Pac-12 Football Recruiting: Most Exciting 2015 Prospects to See in Summer Camps
With Pac-12 football being the most important aspect of our lives—wait, that's just me?—finding ways to stay connected to the sport we love in the offseason can be challenging.
However, the recent increase in recruiting information has helped us to get through the dark months away from the gridiron.
Nowadays, you can find lists of top recruits several years in advance, and there are a variety of camps being held for these young prospects to showcase their skills.
Once again, the conference has landed or is in the running for a number of top recruits.
We're taking a look at five of the most exciting prospects—either committed or still mulling a final destination—who will be participating in summer camps.
Does your school have a chance to land any of these top-notch talents? Perhaps one is already committed, and every rocket pass or stone-wall tackle has you envisioning the player being a force in your favorite program.
In any case, here is another piece to help you along in your quest to stay sane in the offseason. Take a look at the five most exciting Pac-12 prospects to watch throughout the summer.
DT Thomas Toki
At the position of defensive tackle, it would be really easy for us to go with a monster recruit like Rasheem Green, who's thought to be a USC lean by 247Sports, and just leave it at that.
However, we're going with the slightly less heralded Thomas Toki, a Washington State commit at the same position.
The first thing that jumps out at you with Toki is that he's only 5'11", which is pretty short for a player on the defensive line. However, he carries around 305 pounds of muscle and is a 4-star terror for opposing offenses.
Having a big guy who can plug up the middle of the defense is almost a must in the Pac-12.
Not only are Toki's traits intriguing, but his recruitment figures to be as well. Despite giving a verbal commitment to play for coach Mike Leach and the Cougars, the 247Sports crystal ball is split at 50-50 between Washington and UCLA.
As Toki participates in various camps throughout summer, will he waver on his commitment? If so, does he end up a Bruin or Husky, or will a different school come out of the blue to land the kid with tons of potential?
Those questions make him one of the more exciting prospects to watch in the offseason.
WR Christian Kirk
No list of exciting prospects would be complete without wide receiver Christian Kirk out of Saguaro High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The speedy 5'11", 197-pound Kirk is thought by 247Sports to be a Texas A&M lean, though he could end up anywhere when national signing day rolls around next February. The 247Sports composite rankings have Kirk as the third-best receiver in the country and 35th overall prospect.
It will be interesting to see if this kid, who is sought-after around the country, develops interest in the schools around him.
Both Arizona and Arizona State appear to be on the rise, and each team has an offense that has found success utilizing its elite athletes in recent years.
But with a national spotlight, Kirk could try to carve out his role with the Aggies or at a place like Ohio State. Then again, maybe the Oregon Ducks will swoop in and snatch up another dangerous athlete. Either way, we can't wait to see more of Kirk over the summer and follow his recruitment.
CB Iman Marshall
Cornerback Iman Marshall is a name you should become familiar with, because he could be playing for your favorite team or intercepting your favorite quarterback fairly soon.
In summer camps, however, he'll have to settle with keeping recruiters drooling.
Marshall is ranked as the second-best cornerback and 13th overall player in the class of 2015, and his suitors are a who's who of the college football elite.
At present, the 247Sports crystal ball is heavily in favor of USC as the program to eventually land the blue-chip prospect, but Stanford could also make a push.
Wherever Marshall decides to attend college, he'll be bringing with him a skill that is becoming more and more useful in today's pass-happy game: the ability to put a thorn in the side of deadly aerial attacks.
At 6'1" and 190 pounds, he should have the size and physicality to not be bullied by bigger, stronger receivers.
This scouting report by Bleacher Report's Tyler Donohue says Marshall "belongs in any discussion about the best collegiate cornerback prospects we've seen in recent years." It's safe to say we'll be watching and discussing this future standout quite often as we wait for the season to arrive.
RB Taj Griffin
Nearly every major program in the country wanted the next player on our list, but it was the Oregon Ducks who secured his commitment this spring.
We're talking about running back Taj Griffin, a name that could become commonplace in college football talk in a year-and-a-half. Griffin is the top-ranked all-purpose back and has the ability to hurt defenses in a variety of ways.
Think De'Anthony Thomas in terms of speed—he runs a 4.35 40-yard-dash—but Griffin has a slightly larger build at 5'10" and 175 pounds.
Oregon knows how to pack weight on its athletes (see: Marcus Mariota and Thomas Tyner) without them losing quickness, so Griffin could enter his first season in Eugene closer to 190 pounds.
One question on many fans' minds will be, just how strong is he?
After the experiment of using Thomas at running back fizzled out, having a speed back who can still bust it up the gut could be huge. Then again, maybe Griffin will carve out his role in the return game and in space.
Either way, we can't wait to watch this explosive athlete throughout the summer.
QB Josh Rosen
It doesn't appear that great quarterback play from UCLA will end when Brett Hundley departs to the NFL. Next in line is the highly touted Asiantii Woulard, though he may be challenged by the final player on our list, quarterback Josh Rosen.
Ranked as the second-best pro-style quarterback, Rosen is as sure of a bet as they come for having a huge future in college football.
He possesses ideal size at 6'4", and entering the summer of his senior year in high school at 205 pounds is just fine.
The phrase "pro-style quarterback" still makes plenty of fans think of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, two legends who are essentially statues in the pocket.
While Rosen likely won't pile up hundreds of yards on the ground, he does run the 40-yard-dash in 4.7 seconds, putting him very much in the mold of Andrew Luck or Aaron Rodgers when it comes to elusiveness.
It'll be interesting to see how Rosen develops over the summer and take note of how his pre-college legend grows. Will he be able to handle being the most hyped UCLA prospect in years?
All recruiting information via 247Sports.com.
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