Recruits pick schools for a wide variety of reasons: program prestige, potential playing time, location, even (cough) academics.
UCLA assistant Adrian Klemm, one of 247Sports' National Recruiter of the Year candidates for the 2012 class, has already made a major impact since joining the Bruins from SMU.
But make no mistake, the most important factor in the recruiting process is relationships – especially between prospect, his support group and the assistant coaches charged with his recruitment.
Here are five offseason coaching moves that are likely to change the dynamic of the recruiting landscape for the 2013 class:
Perhaps no staff in the country upgraded its recruiting prowess more than UCLA did through new coach Jim Mora Jr.’s personnel hires.
Secondary coach Demetrice Martin was regarded as Washington’s chief recruiter. Ditto for running backs coach Steve Broussard on Arizona State’s displaced staff.
Yet the coup may have been netting Klemm, regarded as a rising star in recruiting circles, from SMU. Klemm, who earned three Super Bowl rings as an offensive lineman with the New England Patriots, drew accolades in 2010 for drawing some coveted inner-city California athletes to the Mustangs. His ability to relate to that demographic – he was once that kid himself – figures to serve the Bruins well.
UCLA and Washington are already changing the dynamic of West Coast recruiting by getting their foot in the door a lot earlier with prospects.
It's fair to assume Mike Locksley played a huge hand in landing five-star receiver Stefon Diggs upon his hiring Dec. 22.
Um, please turn your attention to Exhibit A, five-star receiver Stefon Diggs, who signed Friday with Maryland after apparently eliminating the hometown Terps a matter of two months earlier.
Locksley’s stint as New Mexico’s coach dubiously shaped his public perception. But it’s hardly affected his recruiting proficiency – especially when placed in the cozy confines of his native stomping grounds, which is likewise the Terps’ back yard.
He relates to the local players and coaches and has a lengthy track record of securing Washington D.C. prospects, proof of the support those coaches give in return.
The stakes just got raised for programs like Penn State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia that routinely mine the Washington D.C. area.
Lupoi’s defection from California to Washington last month triggered the offseason’s seismic shake-up to the Pac-12 recruiting pecking order.
Within a matter of weeks, the Huskies had sliced their 2012 class ranking in half (they finished No. 28), nabbing former Cal pledge and five-star safety commitment Shaq Thompson, receiver Jaydon Mickens as well as Bears cornerback lean Brandon Beaver.
Lupoi sold Cal well, a byproduct of his personality combined with the passion developed for the place through his deep ties there. But here’s expecting him to relate just as well with the Huskies, where he reunites with one of his mentors, defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox.
UNC assistant Gunter Brewer's resume of NFL receivers figures to be a selling point for the state's No. 1 prospect in 2013, WR MarQuez North.
The battles between USC, Oregon, UCLA and Washington should be fascinating in the near future.
OK, so we’re copping out by selecting a head coach.
But here’s the deal: UNC hasn’t really locked down its state in recruiting since Mack Brown’s departure two decades ago, and this past cycle magnified the erosion as North Carolina’s top 10 prospects all left the state.
Upon arriving from Southern Miss, Fedora pinned an immediate emphasis on restoring the Tar Heels’ brand within the borders, and response from the state’s crop of legit prospects has been overwhelmingly favorable.
That noted, UNC’s three early commitments are from the neighboring locales, an area which it already had stood strong. The real test will be whether the Tar Heels can make gains in the Charlotte and Greensboro regions, where Florida, Clemson and South Carolina in particular have carved greater prestige.
Look for receivers coach Gunter Brewer and offensive line coach Chris Kapilovic to help make the Tar Heels contenders for several of the prime in-state targets.
Porter’s stretch as Memphis coach went miserably, but the problems in that program reputedly extend well beyond the football offices.
Alas, Porter surfaced last month on new Arizona State coach Todd Graham’s staff, providing instant punch to the Sun Devils’ recruiting prowess.
Porter made his name recruiting as LSU’s running backs coach from 2005-09, dipping into Texas to lure a bevy of high-profile targets.
It would be unrealistic for Porter to land that level of talent for ASU. But those Texas ties, credibility and marketing skills should come in handy as the Sun Devils seek to reestablish an identity, especially with recognized Rich Rodriguez reuniting his old band across the way at Arizona.
247Sports national analyst Barton Simmons believes many Pac-12 programs, a la the SEC, have now realized the value in having an ace recruiter on the payroll. Porter puts ASU in the game.