How potential Florida coaching targets fare on recruiting front

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Whoever becomes Florida’s next football coach will be tasked with keeping the Gators’ next two recruiting classes intact while also ensuring he can keep the momentum rolling.

Florida’s 2018 class is ranked 10th nationally and second in the SEC by the 247Sports composite, while the 2019 class is ranked No. 1 overall in the early going.

But with a coaching search in the process, some commits are wavering on their decisions. That was evidenced by top-100 wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase de-commiting on Wednesday.

RELATED: Florida AD Scott Stricklin reassures recruits he’ll make the right coaching hire

Here’s a look at how the top candidates have fared on the recruiting front during their tenures as head coaches. Candidates are listed alphabetically and all rankings are based on the 247Sports composite. Bold italics in the tables signify the coach’s first recruiting class at his current school.

Iowa State’s Matt Campbell

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David Purdy/Getty Images

Matt Campbell is in his first stint as a head coach at a Power 5 school, currently serving his second year at Iowa State. And while the Cyclones aren’t known particularly for their recruiting prowess, Iowa State’s recruiting classes under Campbell have improved.

Iowa State recruiting classes

Year National ranking Big 12 ranking
2018 58 8
2017 52 7
2016 55 8
2015 64 9
2014 59 10
2013 63 9

UCF’s Scott Frost

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Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Scott Frost has used the fertile recruiting grounds in Florida to his advantage. After his holdover class in 2016 ranked 65th nationally and fourth in the American Athletic Conference, his 2017 class topped the conference and ranked 55th nationally. His 2018 class could finish in the top 50.

UCF recruiting classes

Year National ranking AAC ranking
2018 44 1
2017 55 1
2016 65 4
2015 71 3
2014 68 3
2013 79 8

Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente

florida gators-justin fuente
Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Justin Fuente’s first recruiting class in 2016 took a hit relative to Virginia Tech’s success under Frank Beamer, but he has since righted the course. His completed 2017 class and current 2018 class are both top-30 products and fourth in the ACC, on par with where the Hokies have usually fared.

Virginia Tech recruiting classes

Year National ranking ACC ranking
2018 24 4
2017 26 4
2016 42 8
2015 29 5
2014 28 4
2013 21 4

Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen

mississippi-state-bulldogs-football
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Mississippi State has always been a perennial middle-of-the-road SEC team in terms of recruiting, but Dan Mullen has certainly had his moments during his tenure leading the Bulldogs. Of his nine completed classes, five have finished in the top 25 nationally. His 2018 class is ranked 15th in the country and fifth in the SEC, which would make for his highest-ranked finish on both fronts. Also, Mullen has the Sunshine State connection from his tenure as the Gators’ defensive coordinator.

Mississippi State recruiting classes

Year National ranking SEC ranking
2018 15 5
2017 24 9
2016 28 11
2015 18 8
2014 36 12
2013 24 10
2012 22 9
2011 41 11
2010 30 8
2009 18 8
2008 53 10
2007 34 9

Memphis’ Mike Norvell

mike norvell-florida gators-coaching search
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Memphis is by no means a powerhouse on the national recruiting scene, but Mike Norvell — as well as Fuente before him — has helped the program keep pace in the American Athletic Conference. Norvell’s first two classes were ranked in the top 3 in the AAC. His 2018 class, though, is a bit behind, ranked just 75th nationally and seventh in the conference.

Memphis’ recruiting classes

Year National ranking AAC ranking
2018 75 7
2017 56 2
2016 61 3
2015 77 4
2014 78 7
2013 90 11

Oregon’s Willie Taggart

WILLIE TAGGART-FLORIDA GATORS-FOOTBALL
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Willie Taggart is working on just his second class at Oregon, but his Florida ties are apparent in his 2018 group that ranks sixth nationally. Three of Oregon’s top seven commits are from the Sunshine State, highlighted by 4-star wide receiver Warren Thompson from Seffner, Fla. Taggart — born and raised in Bradenton, Fla., with a three-year coaching stint at USF under his belt — would likely have no problem working the recruiting trails in his home state. During his tenure at USF, Taggart had the top class in the AAC for three straight years from 2013-15.

Oregon’s recruiting classes

Year National ranking Pac-12 ranking
2018 6 1
2017 19 3
2016 27 5
2015 16 3

The post How potential Florida coaching targets fare on recruiting front appeared first on SEC Country.

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