247Sports takes a look the 12 assistant coaching moves so far this off-season that will have major impacts from a recruiting standpoint.
Chris Rumph has joined Charlie Strong's staff at Texas.
Chris Rumph, DL, Alabama to Texas - Big-time hire for Charlie Strong’s new staff at Austin in landing one of America’s elite defensive line coaches. Known as one of the true good guys in the business, Rumph helped assemble one of the nation’s most loaded rosters over the last three years at Alabama aiding the Crimson Tide to a pair of National Championships.
He should immediately help Strong’s staff in the Dallas area and give them further in-roads in the Southeast including Tampa/Orlando, Atlanta and the Carolinas as Strong looks to compliment the top instate talent he can land in Texas with some of some of the nation’s best. For 2015, Rumph already has strong rapports with 5-star DT Shy Tuttle, 5-star DE CeCe Jefferson, 4-star RB Jacques Patrick and 4-star DT Albert Huggins.
Jeremy Pruitt, DC, Florida State to Georgia - Was named the 247Sports National Recruiter of the Year in 2012 while he was an assistant at Alabama. Pruitt landed seven commits this cycle including four-star LBs Delvin Purifoy and Kain Daub for the Seminoles. He was able to get Demarcus Walker and Jalen Ramsey to flip late last cycle for FSU as well.
While at Alabama, Pruitt signed the likes of T.J. Yeldon, Chris Black and Eddie Williams. The young, energetic coach relates well with the recruits and with the High School coaches alike. He has a great rapport with 5-star CB Marlon Humphrey and figures to help Georgia in its effort to close on 5-star DE Lorenzo Carter.
Pruitt has especially been effective on the 1-10 corridor, including the Georgia hotbed of Jacksonville, and figures to increase the Bulldogs odds for 2015 studs like CeCe Jefferson, Jeffery Holland and John Burt in that area.
Larry Johnson, DL, Penn State to Ohio State - The longtime, well-respected assistant is one of America’s top recruiters and defensive line coaches. He’s extremely well thought of in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast areas. Most high school coaches in that region swear by him as the best in the business. Johnson personally signed a who’s who of the best to play at Penn State over the last 18 years including the likes of Garrett Sickles, Adam Breneman, Derrick Williams, Courtney Brown and many, many more.
Urban Meyer figures to turn him loose on all of the top prospects from Virginia up to New York. Johnson already has a rapport with many of them. Look for the Buckeyes to strengthen their pull with the likes of 2015 studs Darius Fullwood, Marcus Lewis, Kareem Ali, Richie Petitbon, Brandon Wimbush, Steven Gonzalez, Grant Newsome, Adam McLean, Isaiah Prince, Jalen Christian, Tim Settle, Josh Sweat, Ricky DeBerry, Clelin Ferrell, John Reid and Matthew Burrell because of Johnson.
Larry Johnson leaves Penn State for rival Ohio State after 18 years on the staff.
Lane Kiffin, OC, USC to Alabama - Can you imagine turning Kiffin loose with Tide wide receiver coach Billy Napier? Two of the best, young go-getting recruiters in America. Napier, the No. 4 recruiter in 247Sports rankings, is a bulldog on the trail and adding Kiffin to the mix will help Nick Saban get into the lead group and close for the nation’s best offensive recruits.
Kiffin helped fuel that special 2003 class at USC when the Trojans inked Reggie Bush, Lendale White and Steve Smith. He led the way in the following years as USC signed as good of classes as they were in the country from 2004-06.
Kiffin will help Alabama in southern California and nationally. His main priority right away will be keeping 2015 five-star QB Ricky Town on board with Alabama. Going forward look for Kiffin to use his NFL and college background to help sway Top 5 national running backs, offensive linemen and receivers in the 2015 class to come the way of the Tide.
When originally hired by Lane Kiffin, Martin was used as a national recruiter by the Trojans and signed Kenny Bigelow, Leon McQuay II, Khaliel Rodgers, Quinton Powell and Steven Mitchell using his extensive ties in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic.
He’s since been shifted to work Los Angeles over the past year and the results have been huge for USC. Martin has personally landed eight commits this cycle, all from SoCal, including four-star WR Rahshead Johnson and four-star OL Chris Brown. Martin has USC on deck to land four-star OL Damien Mama, a Crystal Ball projection to USC, on National Signing Day and he has the Trojans very much in the game for five-star CB Adoree’ Jackson and four-star ATH JuJu Smith.
If Sarkisian wisley keeps the wide receivers coach in L.A. for 2015, the Trojans could be in for a major haul as Martin already has a strong rapport with studs like Iman Marshall, Rasheem Green, John Houston, Keisean Lucier-South, Cordell Broadus, Sheriron Jones, Joseph Wicker, Zach Robertson and Kanya Bell. All of these recruits are four-star prospects or better and inside the Top 25 recruits in California next cycle.
Kevin Steele, Director of Player Personnel to LBs coach, Alabama - He already knows the recruiting operation inside-out at this powerhouse program since he ran it. Now getting the Man of Steele back on the road gives Saban a powerhouse force on the recruiting trail. Steele organized and ran the Tide’s operation which has resulted in this year’s current No. 1 recruiting class by 247Sports. But getting back on the road, in the homes of recruits where he thrives and in front of prospects and high school coaches on a regular basis will see an immediate dividends to add to Alabama’s already strong recruiting efforts.
Steele was named the National Recruiter of the Year in 2006 by Rivals.com.
Some of his notable signings at his last three stops included Stephone Anthony (Clemson), Christian Ponder (FSU) and Barrett Jones (Alabama).
Steele has extensive ties in south Florida, the Carolinas, Texas and throughout the Southeast that will continue to aide the Crimson Tide going forward.
Walt Bell, North Carolina TEs to Arkansas State OC - He was Larry Fedora’s top recruiter in Chapel Hill personally landing 11 commits in the 2014 class. Bell, who was UNC’s recruiting coordinator, racked up in metro Atlanta and Virginia often times beating out big-name recruiters and programs in the process. A huge hire for new coach Blake Anderson to get this young hustler. Look for Bell to use his ties throughout the Southeast and work ethic to crank talent into Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Damon Cogdell, Miramar (Fla.) HS to West Virginia - The Mountaineers alum is a big hire for Dana Holgorsen for many reasons. The thought at times is to hire a south Florida recruiter who may be able to land talent from the nation’s richest grounds. There is no may with Cogdell. It’s already happened. Two days after his hire, West Virginia landed a commit from four-star DB Kendrell McFadden. They are in prime shape to land his teammate, Alex Anderson, this summer and Yodny Cajuste later this month. The hire will also help WVU’s efforts to hold onto its commit of 2015 four-star WR Jovon Durante. Cogdell sent Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey and Ivan McCartney to WVU from Miramar and the pipeline from south Florida looks to only be beginning.
Roger Harriott, Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) University School to Florida Atlantic RBs - Charlie Partridge, a native of Plantation (Fla.), was wise to hire one of the area’s top HS coaches to his staff. The move made immediate dividends as the Owls landed its biggest name recruit ever, 4-star RB Jordan Scarlett, on the day Harriott was hired. They’ll also instantly be in the game for Sam Bruce and Rashad Causey, who like Scarlett, also played for Harriott. Harriott is familiar with all of the top 2015-18 talent in Broward and Dade Counties and should give FAU a better shot than normal to land talent from its backyard focus.
Tommie Robinson, RBs, USC to Texas - Kids want to play for a guy that knows what it takes to get them to the league. Robinson has an extensive NFL background having coached for the Dallas Cowboys (1998-2000) and Arizona Cardinals (2010-2012). Robinson also worked for Georgia Tech, Miami and USC and has ties to all three talent hotbeds. He served as an assistant at TCU in the mid 90s and will use those Texas ties, along with his time as a coach for the Cowboys, to get in on the best talent in the Lone Star State.
Kennedy Polamalu, Loyola (Calif.) assistant coach to UCLA RBs - Regarded as one of the most well-respected coaches/recruiters in Los Angeles. This hire gives Jim Mora continued respect in its backyard as the battles against USC and the rest of the Pac-12 transpire in the years to come. The longtime assistant with USC and former Trojan recruited and coached Hershel Dennis and Justin Fargas. He also has five years of NFL coaching experience, a major draw to the top talent in southern California. Polamalu adds another strong recruiter on a staff filled with them including mega-recruiter Adrian Klemm.
Mike Sanford, Stanford RBs to Boise State OC - While at Stanford, the young assistant was one of the strongest recruiters on the West Coast and an elite recruiter in the PAC-12. This cycle he landed Christian McCaffrey, Keller Chryst and Brandon Simmons for the Cardinal. In 2013, he landed four-star recruits Ryan Burns, Peter Kalambayi and Francois Owusu. Sanford, only 31 years old, was Stanford’s recruiting coordinator and knows how to organize a plan that can be successful both regionally and nationally finding needed talent and hidden gems, a key dynamic for the Broncos’ success.