Pac-12 Football: One Word to Describe Every Team's National Signing Day
The Pac-12 is a conference that was often laughed at for the lack of depth and only a couple of teams being nationally competitive. Although after an improved 2012 season and teams making an impressive run, many of the 2013 recruits took notice, and the overall recruiting classes in this conference benefited greatly.
Certain teams in the Pac-12 recruited much better than expected; even a lot of the teams that aren't receiving much credit were able to get the job done. There are a lot of recruiting classes in this conference that deserve more respect than what they are getting, and many of these programs are on the rise with elite prospects giving them a chance.
The 2013 national signing day was dominated by the SEC, but the Pac-12 had more than a fair share of teams that were able to hold their own.
Here is describing each recruiting class in the Pac-12 with one word, as the 2013 national signing day has come to an end.
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What Is It Worth: Depending on where you look, Arizona is ranked higher than expected or is ranked lower than it should be. Not many household names for the Wildcats, but enough pieces for Rich Rodriguez to work with.
JUCO transfer Jesse Scroggins, who has already enrolled in school, has a chance to become the starting quarterback in 2013. Babiash at cornerback was wanted by many elite programs, and Cormier gives the offense that running back that can make plays and adds depth to the position.
Rodriguez is making progress with Arizona, and it will be interesting to see how this class performs.
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What Is It Worth: Arizona State was able to put together a class that flew under the radar, but a lot of the guys it picked up will be able to contribute right away. With a total of nine JUCO transfers, the Sun Devils have a bunch of experienced players that will be able to contribute in some way or another. Strong is a big target at wide receiver at 6'4", and Cox is an inside linebacker that should see significant playing time immediately.
Todd Graham didn't land any big names, but picking up guys that can make an impact right away is always a good thing.
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What Is It Worth: With a new head coach in Sonny Dykes and a team that seriously underachieved a season ago, the Golden Bears weren't expected to recruit so well. Instead, Cal took the bull by the horns and made a strong impression with the group of players it landed.
Goff is likely the quarterback of the future for this team, McKinley is a defensive end who can contribute from Day 1 and Khalfani Muhammad is an underrated running back with above-average speed.
Dykes may be a first-year head coach in the Pac-12, but he made his mark felt early on.
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What Is It Worth: A recruiting class that was dead last in the Pac-12 is really what was expected. A new head coach in Mike MacIntyre and a program that hasn't reached a bowl game since 2007 does not seem like an attractive place to play football.
By most recruiting sites' standards, Colorado did not land a single player rated above 3-stars. The good news, however, is that things can only get better from here after winning four combined games in the last two years. Still, you have to feel sorry for the Buffalos.
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What Is It Worth: With head coach Chip Kelly packing his bags for the NFL and former offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich taking over the duties, Oregon could have easily fallen off the wagon in the recruiting world. Don't even think about it. You knew terrific offensive players were going to flock to become Ducks, and that's exactly what happened.
Tyner is one of the fastest players in this class, and Robinson is a speedy player who can contribute at many different positions.
Oregon still had one of the top classes in the country and will remain that high-scoring team that everybody expects, especially with wonderful athletes still willing to come to Eugene.
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What Is It Worth: After two horrible seasons, many wondered if the run was over for the Oregon State Beavers. But after a shocking 2012 season where the team managed to win nine games, the recruits took notice and were willing to play for the other Oregon school.
Nelson is an above-average talent at the cornerback position and will add to an already talented defense. Dashon Hunt is another corner with upside, and the Beavers may have found a reliable quarterback option in Kyle Kempt.
It is nice to see that recruits are willing to give a team a chance and successful seasons are still rewarded with solid recruiting classes.
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What Is It Worth: David Shaw proved last season that he has what it takes to a be a successful head coach, and he can continue to lead the program in the right direction. Even with a BCS Rose Bowl victory without Andrew Luck, the recruiting class didn't benefit as much as you would have thought.
There are still some key guys like Burns at quarterback and a talented linebacker such as Kalambayi, but you would have liked to see a few elite players pack their bags for Stanford.
The Cardinal looked like a team that was going to compete with the big boys recruiting-wise, but that wasn't the case this season.
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What Is It Worth: Is there anything head coach Jim L. Mora can't do? First he surprised us with nine victories in his first year as a head coach. Now he is putting together the best recruiting class in the Pac-12. Huh? With an offense that appears to already be in good shape, the Bruins were able to load up defensively and get eight guys on that side of the ball that were rated at least 4-stars, according to 247Sports.
UCLA is well on its way to competing consistently with every team in this conference, and recruiting classes like this just reassures that.
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What Is It Worth: The story for USC will continue to be about how many recruits ended up leaving the program, not who the Trojans were able to get. However, now is not the time for anybody to feel sorry for Lane Kiffin and his guys. USC still picked up one of the best quarterbacks in Browne, an elite safety in Cravens and Bigelow, who is a top-notch defensive lineman. This doesn't include more playmakers on the offensive side of the ball such as Steven Mitchell and Ty Isaac.
The Trojans still had one of the top recruiting classes in the country, but five years from now, everybody will be questioning what could have been.
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What Is It Worth: Much like a lot of these classes, Utah isn't going to receive a ton of credit for the job it did, but there are guys that can make a strong impact for the Utes.
Starting with Young at running back and Lewis at wide receiver, those two offensive weapons have a chance to boost the poor offensive production from a year ago. The X-factor in this whole recruiting class is Lowell Lotulelei, who is the younger brother of future NFL star Star Lotulelei.
You can work with this recruiting class.
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What Is It Worth: Who had Washington putting together not only one of the best classes in the Pac-12, but one of the best in the entire country? The answer is none of you.
The Huskies picked up many elite prospects, not only the players listed above, but even a defensive tackle such as Elijah Qualls, who could have easily ended up at an elite SEC or Big Ten school. Washington had an all-around solid recruiting class on both sides of the ball, and it wasn't expected one bit.
Head coach Steve Sarkisian continues to do a great job with his program.
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What Is It Worth: Washington State didn't have a brilliant class, but there were a few key players that still believed in Mike Leach and wanted to see what they can accomplish in that offensive system.
The most exciting player in this class is quarterback Bruggman, who could have easily gone to a school such as UCLA. Mayle at wide receiver is also an offensive weapon that should shine bright under Leach.
Washington State hasn't reached a bowl game since 2003, so you know this program won't be changed overnight. Still, the second-year head coach is doing what he can to lead the Cougars in the right direction.