SEC: Best closers 09
September, 8, 2009
By ESPN.com staff | ESPN.com
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
Picking the best recruiting closers in the SEC is like picking the best of Michael Jordan’s highlights.
How do you pick just five?
Here goes my best college try:
1. Nick Saban, Alabama head coach: Nobody has recruiting down to a science the way Saban does. He leaves no stone unturned and knows every detail about every single prospect the Crimson Tide are recruiting. Look at his last two recruiting classes at Alabama. His handprints are all over them. When Saban gets into the living room with a recruit and his family, rarely does he come in second.
2. Rodney Garner, Georgia assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach: Garner’s been a force when it comes to recruiting in the SEC at three different schools -- Auburn, Tennessee and now Georgia. Just look at the running backs he’s signed. He recruited Stephen Davis to Auburn, Jamal Lewis to Tennessee and Knowshon Moreno to Georgia.
3. Urban Meyer, Florida head coach: While it’s true that Meyer has the most fertile recruiting base in all of college football, he has the Florida recruiting machine rolling to the point where the Gators are picking who they want in that state. But he’s also been able to go outside the state and get great players. See Percy Harvin, Brandon Spikes, Joe Haden, Carlos Dunlap and Aaron Hernandez.
4. Ed Orgeron, Tennessee assistant head coach, recruiting coordinator and defensive line coach: He’s Mr. Relentless and never gives up on a prospect. Players love his passion and the way he relates to them during the whole process, which can obviously be crazy at times. He’s been a wiz at bringing in great defensive linemen wherever he’s been, and has also been known to turn kids at the last minute. The Vols got three nationally rated prospects after signing day this past February.
5. Larry Porter, LSU assistant head coach and running backs coach: Every good recruiting staff has a go-to guy. Porter is the Tigers’ go-to guy and a big reason they’ve continued to pull in highly ranked classes every year. He’s gotten kids out of Texas, out of Louisiana and all points in between. The players he’s recruited all say the same thing about Porter: He builds a sense of trust with them that’s hard to say no to.
12:00 PM ET Troy 13 Georgia 3:30 PM ET 6 Texas A&M SMU 3:30 PM ET Florida 3 Alabama 4:00 PM ET Indiana 18 Missouri 7:00 PM ET Northern Illinois Arkansas 7:00 PM ET Mississippi State 8 LSU 7:30 PM ET 14 South Carolina Vanderbilt