The best teams in college football always have a few star recruiters as position coaches. This season 247sports ranks Clemson defensive line coach Todd Bates as the top recruiter in college football. He’s followed in the rankings by Ohio State wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, and Georgia offensive line coach Sam Pittman at number three in the country.
So far this season, SU defensive coordinator Brian Ward is its top recruiter, with a paltry ranking of No. 42 in the ACC. Clemson has six coaches that place higher than Ward. Granted, Syracuse isn’t pulling in the same caliber of recruits as Clemson – there’s only a couple programs in the country that are. So let’s compare Syracuse’s recruiting to a 2-5 Georgia Tech squad. The Yellow Jackets have five coaches that 247sports ranks above Ward, including running backs coach Kerry Dixon who ranks No. 9 in the ACC.
SU’s recruiting class sits as the third worst in the ACC, with more commits than Duke and Virginia Tech – the two programs its ahead of. SU is also one of five ACC programs without a four or five star commit. While there are always diamonds in the rough like Andre Cisco, to consistently be a top 25 program teams need to regularly pull in highly rated recruits.
Outside of Brian Ward, Nick Monroe established himself as one of the Orange’s best recruiters last season. Monroe was the 19th best recruiter in the ACC, which is an improvement from this season, but still rather meager considering SU’s 10-win season. In a season that special, Babers and the staff needed to pull in a special class. Granted, the 2019 class was solid, but it was still just 55th in the country and 10th in the ACC.
SU isn’t going to recruit with schools like Clemson, Florida State and Miami. But after last season, it shouldn’t have finished behind Duke, Virginia, and Georgia Tech – who hired head coach Geoff Collins days before the early signing period. The biggest key to a consistently solid program, is solid recruiting. Babers showed he could build the program, now he needs to show that he can churn out good football teams consistently.