Every Pac-12 Team's Most Underrated 2014 Committed Recruit

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IDecember 9, 2013

Every Pac-12 Team's Most Underrated 2014 Committed Recruit

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    Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

    With Steve Sarkisian now at USC and Chris Petersen leading Washington, the Pac-12 is going to be even wilder. The league is full of outstanding coaches, so the difference between wins and losses will likely come down to how much talent a program can acquire on the recruiting trail.

    Teams will not be able to miss on their evaluations of prospects often, so hitting on a good portion of recruits in every recruiting class will be critical. Some players will arrive on campus with a ton of hype, while others will fly under the radar.

    Each Pac-12 school has one or two recruits who deserve a little more love. Arizona has a big defensive back who will help sooner than expected, while USC has a commitment from a linebacker who should be solid in a few years. Plus, Utah has a pledge from a quarterback armed with a ton of potential.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Washington State

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    Underrated recruit: Chandler Leniu, LB

    Only a 3-star recruit, Chandler Leniu is not a guy who's going to impress many people in shirts and shorts; however, he is a player who is at his best when his pads are on and it's time to play football.

    At 6'1" and 230 pounds, Leniu is a linebacker who has good instincts and ball-location skills. He knows how to sift through trash to track running backs, plus he plays hard on every down. Leniu hustles in coverage, and his ability to be adequate in zone schemes should help him at Washington State.


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    Underrated recruit: Natrell Curtis, OL

    Natrell Curtis is a 3-star offensive lineman who is 6'3" and 335 pounds. He flashes solid quickness at the snap, plus he doesn't allow himself to get pushed around in the trenches.

    Curtis can hold his own in a phone booth to protect the passer, as he has solid short-area athleticism. While he could be a good right tackle, Curtis may develop into an excellent guard. With a little seasoning in Seattle, this guy should start for multiple seasons.


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    Underrated recruit: Donovan Isom, QB

    Hailing from Louisiana, 3-star quarterback Donovan Isom has played against great competition during his high school career. That will help him be prepared to play at Utah, as he has a chance to make a difference for the Utes.

    At 6'4" and 215 pounds, Isom is a solid athlete who actually does most of his damage from the pocket. He stands tall to look downfield before using his solid arm strength to deliver strikes to his targets. Isom should be excellent in the intermediate passing game for Utah.


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    Underrated recruit: Olajuwon Tucker, LB

    USC has gone through a transition with Steve Sarkisian taking over last week, but the Trojans should be fine going forward. A sleeper in their recruiting class is Olajuwon Tucker, a 3-star linebacker from California.

    Tucker, who is 6'4" and 220 pounds, displays natural ability on the field. He's an instinctive player who trusts his gut, plus he has terrific short-area explosiveness to get to the ball. Tucker flashes the potential to be effective when blitzing, while also having some skills in coverage.

    He should blossom in Troy with good coaching.


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    Underrated recruit: John Plattenburg Jr., DB

    A scrappy defensive back, 3-star cornerback John Plattenburg Jr. is not going to back down from anyone. The 5'10", 179-pounder is playing in Texas these days, but he'll feel right at home in Los Angeles.

    Plattenburg has solid athleticism to play in space, as well as the range to patrol large areas of the field. He flashes good speed to carry his man downfield, plus he'll stick his nose in the running game.

    UCLA head coach Jim Mora is a defensive back's coach at heart, so he's going to love giving attention to Plattenburg on a daily basis.


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    Underrated recruit: Daniel Marx, FB

    Stanford is known for its powerful rushing attack, so it's not surprising a fullback is its most underrated recruit.

    While Daniel Marx can play linebacker, the 3-star recruit is going to line up in the offensive backfield on The Farm.

    Marx is going to make his mark as a lead-blocking fullback who digs out linebackers from alleys while being trailed by a running back. At 6'3" and 238 pounds, the California native has the strength and toughness to get the job done.  

Oregon State

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    Underrated recruit: Kalani Vakameilalo, DT

    Although he is raw, Kalani Vakameilalo has a chance to develop into a starter for Oregon State. The 6'4", 300-pound, 3-star defensive tackle from Hawaii is a physical presence is the middle.

    Vakameilalo has adequate quickness at the snap to powerfully engage with guards. He shows outstanding strength at the point of attack, plus he flashes the ability to anchor and make a mess at the line of scrimmage. Once he erases some issues with his technique, Vakameilalo should open some eyes.


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    Underrated recruit: Glen Ihenacho, DB

    At 6'0" and 185 pounds, Glen Ihenacho is a 4-star defensive back who is a natural football player. The California native can play cornerback, but he projects better as a safety.

    He's magical in the box, as Ihenacho has terrific ball-location skills versus running plays. He attacks the line of scrimmage, plus he has impressive strength to fight blockers at the point of attack. Ihenacho has above-average ability in zone coverage, as his range is his best asset versus passing plays.

    He'll be fine in Eugene.


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    Underrated recruit: Zach Brown, LB

    A 3-star linebacker, Zach Brown will be one of the better defensive players in Boulder early in his career. He can play middle linebacker, but Brown would work wonders as an inside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme.

    At 6'3" and 235 pounds, the Golden State prospect loves to mix it up. Brown is a physical 'backer who has deceptive short-area quickness in the box to reach running backs. He hustles to hold his own in coverage, as he can be effective in limited zones. 

    The Buffs are getting a better player than many people realize. 


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    Underrated recruit: Koa Farmer, S

    California is going to have work hard to hold onto 3-star safety Koa Farmer, as his stock is going to rise on the recruiting trail. From California, Farmer can play strong or free safety in the Pac-12.

    At 6'1" and 200 pounds, Farmer moves well for his size to play with range. He has solid quickness out of his backpedal, plus he flashes good ball skills. Farmer can also crash the line of scrimmage versus running plays to fill alleys, thanks to his strength and instincts.

Arizona State

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    Underrated recruit: Demario Richard, RB

    A 3-star running back, Demario Richard is a quicker-than-fast athlete who uses that to his advantage. The 5'10", 200-pound running back has great quickness to shoot through alleys with force.

    Richard does a solid job of quickly reaching the second level, where he uses his strength to power through linebackers. He has some explosiveness to skate upfield, plus he is an adequate option in the passing game.

    He should have a good career in Tempe.


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    Underrated recruit: Patrick Glover, DB

    At 6'1" and 190 pounds, 3-star JUCO defensive back Patrick Glover should make an immediate impact at Arizona.

    With his size and strength, Glover has the ability to press receivers at the line to throw off their timing. He also has the needed speed and range to effectively play in the seams as a safety. Glover needs to refine his technique, but the defensive coaches for 'Zona will like this guy.

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    Don't forget to use the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map to track the nation's top prospects through National Signing Day!

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.


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