A better conference than given credit for, the Pac-12 is an interesting league to cover. Each head coach in the conference bases a great deal of his recruiting efforts in the talented state of California.
However, several schools have the ability to nationally recruit. Navigating the Pac-12 recruiting trail can get tricky, but the league does have several great recruiting head coaches.
USC has a new leader who has proved he can recruit out West, while Washington's new head coach needs to earn his stripes. Plus, the two schools in the desert have better recruiting head coaches than many think.
Washington head coach Chris Petersen has only been on the job for a few weeks, so he'll be left out of the rankings.
However, Petersen was never a great recruiter at Boise State. Plus, the Huskies' class of eight commitments is the worst in the Pac-12, according to 247Sports.
It'll be interesting to see how Petersen does as a recruiter going forward in Seattle.
Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre has struggled as a recruiter since arriving in Boulder in December of 2012.
The Buffaloes had the worst class in the Pac-12 in 2013, per 247Sports. The only thing saving them from repeating that fate in 2014 is Washington's poor class. MacIntyre must start to show some signs of life as a recruiter next year.
Oregon State head coach Mike Riley is one of the most respected coaches in the Pac-12. However, he hasn't earned that respect via great recruiting.
That's not good.
Although he is a great offensive mind, Washington State head coach Mike Leach has never been an impressive recruiter.
Since arriving at Wazzu late in the 2012 recruiting cycle, Leach has finished 12th and 11th in the Pac-12 recruiting rankings. Right now, he's No. 7 in the 247Sports Pac-12 recruiting rankings. It's hard to argue that Leach should be ranked higher.
Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham is another great head coach who is better on the field than he is on the trail.
The Utes haven't made much recruiting noise since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011 season. Since moving to the Pac-12, Whittingham's best conference recruiting finish has been No. 6 in 2011, according to 247Sports.
His 2014 class is ninth in the Pac-12 recruiting rankings.
Sonny Dykes just completed his first season as head coach of the California Golden Bears with a 1-11 record.
Yet, he's had slightly more success on the recruiting trail thus far. Dykes remarkably had the No. 5 class in the Pac-12 in 2013, per 247Sports, while he's No. 8 in the 2014 Pac-12 recruiting rankings, despite a horrific record this past season.
Once Dykes starts to have some success on the field, he likely will move up the Pac-12 recruiting ladder.
Since finishing at No. 7 in the 247Sports Pac-12 recruiting rankings in 2012, Arizona State head coach Todd Graham has gotten better as a recruiter.
The Sun Devils currently sit at No. 4 in the 2014 247Sports Pac-12 recruiting rankings. Graham knows that California is where he will make most of his hay on the recruiting trail, but he also has ASU spending more time looking in Texas and other states.
The 2013 class that came to Oregon is technically Mark Helfrich's, but he was named head coach so late in the cycle that his impact on building the class as the alpha leader is questionable.
However, he's done well constructing his class during the 2014 cycle. Oregon currently has the No. 19 class in the nation, says 247Sports. So while the jury is still out a bit on Helfrich as a recruiter, early signs indicate he is to be respected on the trail.
UCLA named Jim Mora head coach just in time to close the 2012 recruiting cycle. Without having much experience, Mora finished with the No. 17 class in the nation that year, per 247Sports.
Mora finished with the No. 7 class in the country in 2013, according to 247Sports. While being No. 6 in the 2014 247Sports Pac-12 recruiting rankings indicates Mora has cooled off, his great staff of recruiters has still helped make him one of the best recruiting head coaches in the conference.
Shaw may not do a lot of talking, but he's a quiet assassin on the trail. He reaches all over the country for prospects who fit the mold of what he wants from a player on The Farm, plus his staff does an excellent job of developing talent.
Now, he's helped USC surge to the No. 18 slot in the 2014 247Sports recruiting rankings since taking over in Troy a few weeks ago. The Trojans were virtually nowhere to be found on the recruiting radar before his arrival.
Now, Sark is on the verge of signing his fifth consecutive top-25 recruiting class. He's currently the best recruiting head coach in the Pac-12.