Consider of the trust of Texas Longhorns head coach Charlie Strong in linebackers coach/recruiting coordinator Brian Jean-Mary absolutely rewarded after Jean-Mary earned the title of 247Sports Big 12 Recruiter of the Year honors for his efforts with the 2015 class.
Now in his third stint with Strong, Jean-Mary maintained the recruiting coordinator title he held at Louisville after he and Strong made the move to Texas. At the time, the move seemed like something of a risk, as Jean-Mary hadn't seriously recruited the state since working under Chan Gailey at Georgia Tech from 2004 to 2009.
The move paid off even with the 2014 class, as Jean-Mary was the primary recruiter for defensive tackles Poona Ford and Chris Nelson, two National Signing Day commitments that saved the Horns from missing at the position in two straight classes.
After serving as the primary recruiter for five-star linebacker Malik Jefferson, his four-star teammate DeAndre McNeal, the versatile wide receiver, four-star linebacker Anthony Wheeler, and four-star linebacker Cameron Townsend, Jean-Mary finished as the No. 7 recruiter nationally in 2015, proving that Jean-Mary's ability to form relationships with prospects despite a late start was enough to overcome his lack of recent ties to the state.
And, in fact, Jefferson, Wheeler, and Townsend rate as three of the five biggest pledges he's landed in his career, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
In addition to earning recognition from Rivals, ESPN RecruitingNation named Jean-Mary the No. 8 recruiter in the 2015 class, finishing behind now-former Oklahoma defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery, who helped land the top four prospects in the class for the Sooners and secured prospects in five different states.
From the Horns perspective, Jean-Mary's steadiness helped Texas edge out Texas A&M for Jefferson and McNeal with an assist from coaching changes in College Station, while beating Oklahoma for Wheeler's services was no small feat since the industry consensus was that the Sooners would win out in that battle after leading late for Wheeler.
It's safe to say that even without ever making an impact on the field, those players helped change the trajectory of the Texas program because of what followed and who could say that any other coach succeeds there like Jean-Mary did?
"I think of our coaching staff and what it meant to them to ensure that we had an outstanding class," Strong said on National Signing Day. "I think they took it personal because I think there was a lot written about them in the beginning where some people said they couldn't recruit and they were losing all these guys."
Securing Townsend was something less of an accomplishment since the Houston-area product was high on Texas throughout the cycle:
Still, not everyone can hit a hanging slider out of the ballpark, with apologies for descending into a metaphor, and Jean-Mary's overall success in the class provides a strong case for giving him significant credit for securing Townsend as well. Taking a commitment for granted from guys like Townsend happens all around college football and surely burned more than a few coaches in 2015.
Strong made some mistakes with two of his hires on his first staff, but keeping Jean-Mary and letting him maintain the title of recruiting coordinator paid off in a big way, especially since the strong finish just doesn't happen in the same way without having Jefferson and McNeal on board.
Those sound like the bona fides of the Big 12's best recruiter in 2015. And, as Jean-Mary continues to build deeper relationships with prospects and coaches around Texas and the entire country, his value to the Longhorns program likely won't end with the 2015 class, even if it will be hard to top a haul that included prospects like Jefferson, McNeal, and Wheeler.