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Posted: Tuesday February 9, 2010 2:32PM; Updated: Tuesday February 9, 2010 2:32PM

Meyer, Kiffin among head coaches with greatest recruiting impact

Story Highlights

Assistants often lead recruiting charge, but some head coaches are ace recruiters

Urban Meyer managed to connect with prospects despite his uncertain status

Neuheisel's Bruins, Kiffin's Trojans should keep staging epic recruiting battles, Special to

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Rick Neuheisel took a big step toward leveling the playing field between UCLA and USC with this year's recruiting class.
Rick Neuheisel took a big step toward leveling the playing field between UCLA and USC with this year's recruiting class.
Matt A. Brown/Icon SMI

Each season, recognizes the top 25 assistant coaches who excel on the recruiting trail. But there are some ace recruiters in head coaching ranks, too. Here are five who made a big impact for their programs this recruiting season.

Urban Meyer, Florida

Meyer is known for pouring his heart and soul into the relationships with his players and recruits. Those bonds helped seal the deal with many of the nation's top 2010 prospects. No. 1 player Ronald Powell said his relationship with Meyer was the reason he signed with the Gators -- despite questions about whether Meyer was going to take an extended leave of absence.

Lane Kiffin, USC

Kiffin has quickly established himself as one of the best recruiting head coaches in the game. He worked hard to help the Trojans hold on to an elite class when he arrived in Los Angeles, and he also helped seal the deal down the stretch with a number of high-profile recruits. "Coach Kiffin, he's the man," five-star receiver Markeith Ambles said. "He's one of the biggest reasons why I'm a Trojan. He knows how to really build a relationship with you and make you feel like you have a great bond with him."

MORE: Cal's Lupoi named recruiter of the year

Rick Neuheisel, UCLA

Neuheisel said his goal was to return the Bruins to the recruiting forefront in Los Angeles, and he took a big step with this year's class. After a solid 2009 class, the Bruins landed a top 10 group in this recruiting cycle. It's Neuheisel's hustle, desire, honesty and charisma that sold well with recruits. The battles between Neuheisel's Bruins and Kiffin's Trojans should be epic the next few years.

Nick Saban, Alabama

There's a reason Alabama has landed three consecutive top five recruiting finishes, two recruiting titles and a national championship on the field. No head coach demands more from himself in the recruiting process than Saban, and nobody is more involved with every detail.

Charlie Strong, Louisville

What Strong did since taking over at Louisville was quite impressive. He personally had his hand in signing one of Louisville's better classes in recent history. That's impressive enough, but when you consider he did most of the work without a complete staff in place, it's even more remarkable.

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