Signing Day Checklist: Wrapping up the Pac-12

By Chris Huston | College Football Writer

Arizona

Signees: 26

247Sports National Rank: 45

Overview: The Wildcats needed to find a replacement for departed quarterback Matt Scott while also stocking up at running back and defensive back. Rich Rodgriguez did just that by signing three quarterbacks, two running backs and five defensive backs. As usual, Arizona raided California, with 13 signees coming from the Golden State.

Headliner: Running back Pierre Cormier from San Diego is a shifty scat back with excellent speed and vision. He's a perfect fit for the Arizona scheme. If current All-American running back Ka'Deem Carey can't go in the fall due to legal issues, Cormier could play a lot early.

Instant Impact: Junior college transfer Jesse Scroggins, formerly of USC, will get a crack at the starting quarterback position and stands a good chance of at least becoming the backup. He's not the ideal Rodriguez-style signal caller, but he's a fundamentally sound passer with a strong arm.

Best-Case Scenario: This class is well-suited for what Rich Rodriguez wants to do at Arizona. Above all, it's filled with speed. It has the potential to be the foundation for an eventual Wildcat run at the Pac-12 South title.

Arizona State

Signees: 26

247Sports National Rank: 41

Overview: The Sun Devils wanted to shore up the defense and bring in some bodies at wide receiver. That's exactly what happened as coach Todd Graham signed five defensive backs, five linebackers, six defensive linemen and seven wideouts. It was a good effort in Graham's first full recruiting cycle in Tempe.

Headliner: Inside linebacker Chans Cox of Lakeside, Ariz., was rated fifth at his position nationally by 247Sports. He's an example of the kind of player the Sun Devils need to keep in state if they want to eventually challenge for conference titles.

Instant Impact: Jaelen Strong of Pierce Junior College in Woodland Hills, Calif., is a six-foot-four, 205-pound phenom who should start from Day 1 (if he qualifies). He has the potential to be a star in the Pac-12 in 2013 and a future high NFL draft pick.

Best-Case Scenario: The Sun Devils are already explosive on offense and should become more so with this class. The strong group of front-seven defenders should make ASU more physical and put the Sun Devils in position to challenge for the Pac-12 South title.

Colorado

Signees: 19

247Sports National Rank: 67

Overview: The moribund Colorado program needs help everywhere, but new coach Mike MacIntyre had to find some difference-makers at quarterback and running back first and foremost. The Buffs have finished near or at the bottom of the conference in total offense each of the past two seasons and that was mainly because of a lack of dynamic playmakers at the skill spots. That could be changing soon.

Headliner: Four-star dual-threat quarterback Sefo Liufau is the prize of the class, and there's a decent chance that he wins the starting job in the fall. He's a big-bodied specimen who was rated sixth-best at his position by 247Sports.

Instant Impact: Running back Phillip Lindsay is a tiny will-o'-the-wisp with breakaway ability. He'll also give the Buffs help in the return game.

Best-Case Scenario: MacIntyre didn't have much time to put this class together, but at least he averted disaster by reeling in some talent at key positions. If a few of these guys pan out, they could be in a bowl before they graduate.

UCLA

Signees: 23

247Sports National Rank: 9

Overview: Coach Jim Mora, Jr. signed the top class in the Pac-12 and one of the best in the nation. The Bruins filled needs with six offensive linemen, five defensive backs and four linebackers. More important, UCLA brought in some dynamic athletes on both sides of the ball from all around the country, giving notice to the rest of the conference of the recruiting potential that resides in Westwood.

Headliner: Defensive end Kylie Fitts is a former USC commitment who could end up growing into a 3-4 defensive tackle. He's got good quickness and change of direction for a big man.

Instant Impact: Thomas Duarte is a physically mature and athletic tight end/h-back/defensive end prospect who could fill the red-zone receiving role performed by Joseph Fauria the past couple of seasons.

Best-Case Scenario: This group is filled with athletes, especially on defense, and several of them should contribute early as UCLA makes a run at a conference title. Mora's second class will also give the program the quality depth it needs to compete at the highest levels.

USC

Signees: 12

247Sports National Rank: 14

Overview: The NCAA sanctions limit USC to just 15 scholarships per class and 75 overall. Even with those restrictions, the Trojans signed just 12, although it may be the highest quality 12 in the country. This class will forever be known for what it could have been, as several top-flight prospects decommitted from USC toward the end of the recruiting cycle.

Headliner: Safety Su'a Cravens is the top safety in the country and a good enough athlete to play several other positions. His instincts and production on both sides of the ball made him a California high school legend.

Instant Impact: Highly-touted Justin Davis (in for spring) and Ty Isaac will be given every opportunity to win the starting tailback position in the fall. Both are power backs with the potential to carry the ball 20 times per game.

Best-Case Scenario: This class isn't big and doesn't address a lot of USC's depth concerns, but it is brimming with talent. If the Trojans are to crawl back into national relevance any time soon, this group must overachieve.

Utah

Signees: 28

247Sports National Rank: 52

Overview: The Utes loaded up on the offensive side of the ball, signing six wide receivers, four running backs, two quarterbacks and four offensive linemen. This makes sense since Utah has been absolutely atrocious on offense the last few seasons. Eighteen of the 28 prospects are from either California or Texas.

Headliner: Running back Dre'Vian Young, the younger brother of former Texas running back Selvin Young, is the jewel of the class and could contribute right away at tailback.

Instant Impact: Junior college transfer wide receiver Andre Lewis has an NFL body at 6-3, 220 pounds. He should be a big weapon for quarterback Travis Wilson in the passing game.

Best-Case Scenario: The Utes are still adjusting to playing in the Pac-12, but this class has the talent to vault them into the league's upper half. If it lives up to its potential, Utah will be bowling again this season.

North Division

California

Signees: 26

247Sports National Rank: 40

Overview: The Bears needed to replenish the offensive and defensive lines while picking up a receiver or two to replace Keenan Allen. New coach Sonny Dykes signed 13 total linemen and brought in three wideouts and did a commendable job in his first go-around in Berkeley.

Headliner: Four-star end Takkarist McKinley is a rangy athlete who could play end or outside linebacker. He was rated the No. 5 end nationally by 247Sports.

Instant Impact: Cornerback Cameron Walker has the physical tools to get on the field right away as a freshman, as does waterbug running back Khalfani Muhammad.

Best-Case Scenario: It's only a matter of time before Dykes has an explosive offense in place. This defensive-oriented class should help keep the Bears in games while the offense matures.

Oregon

Signees: 19

247Sports National Rank: 19

Overview: New coach Mark Helfrich's first recruiting class finished strong after a slow start. As usual, the recruits heading to Eugene are fast and athletic and well-suited for the schemes in which they will play. If Oregon can recruit this well during a coaching change, look out for next year.

Headliner: Thomas Tyner is the fastest running back recruit in the country and, at 6-0, 210 pounds, he has the potential to be a superstar for the Ducks.

Instant Impact: Tyner should be a freshman phenom, but also keep an eye out for receiver Devon Allen, who is an elite hurdler/sprinter with the kind of speed that can work wonders in Oregon's scheme.

Best-Case Scenario: The Ducks have become even faster with this recruiting class and games in Eugene will continue to resemble a track meet. This is a program that will remain well-positioned for future runs at the national title.

Oregon State

Signees: 25

247Sports National Rank: 44

Overview: The Beavers never sign the highest-rated recruiting classes but, more often than not, coach Mike Riley finds a way to get the most out of them. It should be the same with this year's class, which is heavy with defensive signees.

Headliner: Offensive tackle Sean Harlow is the son of former NFL first-round pick Pat Harlow, and he signed with the Beavers after being spurned by his dad's alma mater, USC. He has the toughness and bloodlines to be an all-star one day.

Instant Impact: Junior college transfer Steven Nelson could be the front-runner to replace All-American Jordan Poyer at cornerback. He was rated the No. 2 JC corner in the country by 247Sports.

Best-Case Scenario: If all goes according to plan, this class will blossom in two or three years and serve as the catalyst for several bowl game appearances.

Stanford

Signees: 12

247Sports National Rank: 63

Overview: The Cardinal only signed 12 players, but that was because they only had 13 scholarships available. Nonetheless, it's a quality group that will augment the elite classes of the past couple seasons. Stanford is to the point where it is just reloading, so don't be fooled by its recruiting ranking.

Headliner: Four-star quarterback Ryan Burns is in the mold of Andrew Luck and Kevin Hogan, a big pocket passer with good feet and football smarts. He'll compete to replace Hogan when the time comes.

Instant Impact: The Stanford offense is dependent on tight end play and four-star Eric Cotton could find himself on the field early. Like recent Cardinal tight ends, he's tall and athletic with great hands.

Best-Case Scenario: The Cardinal are loaded and this class should help the program continue to compete for conference and national titles.

Washington

Signees: 22

247Sports National Rank: 18

Overview: Time is running out for Steve Sarkisian, and he responded by putting together his finest recruiting class. The Huskies have been stellar at the skill positions but have been beat up in the trenches in the last few seasons. This group should begin to address those deficiencies, but will Sark be around to reap the benefits?

Headliner: Four-star Jermaine Kelly is an elite cornerback prospect, a dominant playmaker with the potential to start right away and eventually earn all-star honors.

Instant Impact: Washington needs talented beef up front on defense and four-star end Elijah Qualls is expected to be in the rotation from the get-go.

Best-Case Scenario: This class is balanced on both sides of the ball and puts Washington's roster into the top half of the league as far as talent goes. Once the young linemen develop, this program should be ready to challenge for the Pac-12 North title.

Washington State

Signees: 26

247Sports National Rank: 53

Overview: Mike Leach's first year in Pullman wasn't ideal, but it hasn't hurt his recruiting efforts, as the Cougars once again signed a class littered with players who should flourish in his schemes. Eleven linemen on either side of the ball highlight a group with signees from as far away as Alabama and American Samoa.

Headliner: Tyler Bruggman is a prototypical Leach quarterback at 6-2, 202 pounds. He's the heir apparent to Connor Halliday.

Instant Impact: Four-star wide out Vince Mayle is a big-bodied receiver who, at 6-3, 220 pounds, will remind some observers of Michael Crabtree. Look for him to start early and shine.

Best-Case Scenario: Leach's first full class should help return the program to respectability and get it back to a bowl within two seasons.


 
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