NEBRASKA ASSISTANT JOHN BLAKE
The former Oklahoma head coach signed eight of the Huskers' 31 recruits, including highly touted California RB Marlon Lucky (right), helping to give Nebraska its best class in years.
FIRST-YEAR COACHES URBAN MEYER AND LES MILES
February 14, 2005
On short notice, Meyer landed a solid class at Florida with standouts from across the country. LSU newcomer Miles scored big when dual-threat QB Ryan Perrilloux chose the Tigers over Texas, to whom he had verbally committed.
Scout.com's No. 1 class includes players from 11 states and D.C. The momentum already has carried over to next year; last Thursday, DE Lee Smith of Knoxville committed for '06.
As if they needed help, the Trojans signed standout QB Mark Sanchez of Mission Viejo, Calif., and plucked the best player out of Tennessee, consensus top five WR Patrick Turner.
A flood of late signees led by WR Fred Rouse and top five RB Antone Smith, both in-state pickups, helped the Seminoles outrecruit rival Miami for the first time in years.
FIRST-YEAR COACHES RON ZOOK AND TYRONE WILLINGHAM
A dynamic recruiter at Florida, Zook didn't have nearly that success with his first class at Illinois (ranked as low as 51st by the experts). Willingham, who had trouble bringing in talent at Notre Dame before taking the Washington job, lost out on several of the state's best, including RB Jonathan Stewart (above), who chose Oregon.
The 'Canes failed to sign a skill player on offense despite their pursuit of Florida RB Antone Smith and California QB Derek Shaw. They enter '05 with two scholarship QBs (zero starts).
A late-arriving new coaching staff handcuffed the Irish, whose class generally ranked outside the top 30. They lost top Ohio DL Lawrence Wilson to Ohio State and New Jersey OL Brian Roche to Louisville.
The Longhorns missed out on three top targets--TE Martellus Bennett, QB Ryan Perrilloux and WR Fred Rouse--and signed only one QB (from a small school) after coach Mack Brown said he needed two "great ones." --Gene Menez
More recruiting news and analysis at SI.com/football/college.