Tag:Devin Lucien
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:13 am
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Class comparison: USC vs. UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're still digesting the class of 2011 and what better way to look at it than through the lens of two rivals. USC and UCLA have a bitter rivalry but it's been a bit one-sided on the recruiting trail for the last decade. Rick Neuheisel didn't have as many scholarships to hand out for the class of 2011 but in the end, that didn't matter that much.

USC vs. UCLA
Quarterback

Cody Kessler and Max Wittek vs. Brett Hundley. USC has always been able to pluck the best quarterback from Southern California and this year they grabbed not one, but two of them (and got them to enroll early to boot). That said, Hundley is an exciting quarterback and it would shock no one if the early enrollee was the starter coming out of fall camp. He should fit in the Pistol offense better than any other UCLA quarterback under Neuheisel.

Running Back
 

Javorius Allen and Amir Carlisle vs. Steven Manfro. Allen is a bigger back that should vie for playing time after a redshirt year as USC’s backfield thins out. Carlisle is a very versatile guy and is a steal (literally, from Stanford) in this class.

Wide Receiver
 

George Farmer, Victor Blackwell, Junior Pomee and Marqise Lee vs. Devin Lucien. Not only does USC beat UCLA four-to-one in terms of numbers, Lucien might not be as talented as any of the four wide outs the Trojans bring in. Farmer is the top wide out in the country and would have been enough to tilt this category in favor of USC alone.

Tight end

 

Raymond Nelson and Connor McDermott. USC didn’t sign a tight end in this class, though Pomee could add weight and slide inside. McDermott’s height might make him an offensive tackle at the next level but he’s very athletic. Nelson is a solid fit and could see early playing time.

Offensive Line
 

Jeremy Galten, David Garness, Cyrus Hobbi, Marcus Martin and Aundrey Walker vs. Jake Brendel, Will Oliver, Torian White and Ben Wysocki. Both teams were thin at the offensive line and they both addressed their needs. USC grabbed two of the top interior lineman in the country in Hobbi and Walker and also grabbed some junior college players to help with the numbers. Brendel could be a sleeper and White was one of the better lineman from Southern California.

Defensive Line
 

Charles Burks, Greg Townsend Jr., J.R. Tavai, DeVante Wilson, Christian Heyward, Cody Temple, Antwaun Woods and Steve Dillon vs. Sam Tai, Kevin McReynolds and Brandon Tuliaupupu. Townsend, Woods and Heyward are three players with all-league potential and there’s no telling with the rest of the group once Ed Orgeron gets his hands on them. McReynolds should see early playing time and also has the tools of an all-conference performer.

Linebacker
 

Lamar Dawson, Dallas Kelley, Tre Madden and Anthony Sarao vs. Ryan Hofmeister, Mike Orloff and Aaron Wallace Jr. UCLA picks up several players with high upside, especially the physically impressive Wallace. USC grabs players who will be expected to help out right away and talented out-of-staters Dawson and Sarao are two very good gets for linebackers coach Joe Barry.

Secondary

Ryan Henderson and Isiah Wiley. UCLA didn’t sign a single defensive back in 2012, which is hard to believe. Henderson is very nice prospect and Wiley should be able to get into the rotation right away.

Overall
 

Call it a knockout in favor of the Trojans, this one wasn’t even close. UCLA was limited in the number of scholarships they were able to give out but then again, USC was supposed to be too. In the end, the Trojans signed double the number of players, which is quite amazing and a credit to how good a recruiter Lane Kiffin is. Given the sanctions, one would have expected UCLA to take advantage with this class but it appears they took advantage of no one in the class of 2011.

Posted on: February 2, 2011 11:38 pm
 

Pac-12 Signing Day: Winners and Losers

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Taking stock of the day in the Pac-12:

WINNERS

USC
: Maybe you can't explain it, but you can't deny it, either: Lane Kiffin is a phenomenon on the recruiting trail. Whether it was pulling linebacker Lamar Dawson out of Kentucky, Ohio tackle Aundrey Walker (pictured) out of the clutches of Ohio State, or defensive lineman Christian Heyward from down the road in San Diego, the Trojans were every bit as everywhere on Signing Day as they were in their Pete Carroll heyday. Recruits like athlete Marqise Lee (likely the next USC stud safety) and Jan 28. guard commitment Cyrus Hobbi should be cornerstones for Kiffin for years to come ... not to mention longtime Trojan commitments like receiver George Farmer (the nation's No. 20 player) who signed on the dotted line as expected. Losing De'anthony Thomas to the current Pac-12 overlords in Eugene stings, no doubt, but it doesn't change the fact that no team in the country helped themselves more on Signing Day than Kiffin's. NCAA sanctions, schmenCAA schmanctions.

Oregon: The Ducks struck both early and late on Signing Day. They started at just after 8 a.m. EST by plucking Traverse City offensive lineman Jake Fisher out of northern Michigan, a player Chip Kelly would later say compares to any lineman in the country. Things got even better some 14 hours later when Thomas -- the nation's No. 15 player and a beyond-perfect fit for Kelly's light-speed offense and the open spaces it creates -- became the highest-profile Signing Day switch in the country. Inbetween those two highs the Ducks missed out on a handful of California prospects (like Heyward and Lee), but after signing what's likely the strongest class in school history and gleefully robbing Kiffin of his highest-ranked recruit, no one's going to complain.

Washington: As nice as the Duck haul was, before the Thomas news our Maxpreps team rankings still had the Huskies as the No. 2 class in the Pac-12 and the No. 15 class nationally. Steve Sarkisian didn't bring in any surprise last-minute signings -- in fact, their Signing Day might have been a net negative with tailback Kameron Jackson's flip to Cal balancing the addition of Ventura (Ca.) JUCO quarterback Antavius Sims -- but it was a day of celebration all the same after U-Dub dominated the state of Washington. Following last week's conversion of Washington State- committed tailback Bishop Sankey of Spokane, all five of the Seattle Times "Blue Chip" selections for the state wound up Huskies. They'll likely have to cast their net a little wider in the future, but locking down top-notch in-state talent like five-star tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Maxpreps' No. 27 player overall) is a excellent way to build on the momentum of the Huskies' Holiday Bowl win.

LOSERS

Utah:
We mentioned in our Pac-12 Signing Day preview that the Utes would likely need to sign both Moreno Valley (Calif.) teammates Ryan Anderson -- a defensive back and Ute commit -- and Junior Pomee, a coveted wide receiver, to make a splash in their new conference digs. Instead, Kiffin and USC stole away both players. The Utes still signed several nice players (most notably running back Harvey Langi), but on paper this isn't the sort of class that announces the Utes as a major West Coast player.

Arizona State: When you lose a blue-chip hometown prospect on Signing Day because he just so happened to see a license plate from the state representing your competition , it has officially been a bad day. At least the Sun Devils kept quarterback Michael Eubanks from deserting to Utah ... but then again, they couldn't do the same with Chino (Calif.) athlete Quinton Pedroza, who flipped to the Utes. With only 13 players, the Sun Devil class appears to have neither quantity nor a particularly high level of quality.

UCLA: Signing Day wasn't actually all that bad for the Bruins; landing Washington D.C. defensive tackle Kevin McReynolds was arguably the biggest pickup of Rick Neuheisel's entire class, and the Bruins avoided any high-profile decommitments from players like California lineman Torian White (who'd had a serious flirtation with USC) or top receiving recruit Devin Lucien. But the glaring contrast between the hole UCLA had already dug for themselves on the recruiting trail and Kiffin's smashing Signing Day successes meant that the Bruins were going to end up looking like L.A. losers no matter what they did Wednesday.

VIDEO

CBS College Sports' Aaron Taylor breaks down the state of Pac-12 recruiting:

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com