This year, he has Cal finishing 2nd in the P10 and the #9 team overall (taking schedule aside), he also lists the Bears as a dark horse for the national championship.
One interesting part of what Steele does is to take all the rankings (he uses eight different experts) to score players across all the services to arrive at a # by position where they ranked coming out of HS or JC.
He then highlights those that score enough points to be called a highly touted recruit.
For the P10, here's a breakdown of projected starters who are highly touted recruits by team (I will also list star players for each team who were not HT). In descending order.
USC - All but 2 of their 24 starters (including K and P) were HT recruits - Incredible and sadly not surprising - The two who didn't make it? RG Alex Parsons and LT Charles Brown.
Cal - 15 players listed as HT including 8 on defense. Two that didn't make it on D were Tyson Alualu, a 2nd team AP10 selection and Cameron Jordan, a likely AP10 selection this year. Look for the Bears to be awfully tough to score on this year. Schwartz and Guarnero were the only HTs on the OL.
Arizona - 14 players are HT, not including Brooks Reed, 2nd team AP10 DE last year, Cam Nelson, an HM P10 safety and Nicholas Grigsby, an HM AP10 RB. Apparently, Mike Stoops is recruiting well.
Stanford - A surprising 13 HTs seen as starters this year. And that list doesn't include Chris Marinelli, a projected AP10 OL this year, and Clinton Snyder, another potential AP10 LB.
UCLA - 11 players are HTs which doesn't include Ryan Moya, 2nd team AP10 TE, Reggie Carter, 2nd team AP10 LB and Alterraun Verner, 1st team AP10 CB. Bruins should have a very good defense this year.
Arizona State - Ten HTs dot their starting depth chart, not including stud WR Chris McGaha, Dexter Davis, a two time AP10 DE and Omar Bolden, a potential AP10 CB.
Washington - Wow, color me shocked that the Huskies have 9 HTs among their starters. Depth is a HUGE issue for them but this team has some talent. Too bad their schedule is tougher than the Seahawks this year.
Oregon - Fewer big recruits than you might think with only 8 HTs among their projected starters although that misses Masoli at QB, Dickson at TE who was a 2nd team AP10 performer last year, TJ Ward, an HM AP10 safety and Walter Thurmond III, a projected AP10 player this coming season.
Oregon State - As usual, they have very few highly ranked recruits with only 3 HTs, that does not include Lyle Movaeo, their HM AP10 QB, Stephen Paea, an HM AP10 DT and Keaton Kristick, a 2nd team AP10 LB last season.
Washington State - Tied for last with OSU, WSU has only 3 HTs. Unfortunately, unlike the Beavers, the Cougars have no one else who should have been an HT.
This is not a good way to project the upcoming season as lots of recruits don't pan out and many that aren't highly rated become stars. Also, a good number of the ones listed here have very little playing experience and issues like depth, experience, coaching and schedule have to be considered as well. Look for my preseason prognostications later this week.
Still, interesting food for thought in the dog days of June.