Recruiting speed and size seems like best way to build dynasty
By Charlie Barnes, Executive Director - Seminole Boosters
As the story is told, a distinguished former college football coach was seated on one of those game-day television panels.
On that particular day, each of the opposing schools happened to have a religious affiliation and the discussion veered into lighthearted banter about which team God might wish to emerge victorious.
The old coach was visibly uncomfortable with the question.
Pressed for his opinion, he said that he doubted that God assigned the winners and losers. "However, if He were to choose," the coach said, "the Lord most likely favors whichever team has the best pair of defensive tackles."
So be it.
In Florida State's glory years, the Seminoles were nearly always the team with the best interior defensive line or the best pair of defensive ends. A look at college football's top teams convinces that frightening speed and dominating size seem to pave the highway to Dynasty.
Old school-style football coaches bristle at today's relentless public spotlight on recruiting. So-called 'recruiting gluts' have been around for decades, but the emergence of 24-hour fan Web sites fueled by national recruiting services has made football recruiting season a seamless flow of fan frenzy between the bowl games and the start of spring practice.
It may be true that perhaps only half of all the "five-star" high school recruits actually make a significant contribution in college, and it's true that you never know which walk-on is going to surprise and become an All-American. But it's also true that a superbly coached team of Blue-Chip athletes will always beat an unevenly coached team whose athletes' talents are of lighter hue.
Well, maybe not always, but you can't build a career on the difference.
Twenty years ago, not every major college football program employed a recruiting coordinator on staff. Among today's national championship contenders, coaches like Nick Saban, Mack Brown and Urban Meyer are, in effect, their own recruiting coordinators.
Their entire staffs of assistant coaches are relentless recruiters.
Florida State has enjoyed having the nation's No. 1 ranked recruiting class several times before, back in the days when such classes fueled Bobby Bowden's Dynasty.
One single top-ranked class is usually the result of two or even three years hard work in advance by a full staff of dedicated coaches.
Rivals.Com national recruiting analyst Jamie Newberg ranks Florida State's 2010 class among the nation's Top 10.
Newberg says that at the end of November Florida State was hardly to be found among the top 30 schools and calls Jimbo Fisher's achievement on National Signing Day last week "astounding."
Now, Coach Fisher moves forward with his own staff, all of whom are experienced recruiters.
The old coach was probably right: since heaven doesn't pick the winners it's best to have speed and size in your corner.