creek told 247 he will officially visit Texas on October 18th for the Kansas game.

https://247sports.com/Player/Alfred-Collins-46047351/

Any idea how many visits he's taken so far? Meaning OVs to other schools. Are we the last?

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9 minutes ago, Sirhornsalot said:

Any idea how many visits he's taken so far? Meaning OVs to other schools. Are we the last?

He's been to OU, and just got back from Alabama.

He is scheduled to see A&M for the Alabama game on 10/12, and then Texas the following week.

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42 minutes ago, Sirhornsalot said:

Thats the thing . . . I don't think he can be had late. Timing is everything and the timing is about to be right.

I think what it boils down to is the staff really likes what they're seeing of Dixon so far this year. Why go to Cali to get what can be had right in your own backyard, if it's ready to come?

Otherwise, we wouldn't be talking much about him right now.

That makes sense. 

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3 hours ago, Sirhornsalot said:

Thats the thing . . . I don't think he can be had late. Timing is everything and the timing is about to be right.

I think what it boils down to is the staff really likes what they're seeing of Dixon so far this year. Why go to Cali to get what can be had right in your own backyard, if it's ready to come?

Otherwise, we wouldn't be talking much about him right now.

I'll leave it at this...

- if Dixon has a chance to flip to Texas in November/December and be with his brother, and he decides to stay with a team that might be firing their coach for a 3-9 type of season, then that will be one of the more incredibly loyal and highly questionable decisions I've seen in a very long time. Maybe he can room with Jalen Catalon.

- I'm always for the idea of taking a Texas kid over an OOS kid if they're comparable, but I believe Bunkley-Shelton is just that much better and worth waiting for if you're getting good vibes. Like I said above, because of that reason, taking Dixon now would be a premature move and ill-advised imo. This isn't like Jaxon Smith-Njigba telling you he wants in and you don't ask questions. Scholarship numbers are too tight.

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