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Wednesday, 4 February 2015

National Signing Day: Ranking The 2015 Classes of the PAC 12

Steve Sarkisian


National Signing Day is upon us, and one thing is for certain; the PAC 12 is not rebuilding, the schools in the conference are reloading.

USC, UCLA, and Oregon have all been ranked in the top 15 for the best recruiting classes in the nation; while California, Stanford and Arizona State all were able to land solid recruits in areas of need.

Here is a ranking of the recruiting classes in the PAC 12:


1.  USC – Coach Steve Sarkisian has always been known as a great recruiter, and this year is no different for the Trojans.  USC landed 3 five-star recruits with Chuma Edoga, Rasheem Green, and Osa Masina; and 14 four-star recruits.  The Trojans had one of the youngest rosters in the PAC 12 conference, and were still highly successful in 2014.  The future looks bright in Southern California for years to come.


2.  UCLA – The UCLA Bruins were not to be outdone by their Southern California rivals as Head Coach Jim Mora landed one of the best classes ever for the program.  UCLA was able to grab 3 five-star recruits including top Quarterback Josh Rosen, Running Back Soso Jamabo, and Defensive End Keisean Lucier-South.  Most Bruins seem to be more excited that Cordell Broadus, son of Hip-Hop artist Snoop Dogg, spurned an offer from USC to be a Wide Receiver for UCLA. 


3.  Oregon – The Ducks have the unenviable task of replacing one of the best College Football players to ever grace the field with Quarterback Marcus Mariota, however Head Coach Mark Helfrich and his staff were up to the task and landed another solid recruiting class.  Coach Helfrich landed several top recruits that fit the Oregon mold, and reloaded an already stacked program with quality athletes.  Mariota may be gone, but the Ducks have moved on to greener pastures with quality recruiting classes the last two years.


4.  Arizona State – The Sun Devils again landed several top athletes that will thrive in the coming years for the ASU program.  Head Coach Todd Graham landed several athletes that can play in multiple positions for the Sun Devils including highly touted Stanley Norman from Juniperro Serra in Gardena, CA.  The Sun Devils have been close to the top of the PAC 12 conference for the past several years, and are banking on this recent recruiting class to get them over the top.


5.  Stanford – Head Coach David Shaw has been excited about his “2015 Card Class” for the last few months.  The Cardinal quietly went out and landed several top players that will be looked upon for the future of the program.  One of the most prominent signings for the Cardinal was Safety Justin Reid, brother of 49ers Pro Bowl Safety Eric Reid, who was close to signing with Stanford as a collegiate.  Coach Shaw is always on the lookout for intellectual athletes, and this recruiting class is no different as the average recruit has a 3.8 grade average in High School. 


6.  California – The Golden Bears have toiled in mediocrity the past few seasons, and were in desperate need of a supporting cast to help star Quarterback Jared Goff.  Head Coach Sonny Dykes did just that this year by landing his best recruiting class since taking over the Golden Bears job two years ago.  Dykes landed several athletes that should be able to help California and Goff be successful in 2015, and get the Golden Bears back into the post season. 


7.  Washington – Head Coach Chris Peterson took a relatively young Huskies squad that was not favored to finish in the top half of the conference to a bowl game in his initial season to a bowl game.  Peterson was able to capitalize on that success and landed a solid recruiting class that should generate interest for the Husky nation.  The Huskies landed four-star QB Jake Browning that will relied upon heavily in the future to lead this program back to prominence.


8.  Washington State – The Cougars said goodbye to Senior Quarterback Connor Halliday, and said hello to their future with Quarterback Tyler Hillinski.  The soon-to-be Freshman Quarterback Hillinski has the same body style as Halliday, and has a great arm.  Head Coach Mike Leach is in a dogfight to keep his job, and he is banking on this recruiting class to aid in that pursuit.


9.  Arizona – Head Coach Rich Rodriguez took a lowly Wildcats program to the brink of the PAC 12 South championship after landing several top recruits in 2014.  Coach Rodriguez did land several solid athletes this year, but nowhere near the caliber as in 2014.  The Wildcats missed out on several opportunities to in-state rival Arizona State, and were not able to capitalize on the success of this past season. 


10. Utah – The Utes enjoyed their greatest success as a member of the PAC 12 in 2014, however were not able to garner much more interest in the program during the 2015 Recruiting Period.  Utah did not land a single recruit rated above three-stars; and will need to develop these young recruits fast as their current program lost several top athletes to the NFL and graduation.   


11. Colorado – The Buffaloes of Colorado have been a cellar dweller since entering the PAC 12 in 2011.  Head Coach Mike MacIntyre has not had a successful run leading the Buffaloes, and again, his recruiting class is bringing up the basement of the PAC 12.  If the Buffaloes struggle again in 2015, look for Coach MacIntyre to be a late season coaching casualty.


12. Oregon State – This is a year of transition for the Beavers as Coach Mike Riley jumped ship late to lead the Nebraska Cornhuskers program, and 1st year coach Gary Andersen has the task of trying to rebuild a program that lost their top tier talent to the NFL.  This will be a rebuilding year for the Beavers, and look for Coach Andersen to try and rebuild this program in his image in the coming years. 


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