Thursday, February 08, 2007

Pac Ten Alley Recruiting Report

This is the week to the focus on recruiting, and we are linking to blogs, and articles up and down the West Coast with relevance toward that subject. (The photo on the left is of plum Washington recruit WR Anthony Boyles.)

You look at the top three classes in the Pac Ten this year and they all have one thing in common, they loaded up with lineman. The line is where the championship is won regardless of the talent at the skill positions. If you take a good look at California, and Oregon there are a lot of OL who would have looked good in purple next year.

1. USC "A Plus" ...The Trojan's bring in a much smaller class than usual this year, but as usual it is loaded with five star players. USC's national recruiting is opening up opportunites for other schools in the West. USC got beat on a couple players, but closed strong getting the best Safety, and RB in the country on the last day. USC probably has reloaded on offense with a tandem of Tyler, and McKnight who are arguably the two top RB's in the country.

John Curtis Christian running back Joe McKnight made it official in a press conference in River Ridge Wednesday morning that he will attend Southern California. The 5-11, 193 pound running back announced his decision choosing the Trojans over LSU, Ole Miss and Alabama. "I will attend the University of Southern California,” McKnight said. “It was a close decision, very close. But I sat down with my mom and laid out the pros and cons of all the schools and we both agreed that this was the best decision for me. It feels very good right now.”

Stars of the Class: RB Marc Tyler, RB Joe McKnight, and DT DaJohn Harris
Top Sleeper: TE/DE Trey Henderson

2. Oregon "A" The Duck's kicked some butt in the offseason bringing in possibly their best ever class. Oregon had great balance, and some potentially great lineman. Oregon just got a lot better. On top of that they renewed Belotti for another five years.

I have seen the class rated as high as 10th nationally (second in the Pac-10, behind USC). I have also seen the LB class rated as the best group in the nation. A lot of the lineman come in highly regarded as well.

Stars of the Class: OL Darrion Weems, OL Carson York, and OL Charlie Carmichael
Top Sleeper: LB Terrell Turner

3. California "A Minus" The Bear's like the Duck's dominated with linemen this year. Cal is going to be good for some time. Tedford really has it rolling down there.

Cal's group includes 20 high school players and three junior-college transfers, and is especially strong at running back, linebacker and along the offensive line. By position, the class has five linebackers, four offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, two running backs, two wide receivers, two tight ends, two defensive backs, a quarterback and a punter.

Stars of the Class: OL Sam Demartinez, OL Justin Cheadle, and DE DJ Holt.
Top Sleeper: LB John Tyndall

4. Washington "B" The Huskies bring in a large class dominated by great skill players. UW didn't do as well on the OL, or DB as they would have liked. Still it is a solid class.

Tyrone Willingham and the Washington Football program picked up 27 commitments today in what totals Tyrone Willingham's biggest class thus far at the Univeristy of Washington. This class addressed many needs and restocked the cupboard that was left empty by Rick Neuheisel and the turmoil of the past few years. Tyrone's legacy in my opinion will be based on the performance of this class.

Stars of the Class: WR Anthony Boyles, RB Curtis Shaw, RB Brandon Johnson, and TE Mike Izbicki.
Top Sleeper: OL Skyler Fancher

5. UCLA "B" The Bruins bring in some great athlete's, but have a tiny class this year. The B rating is strictly due to low numbers. They picked up on some serious players. In comparison Washington's rating is higher because of large numbers. This is a very talented class. UCLA is always going to recruit well.

For its size it's actually a pretty decent class. The current class although may be small, in terms of ratings rank second in the Pac-10 and eighth in the country averaging 3.73 (based on's nat'l rankings) per committed recruit. Not too bad.

Stars of the Class: DT Bryan Price, RB Raymond Carter, and DE Akeem Ayers
Top Sleeper: DE Justin Edison

6. Oregon St "B Minus" the Beaver's took their usual class of instate kids, what was left in Washington, and some blue collar recruits from California. Ex Husky Nigel Burton can really recruit DB's, and he had the steal of the year getting CB David Ross to come to Corvallis at the last minute over Nebraska. The Beaver's also scored potentially big with late commitment from RB/WR Reggie Dunn who has work to do to qualify.

He's huge. I've seen him listed in some places at 325, some places as 340. Can't wait to see him play.

Stars of the Class: RB Reggie Dunn, S Lance Mitchell, CB David Ross, and S Cameron Collins
Top Sleeper: DE David Paaluhi

7. Arizona St "C Plus" Erickson really rallied to put together a top 40 class this year. He got the QB he wanted over USC. Don't expect Erickson to ever finish this low again during his tenure at ASU, in fact last week they were easily 10th in the conference, so nice finish for ASU.

There are so-called recruiting "experts" bordering on pedophilia that give Memphis a run for it's stolen money in sketchiness.* The emotional investment some fans put into the decisions of 18-year olds is beyond me. Anyhoo, came across this gem on the network

Star of the Class: QB Samson Szakacy, WR Kerry Taylor, DE Luis Vasquez, OT Pou Palelei
Sleeper of the Class: DT Bo Moos

8. Stanford "C" The Tree took three guys that Washington really wanted, and they salvaged their class ranking by doing it. Harbaugh did a better job in comparison to Dennis Erickson at ASU with a lot more room to work in because of academic standards.

"Stanford did OK. I think coach Harbaugh is going to be a very good recruiter, but he got a late start and there wasn't a whole lot he could do to get in on kids that weren't already being recruited," said Greg Biggins, recruiting analyst for SuperPrep Magazine. "When kids have to go through the admissions process, there's not a whole lot of time for a player not already looking at Stanford to do that."

Stars of the Class: DT Matt Masifilo, QB Kellen Kiilsgaard, and RB Chike Amajoyi
Top Sleeper: LB Owen Marecic

9. Arizona "C" The Wildcat's have fallen a bit on the recruiting trail after having a very hot year previously. A small average class with some good athletes on defense.

The Arizona football team is putting its Polynesian connection to good use in its 2007 recruiting class. The Wildcats are expected to sign three four-star defenders with Polynesian backgrounds as the letter-of-intent signing period starts today.

Stars of the Class: DE Apaita Tuihalamaka, LB Vuna Tuihalamaka, DE Levar Brown
Top Sleeper: QB Bryson Beirne

10. Washington St "C Minus" A weak year in state welded together with the usual suspects put's this class near the bottom. WSU is always near the bottom, but they have gone 10-1 with kids like this. The Coug's take chances, and sometimes it pays off with continuity they have developed over the years. Coug's lost three commits in the last month to SC (Henderson), Texas A&M (Apata), and Davenport (UW). Depite the low rating Doba feels he found the right players to fit his system, and that has been the key at WSU.

Whatever. USC taking what they want, that will never change. But the funny part? The kid they stole just AMAZINGLY ROSE FROM 2-STAR TO 3-STAR THE MOMENT HE CAST HIS LOT WITH THE EVIL EMPIRE!?!? HUH!?!? Lots of cred there, Fetters and the rest at Scout. What a bunch of....well, you know.

Stars of the Class: S Terry Mixon, LB Tyson Kirksey, FB Lowgone Mitz
Sleeper of the Class: DE Tyson Spencer

Dorrell Gets Extension

UCLA gives Dorrell one-year extension: UCLA coach Karl Dorrell, whose Bruins finished the season 7-6 but beat USC for the first time in eight years, has been given a one-year extension, putting him under contract through 2011. Dorrell, 29-21 in four seasons at UCLA, signed a five-year contract in July that included an $850,000 salary and incentives up to another $505,000 annually.

Bellotti Gets Extension

Oregon football coach Mike Bellotti has agreed to a five-year contract extension. The 56-year-old Bellotti gets a salary of $150,000 a year, with a guaranteed base of $650,000 in
compensation that includes such things as car, country club membership and TV contract, a university spokesman said Monday.The contract also includes incentive payments that could boost his annual take to $1.1 million. "He'd have to win a national championship to max out at the $1 million figure," said Dave Williford, the university's media services director.

Pac-10 Replay Official Loses Job

Gordon Reise, the Pac-10 official who missed a call during the Oklahoma-Oregon game last season, has been told he will not return to the job. Reise said he received death threats after a call on an onside kick near the end of the Sept. 16 game that the Ducks won 34-33. Reise said his doctors had advised him to quit, anyway. (No word on if he has been offered a job at Nike :)

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