I completely agree that Florida being such a great state to recruit from plays a huge part in UF being able to haul in great recruiting classes but I think one of the main reasons Durkin earned this award was because of his success outside of Florida (Jonathan Bullard, D.J. Humphries, Rhaheim Ledbetter, and Alex McCalister are all from NC) as well as securing top in-state talent.
Each year in the aftermath of signing day, Rivals.com names its top recruiters of the year. America’s top fisher of men this February? Florida linebackers and special teams coach DJ Durkin.
Durkin is starting his third year in Gainesville after being lured from Stanford by Urban Meyer in 2010. He got his first full-time assistant’s job in 2005 under Meyer at Bowling Green. (Here’s guessing Bret Bielema wouldn’t approve of his recruiting tactics.)
“I am very, very fortunate to be recruiting at a place like Florida because I think the place almost sells itself,” Durkin said. “It is a great academic institution and there is obviously great football tradition here. We play in a great football stadium in the best conference in the world. I think the place really sells itself.”
“The place” is also located in one of the most fertile recruiting grounds in America. Durkin didn’t mention that fact, but it certainly helps.
The Gators wound up with a consensus Top 5 class and, amazingly, it could have been even better if several last-minute decisions from prospects had gone UF’s way.
Among Rivals’ Top 25 Recruiters of the Year are seven more SEC coaches:
David Beaty of Texas A&M
Todd Grantham of Georgia
Derek Lewis of Florida
Jeremy Pruitt of Alabama
Kirby Smart of Alabama
Trooper Taylor of Auburn
Lorenzo Ward of South Carolina