The conference of champions needs to have more success in football championships and will be able to do so with good recruiting this season. Pac-12 rivalries are being restored and renewed based on good recruiting. So grab your popcorn for the next few years because USC, UCLA, Oregon and Stanford will all be at the top of the Pac-12 for the next few years. Here are the Pac-12 rankings:
- USC- 4 stars- 13, 3 stars- 4, Total 18
USC doesn’t have that many players signed, but has plenty of good four stars that carry their class. Clay Helton has a great first recruiting class for the Trojans.
Defensively two players are going to be instant play-makers. Defensive end Oluwole Betiku will get some playing time, especially in pass rushing situations. Safety Jamel Cook is six foot four inches tall and can provide a great strong safety for the Trojans immediately. Corner back Jackie Jones will likely need to wait at least a year to get significant playing time, but has the potential to be a star.
USC got a great quarterback in this class in Matt Fink, who still needs to grow into his frame. The Trojans got three great receivers for their future. High school teammates Tyler Vaughns and Trevon Sidney will join the class along with Josh Imatorbhebhe. The offensive tackle that could have an impact immediately is E.J. Price out of Georgia.
- Stanford- 4 stars- 9, 3 stars- 15, Total 26
David Shaw will again compete in the Pac-12 North with help from this recruiting class. The Cardinal have recruiting restrictions with who they can recruit because of their academic standards, which makes this class more impressive.
The offense has Christian McCaffrey and needs players around him for the next season or two. Quarterback K.J. Costello is one of the best pocket-passing quarterbacks in the country and is more than capable of taking over for Kevin Hogan who graduated. Stanford signed one of the best tight ends in the country, Kaden Smith, who will fit in with The Cardinal’s pro-style offense. Offensive tackle Clark Yarbrough will come in and compete for a job early to block for McCaffrey.
The Cardinal have gotten a great recruit on every level of the defense, which they needed. Cornerback Treyjohn Butler could be the best defensive back that Shaw has ever had when it is all said and done. Curtis Robinson is a linebacker that will at the very least provide depth for the Cardinal in his first season, but could do more. Defensive tackle Mike Williams already has the size to start in the trenches for Stanford at 305 pounds. All three players have the potential to play a lot in their freshman seasons.
- UCLA- 4 stars- 12, 3 stars- 14, Total 27
Jim Mora has been great as the head coach of the Bruins and is recruiting very well. They will be competing with USC for the Pac-12 south for plenty of years to come.
The Bruins have lost a lot of good linebackers in the past couple of years in Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr and Myles Jack, but have reloaded by signing Mique Juarez, Lokeni Toailoa and Krystopher Barnes, who all could compete for playing time early. Defensive end Breland Brandt is a talented player out of Los Angeles, who needs to put on some weight, but is very promising. Safety Brandon Burton will join a secondary that has plenty of good depth.
Running back Damian Alloway is a small running back, but has a four-star rating and can be a good fit for UCLA’s spread system. Wide receivers Audie Omotosho and Theo Howard will be good targets for Josh Rosen for the next couple of years.
- Oregon- 4 stars- 4, 3- stars 14, Total 19
Mark Helfrich has kept bringing great players to Eugene for the Ducks. Oregon is going nowhere in the Pac-12 championship picture any time soon.
The next great Oregon quarterback is Terry Wilson, who may start next season given his dual-threat ability. Four-star athlete Tristen Wallace played quarterback in high school, but will likely play another position on Oregon’s offense.
The defense got a lot of good front seven depth in this class. Defensive ends Bryson Young and Hunter Kampmoyer will provide good defensive line depth for the Ducks. Linebackers Darrian Franklin and LaMar Winston Jr. have chances to grow into stars for Oregon.
- Arizona State- 4 stars- 9, 3- stars 9, Total 18
Arizona State had a disappointing season in 2015, but has a good recruiting class to build with for next season. Todd Graham has continued his great recruiting, which has built Arizona State into a solid program.
The Sun Devils have one of the best receiving prospects in the country signed in N’keal Harry, who will be the best receiver they have had since Jaelen Strong. They will have a better offensive line thanks to Cohl Cabral who is a four-star center. Dillon Sterling-Cole is a god four-star sign for the Sun Devils and he will be the quarterback of the future. Running backs Chase Lucas and Tre Turner may have to wait to get on the field, but will provide good backfield depth for Arizona State.
On defense, the Sun Devils have loaded up on JUCO prospects to fill holes in their defense. They have two JUCO defensive ends, Dougladson Subtyl and Christian Hill, should see the field early for Arizona State. Two JUCO cornerbacks, Maurice Chandler and J’Marcus Rhodes, also have a chance to fight for playing time early in their time in Tempe.
- Washington- 4 stars- 8, 3 stars- 9, Total 18
Chris Petersen has a great recruiting class coming in for his second season as head coach of the Huskies. He will have Washington at the top of the Pac-12 if he keeps on recruiting like this.
The players that will have the most impact on the defensive side of the ball in this class are cornerback Byron Murphy, linebacker Camilo Eifler, Safety Taylor Rapp and potentially athlete Isaiah Gilchrist.
Two running backs and a receiver highlight the offensive commits for Washington. Brandon Wellington is a running back from Washington, who is an all-purpose back. Sean McGrew is more of a third down back, but could see more playing time if he produces. Four-star wide receiver Jordan Chin weighs 149 pounds and stands at six feet, so he will need to put on weight before he can reach his full potential.
- Utah- 4 stars- 3, 3 stars- 24, Total 29
Kyle Whittingham has gotten Utah to compete in the Pac-12, but needs to continue to recruit well to get over the edge for a Pac-12 Championship. Utah has loaded up on offense in this recruiting class to replace Travis Wilson and Devontae Booker.
JUCO offensive tackle Garett Bolles is one of the best tackle prospects in the country and will start from day one if he lives up to expectations. They have two different dual-threat quarterbacks coming in, three quality running backs, three wide receivers and more on the offensive side of the ball for this recruiting class.
The best player in the class defensively is JUCO linebacker David Luafatasaga, who will most likely start for the Utes.
- Cal- 4 stars- 3, 3 stars- 19, Total 23
Sonny Dykes may lose Jared Goff this offseason, but he has a decent recruiting class coming in.
Athlete Melquise Stovall is short in stature, but can be the swiss army knife of the Cal offense in coming years. He may play a little running back and receiver, much like De’anthony Thomas at Oregon a few years ago. They got another good offensive weapon in wide receiver Jordan Duncan out of Mississippi. Guard Dwayne Wallace, out of JUCO, is good enough to start next season for Cal.
The Golden Bears got two corners that are the best players in this class defensively. Nygel Edmonds and Camryn Bynum look like they could be a great corner tandem for Cal down the road.
- Oregon State- 4 stars- 3, 3 stars- 21, Total 25
Gary Anderson gets his first full year of recruiting kicked off pretty well for the Oregon State Beavers. His main focus was on the defensive side of the ball, because their offense is still young and can improve.
The best player for the Beavers in this class is safety Shurod Thompson, who will get a chance to start immediately for a team that struggled defensively. Defensive ends Isaac Garcia and Phillip Napoleon will also get a chance to play early in their careers to help the bad Oregon State defense. Athlete Christian Wallace can play multiple positions and has a chance to see the field early.
The Beavers also got athlete Christian Wallace who could fill in a lot of holes on the depth chart for the offense or defense.
- Arizona- 4 stars- 5, 3 stars- 13, Total 22
Arizona doesn’t have the best class in the Pac-12, but they do have some talented players for Rich Rodriguez to work with.
Rodriguez got a lot of offensive line help in this class. Keenan Walker and Michael Eletsie are both good enough to play next season. The Wildcats also may have found their quarterback of the future in dual-threat Khalil Tate, out of California.
Defensively Arizona got inside linebacker Kahi Neves, form Utah, who has the ideal size and weight for a college linebacker already at six foot four inches and 233 pounds. They also have a commitment from the JUCO ranks in Josh Allen, who will help the defense immediately.
- Washington State- 4 stars- 1, 3 stars- 22, Total 28
Washington State just had their best season in a long time, but don’t have a great recruiting class to keep the momentum going. Mike Leach is a coach who is known to get the most out of the talent he does get, so he will find a way to make these players successful.
Their four-star recruit is wide receiver Isaiah Johnson, from Florida, which is good for the Cougars, who run the air-raid offense. Another player who will get playing time in their first season is linebacker Chima Onyeukwu from Junior College. Washington State did a great job recruiting California and will need to continue to do so in the future to compete in the Pac-12.
- Colorado- 3 stars- 14, Total 17
Colorado does not have an encouraging class coming in to help them compete in the coming years. Mike MacIntyre is 10-27 in his tenure with Colorado and needs this class to overachieve to help him out.
The Buffaloes loaded up on offense at the top of their class. The best player that Colorado got is one of the best fullbacks in the country, Beau Bisharat, who could play halfback if it is needed. Quarterback Sam Noyer, out of Oregon, was a big score for Colorado. They also got wide receiver Kabion Ento, from Junior College, who could provide some instant impact.