Pac-12 Football: One Prospect That Every Pac-12 Team Needs Now
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If every Pac-12 school could sign one prospect that would dramatically improve its recruiting class, which prospect would it be most interested in signing?
That person would have to show reciprocal interest, of course, but if reciprocity existed between the prospect and the school, which prospect would end that school's 2013 recruiting season on a high note?
We've gone over the top available prospects (those without a solid verbal commit) at this point in the season and selected the ones who have indicated an interest in at least one Pac-12 school. We then projected each school's "must-get" commit from the list of available prospects who have shown interest in that school and have not yet given a solid verbal commitment to any school.
These Pac-12 teams would leap over tall buildings for these prospects' signed commitments.
Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez
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Receiver/cornerback Darren Carrington has been a soft verbal to Oregon since last June, but he's visited Arizona and Arizona State in the past two weeks and has Ohio State coming up.
We're not saying he's thinking about flipping, but he may be wavering. Having three visits scheduled from mid-January to early February after being committed for seven months—and especially after Chip Kelly left for the NFL—could mean he's not so sure. Or he just wants some weekends away paid for by the schools he's visiting.
In any case, Carrington would be a great get for Wildcat head coach Rich Rodriguez. Arizona returns all of its defensive starters in 2013, but Carrington would be needed after this season.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Arizona State head coach Todd Graham
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What's interesting about Parker is that he has taken no official visits, and he's an out-of-state prospect, hailing from Nokesville, Virginia.
The Sun Devils had the Pac-12's best passing defense last season and signing Parker would help shore up a secondary that loses two defensive backs this season.
*per Parker's Scout profile page
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham
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Utah took a big hit with three of its magnificent front four entered in the 2013 NFL draft—defensive end Joe Kruger declared for the draft early.
Utah could use some help up front right away, and Fitts could be the ideal commit for Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. On Fitts' profile page, Scout describes him as "relentless."
He's perfect for Whittingham.
Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre
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Devin Lauderdale is only a 3-star* receiver prospect—yet according to his Scout profile, Alabama, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Ohio State, Texas A&M and West Virginia have all offered him.
What's up with that? Obviously, coaches see more to Lauderdale than what scouting analysts have seen.
Colorado ranked second-to-last in passing offense so having a good possession receiver would probably boost up its offensive options a little.
Lauderdale would be a great addition for the Buffs' offense.
*per Lauderdale's Scout profile page
UCLA head coach Jim Mora
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There is no better way to ignite your fan base than to get prospects to flip from your rival's school to your school.
The Bruins have already pulled the rug out from one 2013 class when they reeled in USC decommit Eldridge Massington. Why not rub salt in the Trojans' wounds and grab a much- needed defensive tackle in former USC commit Eddie Vanderdoes?
If the Bruins can't land Vanderdoes, landing linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea will make them feel better.
USC head coach Lane Kiffin
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Defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes was once committed to USC but he's opened up his recruitment and has visited/will be visiting schools like Alabama, UCLA and Notre Dame.
He's killing USC head coach Lane Kiffin, no doubt.
USC needs turnkey defensive players right now due to scholarship restrictions, and Vanderdoes looks good-to-go. Alabama, Notre Dame, UCLA and Washington look to be the other big contenders* in the Battle for Eddie with two Scout analysts splitting between USC and UCLA as to which school gets his signature.
If Kiffin loses Vanderdoes, that would be disappointing. But losing Vanderdoes to UCLA would mean he will be the second prospect (Eldridge Massington) that has flipped from USC to UCLA—losing commits to a rival tends to make boosters and alumni narrow their eyes.
*per Scout's commitment tracker
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Washington really needs a powerful back to help take the pressure off of its quarterbacks, and Foster has just the physical gifts to do that.
Assistant coach Tosh Lupoi has done an outstanding job landing some big-time defensive recruits to Seattle but if the recruiting staff could land Foster, this could be the highest-ranked recruiting class ever assembled by the Huskies.
Washington football needs Foster to keep the ball rolling and elevate Husky football to the next level.
Washington State Cougars
Cougar head coach Mike Leach
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Receiver Taj Williams is a 4-star* receiver out of Tallahassee, Florida.
Williams' Scout profile is nothing short of spectacular because while most of his offers are from schools in ACC or SEC country, Cal and Washington hold higher interest for him than most of the other schools.
Does Williams want to go to a school not too close to the nest? Maybe.
Or maybe the thought of playing under Mike Leach and his Air Raid offense intrigues him.
Leach is assembling a very nice class, especially with the commitment of 4-star* quarterback Tyler Bruggman—watching Bruggman and Williams play toss-and-catch in the Palouse could be the perfect combination to get Cougar football back on track.
*per Williams' and Bruggman's Scout profile pages
Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich
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Running back Dontre Wilson has given a soft verbal to Oregon but he just got back from a visit to Ohio State and is scheduled to visit Oklahoma State next week.
Does Wilson have a thing for "O" schools? At least five schools that he is interested in begin with the letter "O" but let's get serious here: Only one school markets the "O" better than anyone and that's Oregon.
Oregon will need another stud running back at the end of this season because De'Anthony Thomas will be probably playing on Sundays in 2014.
Wilson is the perfect prospect to continue the Ducks' running attack under new head coach Mark Helfrich.
Stanford head coach David Shaw
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Johnathan Ford, a 4-star running back prospect out of Alabama, rates Stanford "low" in regards to his interest level but Stanford has a tendency to pull off shockers on national signing day—its big surprise could start with Ford.
If you're head coach David Shaw, you're talking to this very recent Vanderbilt decommit. You're telling him about the last two running backs at Stanford—like Toby Gerhart, the 2009 Doak Walker Award winner and second-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Or Stepfan Taylor, a projected first-round selection in the 2013 NFL draft. Shaw might even mention recent Cardinal players Andrew Luck (overall first pick, Indianapolis), David DeCastro (first round, Pittsburgh) or Jonathan Martin (second round, Miami).
If Shaw lands Ford, no one on the West Coast would be shocked.
California Golden Bears
Cal head coach Sonny Dykes
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Since defensive back L.J. Moore is from Fresno, going to Cal wouldn't prompt homesickness; Cal is about 180 miles away from his home.
Scout says on Moore's profile page that he "may have the best ball skills of any corner in the West," and this is certainly what Cal needs now.
The Bears finished second-to-last in the Pac-12's pass defense and ended the 2012 season with a dismal 3-9 record.
New head coach Sonny Dykes can kick off the 2013 season with a bang if he lands Moore.
Oregon State Beavers
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley
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Bierra is a linebacker and would add beef to a depth chart that shows two linebackers as seniors.
The Beavers had a very successful (9-4) 2012 season due to outstanding defense, and head coach Mike Riley has gone heavy on defense in this class; so far, 12 of his 21 commits are defensive players.
*per Hunt's Scout profile page