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February 15, 2011
Ranking the Pac-12 by position
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Rivals.com analyst Adam Gorney ranks the Pac-12's 2011 recruiting classes by position.
USC loaded up with two outstanding four-star prospects in Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, and both are capable of playing early for the Trojans. Four-star Brett Hundley should have a chance to play early - maybe this season - at UCLA. Arizona State got two quality prospects in four-star Michael Eubank and three-star Michael Bercovici. Washington flipped Derrick Brown from Utah and then landed Antavius Sims, a junior college player, late in the process.
The Golden Bears had a tremendous haul at running back with Brendon Bigelow, Daniel Lasco, Darren Ervin and junior college recruit C.J. Anderson, who might be the most ready to play early. Keeping Harvey Langi in-state was crucial for Utah, which also got juco back John White and Jarrell Oliver. Even though Stanford lost Amir Carlisle to USC, the Cardinal kept Kelsey Young and Remound Wright, two four-star recruits. Oregon and UCLA signed only one running back apiece.
Five-star George Farmer leads an outstanding receiver group for USC, which also includes four-star standouts Victor Blackwell and Junior Pomee, a former UCLA pledge. Oregon landed two four-star wide receivers in Devon Blackmon and junior college recruit Rahsaan Vaughn. Brandin Cooks, a four-star recruit, leads the way for a productive group at Oregon State. Five schools - UCLA, Arizona, Colorado, Cal and Arizona State - signed only one wide receiver each.
Only one four-star tight end signed with a Pac-12 school and that was Gig Harbor (Wash.) standout Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who picked the hometown Huskies. Seferian-Jenkins is good enough to play as a freshman. Max Hersey and Mansel Simmons were two really nice pickups for Washington State. Arizona also landed two in Michael Cooper and Drew Robinson.
The Trojans took six offensive linemen in the class, led by offensive guards Cyrus Hobbi and Aundrey Walker. Junior college recruits David Garness and Jeremy Galten, along with local standout Marcus Martin and long snapper Peter McBride, round out the class. Oregon dipped into the state of Arizona and plucked four-star recruits Tyler Johnstone and Andre Yruretagoyena. Four-star Mo Latu was the prize in Arizona State's class.
Landing four-star Christian Heyward was big for USC because he continues to get better each time he's seen. Antwaun Woods and Cody Temple could contribute as well. Cal did an outstanding job getting two massive bodies in Viliami Moala and Mustafa Jalil. UCLA won out with four-star Kevin McReynolds from Washington, D.C., and Brandon Tuliaupupu flipped late from Washington State.
Greg Townsend Jr. leads the way for USC, which also landed DeVante Wilson and Charles Burks, two versatile players who thrive on athleticism. Cal did an outstanding job on the defensive line, especially at end with Todd Barr, Jason Gibson and Brennan Scarlett - all four-star recruits. Oregon State absolutely loaded up by signing eight defensive ends led by Dylan Wynn, who was close to four-star status and plays with such fire.
Three four-star prospects - Tre Madden, Lamar Dawson and Anthony Sarao - put the Trojans on top of this category as well. USC loaded up everywhere and linebacker was no exception. Oregon had an impressive haul with five linebackers, led by Dallas (Texas) Skyline four-star Anthony Wallace. Washington also did a nice job, especially by getting Corey Waller and Matthew Lyons out of Southern California.
Four-star safety James Sample leads an impressive group of defensive backs for Washington, which also landed three-star prospects Travis Feeney, Marcus Peters and Evan Zeger. Cal was right there, though, with two four-stars in cornerback Stefan McClure and safety Avery Walls, who both played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Utah's class was led by four-star junior college recruit Keith McGill.
There's no question Oregon owned this position group by landing five-star Colt Lyerla, who projects as a linebacker, and flipping five-star running back/cornerback De'Anthony Thomas from USC in one of the biggest signing day stories in recent memory. Four-star Christian French is a nice addition as well. USC was the only other program to land a four-star athlete in Marqise Lee, who could play wide receiver or safety. Washington State added three athletes in its class.