Midlands Recruiter of the Year

TULSA, Okla. -- It was not an easy year to pick the top recruiter. Texas finished in the top five nationally and Oklahoma averaged 3.71 stars per signee, but at the end of the day no one had a more profound impact than Robert Prunty at Texas Tech, earning him FOXSports/Scout.com honors as the Midlands Recruiter of the Year.

On Thursday FOXSports/Scout.com named its National Recruiter of the Year when USC's Ed Orgeron was recognized, a pick that no one would argue. Orgeron orchestrated a fantastic recruiting year, inking 15 players in the Scout.com Top 300.

That is no one would argue except for some who have followed recruiting closely in Lubbock, Texas. Football fans of the Red Raiders program are more used to seeing Texas Tech finish closer to the bottom of the pack in the recruiting rat race.

As a matter of fact Tech has averaged a seventh place Big 12 finish over the past five recruiting seasons. Its third place in-conference finish in 2011 is the highest for the Red Raiders program in the history of FOXSports/Scout.com (Class of 2002).

Tommy Tuberville and his staff were known to be great recruiters while at Auburn, and it appears that they have brought a little of that SEC flavor to the Midlands as they were the only school in the region to finish with a huge flurry.

On Signing Day the Red Raiders were able to gain commitments from seven players, including 4-star defensive end Branden Jackson from Mckeesport Senior High in Pa., and junior college standout Leon Mackey from Hinds C.C., both recruitments Tech assistant and ace recruiter Robert Prunty ran point on.

Mackey, who was rated as a 5-star when he played for Prunty when he was the head coach at Hargrave Military Academy had an obvious connection to the coach, but Jackson admits that it was the family feel which helped him decide to travel so far from home to play specifically for Prunty, who coaches defensive ends and outside linebackers at Tech.

"Coach (Prunty) is a father figure," Jackson explained. "He insures that he cares about his players and recruits as people and not just players. That's what separates him from every other recruiter. He gets to know you as a person and worries about football later. Never will he talk to you about what you can do for him as a player. He talks about you being humble and staying true to who you are."

At the end of the day Prunty played a leading role in "eight or nine" of Tech's 27 signees -- not bad for a coach who just completed his first year on the Red Raiders staff in 2010.

"Coach Prunty has done a great job on the recruiting trail from the second he stepped on this campus," informed Texas Tech Head Coach Tommy Tuberville.

"At this level it's all about recruiting and selling your product and we have a great product to sell here at Texas Tech. Coach Prunty has recognized that and done a great job of bringing our message to potential student-athletes."

Since 2002, Prunty served as the head football coach at Hargrave Military Academy where 27 of his players went on to the National Football League (NFL).

Honorable Mention: Major Applewhite (Texas, Offensive Coordinator), Chad Scott (Texas Tech, Running Backs), James Patton (Oklahoma, Offensive Line), Justin Fuente (TCU, Offensive Coordinator), Terrell Williams (Texas A&M, Defensive Line), Van Malone (Tulsa, Defensive Backs), Jay Norvell (Oklahoma, Wide Receivers), Michael Smith (Kansas State, Wide Receivers), Reggie Mitchell (Kansas, Running Backs), Tim Beck (Nebraska, Running Backs)

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