Like every offseason, the University of Southern California led the Pac-10 in quality recruits. USC had 19 commitments, and 16 of them were four or five-star recruits.
But there was one player USC missed: defensive end Simi Kuli, a transfer from El Camino C.C. in Torrance, California. To everyone's surprise, Kuli denied a full ride scholarship to the University of Tennessee and headed north to Oregon State.
1) DE Simi Kuli (Oregon State)
Kuli, a transfer from El Camino C.C., was ranked the top junior college recruit by Rivals and Scout.com. At 6'4", 270 pounds (his hair weighs half of that), Kuli is a larger version of Troy Polamalu. Kuli goes hard every play and destroys anyone who gets in his way. A sprinter in high school, Kuli's forty is 4.5, the fastest for a DE.
2) OL Matt Kalil (USC)
Once again USC went for the offensive linemen. Kalil is one of the best OL for the class of 2008. Kalil most likely will start at RT for USC, even though he is recovering from minor surgery on his left knee. Kalil is one of, if not the best pass blockers, but he will need to work on run blocking to become an NFL OL.
3) OL Tyron Smith (USC)
He's not quite as big as Matt Kalil, but he's much more athletic. Smith is a competitor—as a junior in high school, Smith had 27 stitches in his lip and had knee splints, but he played through it. There is some talk Smith could move to TE. He will need to bring his forty time under 5.0 for that to happen.
4) RB Aundre Dean (UCLA)
UCLA's only out of state recruit, Dean is probably the most athletic of UCLA's recruits. Dean might have to wait a year before he is the number one back, but he shows incredible athletic talent. A great inside runner, Dean can also line up outside and catch a pass. His versatility will get him more play this 2008 season. During his freshman year Dean will need to work on outside running and blocking. Expect to see Aundre Dean all over College GameDay by his sophomore year.
5) DB Aaron Hester (UCLA)
Even though Hester is only 180 pounds, he can hit! One of the most physical DBs in this year's class. Hester will play cornerback at UCLA. His 4.4 forty will help him hang with some of the best WRs in the Pac-Ten. Hester has a bunch of potential, but he will need to bulk up or he could be blown up by Pac-10 receivers. Hester also has been known to have a short fuse, but I don't think it will be a big deal at UCLA.