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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The power of personality

Pete Carroll, Urban Meyer, Mack Brown and Ron Zook fielded another top recruiting class and are quickly setting the tone for the new generation of football coaches. If you want the big names, you've got to be a "player's coach."

Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel writes that these guys treat the recruiting season just as importantly as they do practice and film sessions. That wasn't the case 20 years ago.

Plus, all of those guys have one thing going for them. They're very charismatic and have great personalities.

"We're seeing that the personality of the head coach matters more than ever before," Rivals.com recruiting analyst Mike Farrell told SI.
"Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll, Mack Brown, Les Miles -- these are 'players' coaches'. You're talking about head coaches who are more involved in the process than ever before."

There is one exception to the rule.

Nick Saban isn't Mr. Personality, yet he bags top recruits. He looks miserable when talking with media or booster clubs and would rather be someplace else.

There was one reoccurring theme when the seniors of LSU's 2003 national title team spoke about their recruiting process. Saban was upfront with them about their chances at playing, and they respected that.

In light of his recent job decisions, I have a tough time believing he was truthful about any of that recruiting process. Saban is a salesman, like other coaches. He tells the kids what they want to hear. Somehow, he's able to overcome his lack of personality and light a fire under kids. A fire strong enough to send them his way.


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