Don’t judge a coach by his first class — judge him by his second

It isn’t fair to judge a coach on his first recruiting class at a school. Typically, the new guy has two months or less to cobble together a group that mixes players recruited by his departed predecessor with players he barely knows. The second class, assembled after coaches have had a year to forge relationships and evaluate, always provides the superior measure.

In 2001 at LSU, Nick Saban laid the foundation for years of success with a class that included tailback Joseph Addai, receiver Michael Clayton and offensive lineman Ben Wilkerson. In 2002 at Ohio State, Jim Tressel brought in linebacker A.J. Hawk, receiver Santonio Holmes and offensive lineman Nick Mangold. In 2006 at Florida, Urban Meyer signed receiver Percy Harvin, linebacker Brandon Spikes and quarterback Tim Tebow, a trio which helped the Gators win two national titles in three seasons.

si.com
2/12/09