Recruiting is done primarily in college football by assistant coaches, many of whom have gained national prominence for their work in the area. Here’s a look at five recruiters from the Big 12 who are currently “hot” names on the trail for the 2013 cycle.
Bill Bedenbaugh of West Virginia has had a successful run on the recruiting trail this cycle.
Bill Bedenbaugh, West Virginia
The offensive line coach has risen through the ranks relatively quickly and has made his name as a top recruiter for the Mountaineers. Though his only coaching stops in the Midwest were in the late 90s, he has recruited the area very well this year. He landed West Virginia’s top commitment and the nation’s No. 182 overall prospect Shelton Gibson from Cleveland. He also received a pledge from Ohio linebacker Darrien Howard. On recruiting the offensive line, Bedenbaugh went into New Jersey and beat the likes of Florida, Michigan and Ohio State for tackle Marcell Lazard and found a junior college sleeper in Stone Underwood.
Jeff Blasko, Kansas
The special teams coordinator and tight end coach is a huge reason why the Jayhawks still have a Top 50 class in the country despite a 1-11 finish this season. In his first year of coaching after previously serving in quality control and GA capacities, Blasko has become a force to be reckoned with on the West Coast. He landed perhaps the most impressive signee ever for Kansas in junior college defensive tackle Marquel Combs, who had offers from nearly every SEC school. He also received a commitment from former five-star high school defensive end Chris Martin as well as other JUCO standouts Samson Faifili, Ahongalu Fusimalohi, Marcus Jenkins-Moore and Cassius Sendish. In addition he went to Hawaii to land high school linebacker Colton Goeas and almost had Army All-American offensive guard Reeve Koehler on board.
Jim Gush, Baylor
The Bears’ linebacker coach held onto a huge prize from the 2012 recruiting cycle when Hargrave Military Academy linebacker Brian Nance again signed with the Bears out of prep school. His biggest score, though, was beating Texas for the pledge of five-star wide receiver Robbie Rhodes and holding onto him when other schools made furious runs. He was also responsible for four-star athlete Kyle Fulks, one of the fastest players in the state, as well as high three-star receiver Quan Jones. He held off Oklahoma for the services of linebacker Raaquan Davis and also landed Byron Bonds, Xavier Phillips, Taion Sells-Warner and Kevin Smith. He could add even more to his outstanding year if he is able to flip Texas A&M quarterback commit Kenny Hill, who recently officially visited Baylor.
Stacy Searels, Texas
Texas does not have a huge class with only 14 commitments but the Longhorns are still No. 12 overall in the 247Sports Composite team rankings and No. 1 in the Big 12. Searels, the offensive line coach, is a huge reason for that. He has been at least partially responsible for every offensive lineman committed in the class, which could go down as one of the tops at the position of all time. A’Shawn Robinson is a five-star prospect while Kent Perkins is barely outside that range. Darius James is a composite five-star while Jake Raulerson is a versatile prospect and ranked among the top 150 players in the country. He also scored a huge commitment on Monday when Desmond Harrison, the top junior college offensive lineman in the country, announced for the Longhorns. He will also likely receive a pledge in the near future from four-star guard and former Baylor commit Rami Hammad.
Glenn Spencer, Oklahoma State
The Cowboys’ defensive coordinator has not landed a huge quantity of commitments but he has hauled in three of the top pledges for Oklahoma State. Spencer is a little more hands-on in recruiting than many coordinators and it paid off early when the Cowboys landed four-star defensive tackle Vincent Taylor from San Antonio. The athletic big man could end up being a big steal. Spencer also went into Georgia to grab two top Peach State prospects. Defensive end Naim Mustafaa was a longtime commit of the Georgia Bulldogs before flipping at the very last minute and enrolling at Oklahoma State this semester. Safety Darius Curry was also convinced to leave the state and region despite offers from the likes of Auburn, Mississippi State and Tennessee.