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Monday, January 31, 2011
Saban the best recruiting head coach

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Ryan McGee of ESPN The Magazine has tabbed Alabama's Nick Saban as the best recruiting head coach in college football.

Honestly, I don't even think it's close, and I'd go a step further and say that Saban has assembled college football's best recruiting operation at Alabama. There are no undefined roles. Nothing is left to chance, and everybody -- from faculty members, to current players, to school administrators -- is 100 percent on board.

I also agree heartily with McGee that LSU's Les Miles should be in the top 5. McGee has Miles No. 3 nationally behind Southern California's Lane Kiffin. Texas' Mack Brown was No. 4 and Georgia's Mark Richt No. 5.

There's no question that LSU was loaded with talent, thanks to Saban,when Miles arrived in 2005. But Miles has continued to recruit like gangbusters and has been able to go outside the state of Louisiana and recruit talented players such as Patrick Peterson, Kelvin Sheppard and Russell Shepard.

Richt has flexed his recruiting muscles this year and done so with the Bulldogs coming off their first losing season since 1996. It was imperative that Richt answer the disappointment of the 2010 season with a strong recruiting class, and Georgia is on track to put together perhaps the highest-rated class of Richt's tenure.

As McGee points out, Auburn's Gene Chizik is quickly making a bid to join the Big Three in the SEC. To his credit, he assembled an excellent recruiting staff, a staff he's been able to keep intact, and the Tigers are on their way to a second straight Top 10 class nationally.