Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
 
Tag:Jim L. Mora
Posted on: February 2, 2012 12:25 am
Edited on: February 2, 2012 12:26 am
 

National Signing Day Winners and Losers: Pac-12

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Breaking down who won and lost in the Pac-12 on National Signing Day.


WINNERS

Stanford's future backfield. We don't want to say anyone could succeed at quarterback or tailback behind a line featuring Andrus Peat, Kyle Murphy, and John Garnett. Dame Helen Mirren would fail, probably. We wouldn't like Bill Nye, the Science Guy's odds. Most 12-year-olds would struggle.

But when we're talking about an offensive line class David Shaw said "could be one of the best in college football historywithout hyperbole, it's hard to rule anyone out. And when it comes to players like potential 2012 quarterback starter Brett Nottingham or new running back signee Barry J. Sanderswe think the chances of success are so sky-high as to be nearly guaranteed. Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck might be gone, but if the results of National Signing Day are any indication, the Cardinal as a program aren't going anywhere.

Players to watch: DT Aziz Shittu, RB Barry J. Sanders, OT Andrus Peat.

The checkbooks of future Pac-12 assistants. The conversions of five-star Shaq Thompson (pictured) and receiver Jordan Payton to Washington from Cal (even if the latter was only temporary) were already evidence enough for the impact of ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi's move from Berkeley to Seattle. The Huskies capping their late surge by stealing away USC commitment Pio Vatuvei and fending off a late challenge from the Trojans for quarterback Cyler Miles was just beating a dead horse, really.

Which is why any coach with bona fide West Coast recruiting connections is likely about to find himself a much hotter commodity than they were before Signing Day began. The Huskies aggressively pursued Topoi, doubled his salary at Cal with their new conference media money, and saw immediate, dramatic dividends. Topoi might have been the first coach to have his wallet fattened overnight by Larry Scott's TV negotiations, but with results like these, he won't be the last.

Washington players to watch: DB Shaq Thompson, ATH Jaydon Mickens, CB Brandon Beaver.

Jim L. MoraTo silence the doubters for good, Mora will have to win on the field as well as the recruiting trail. But there's little doubt that Mora has at least done the latterWith another high-profile Cal exile safely in the fold in Ellis McCarthy, the Bruins spent Signing Day polishing up an already impressive haul with a pair of blue-chip receivers in Payton and Javon Williams--an area of sore need with Nelson Rosario gone.

The Bruin brass appeared to be aiming to hire the next Pete Carroll when they took a chance on Mora, and though there's still a long way to go before the comparison is valid at the collegiate as well as pro level, this class is a heck of a step in that direction.

Players to watch: DT Ellis McCarthyATH Devin FullerDB Ishmael Adams.



LOSERS

Lane Kiffin's pied piper flute. Around mid-afternoon, this was shaping up to be a typical Signing Day for college football's most notorious late-game recruiter; sure, Vatuvei had gon to the Huskies, but Kiffin had also managed to pull both high-upside end Leonard Williams and No. 1 athlete Nelson Agholor (pictured) out of Florida despite each's various Sunshine State suitors. With Miles, Peat, Murphy, and Shittu all considering the Trojans and Murphy's late announcement rumored to be potentially affected by Peat's, another matching set of Signing Day coups appeared within reach.

Instead, the Cardinal swept the big linemen while Miles stuck with the Huskies. Those decisions didn't exactly make the Trojan class a disappointment--far from it, given that it finished 9th in the country while boasting just 16 (uniformly outstanding) recruits. But it does mark the first time that Kiffin wasn't able to simply snap his fingers on Signing Day and come away with a bushel of five-stars; it will be interesting to see if, in 2013, Kiffin doesn't leave things quite so late.

Players to watch: OL Zach Banner, WR Nelson Agholor, OL Jordan Simmons.

Cal. It's not that the Bears' class wasn't solid, maybe even better than solid; Tom Lemming ranked it 15th despite only having 17 signees, and the Bears did an excellent job of filling needs at both offensive line and wide receiver. It's that it was so close to being a game-changing, program-momentum-turning, spectacular class before Lupoi's defection took the air out of the sails. 

Tedford is right that the commitments at the Army All-American game from Thompson, McCarthy, and Payton didn't mean anything on the Bears' bottom line, but it's silly to think they didn't mean the Bears had a clearcut opportunity to sign all three (and others) they couldn't take advantage of. It's debatable, too, when that kind of opportunity will come again for Tedford.

Players to watch: QB Zach Kline, WR Bryce Treggs, OL Freddie Tagoloa  

Oregon State's secondary. Want another example of the impact of position coaches on current Pac-12 recruiting? Look no further than the Beaver defensive backfield, which saw no less than four players decommit after OSU secondary coach Keith Heyward -- like Lupoi -- defected to Washington. (One of them was highly regarded corner Devian Shelton, who did get Kiffined away to USC.) The Beavers recovered to still sign four defensive backs, but when even Mike Riley was admitting there were holes at corner that went unfilled, it's safe to say things didn't go as planned.

Players to watch: OL Isaac Seumalo, TE Caleb Smith, QB Brett VanderVeen  




Maxpreps photos by Gary Jones and Margaret Bowles.
Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:16 pm
 

WR Jordan Payton makes NSD switch to UCLA

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

In one of the most surprising twists yet on National Signing Day, CBSSports.com UCLA RapidReporter Sean Ceglinsky reports that Westlake Village (Calif.) wide receiver Jordan Payton has signed with the Bruins, just one day after publicly committing to Washington.  

Before pledging to the Huskies, Payton had been committed to Cal, putting him on the commitment lists of three different schools in three days. But Payton could easily prove to be worth the fuss--a three-star recruit from Oaks Christian High School, the 6'3", 200-pound wideout also claimed offers from USC, Michigan, Florida, Notre Dame, and other national programs.

Tom Lemming ranked Payton the No. 24 receiver in the 2012 class and evaluated Payton's potential for Maxpreps:  

An athletic WR who can get in and out of his cuts quickly, runs precise routes, has the agility to change directions quickly, and has the burst and speed to get separation on the fastest of defenders. A go-to guy with the ability to become an impact offensive player in college.

Payton finished with 61 catches for 769 yards his senior season at Oaks Christian.

Though his flip takes a little bit of steam out of the Huskies' Signing Day momentum, Payton has only reinforced the stunning job on the recruiting trail done by Jim L. Mora as the new Bruin head coach. The Bruins are now up to 25 recruits in their 2012 class and rank 18th in the updated CBS Sports National Signing Day top 25.

Keep up with all the latest from National Signing Day at CBSSports.com's NSD Central.

Posted on: January 30, 2012 5:41 pm
 

Texas OT Goines flips from Mizzou to UCLA

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

A strong finish on the trail by Jim L. Mora and UCLA continued Monday as they added a fifth offensive lineman to their growing 2012 class. And unfortunately for Gary Pinkel, this one came at the expense of Missouri.

Tiger commitment Simon Goines announced Monday that he would be signing with the Bruins instead, bringing Mora's first class in Westwood to 26 players overall and further cementing their spot among the nation's top 20 classes according to Maxpreps.

Though the Bruins and Tigers were Goines' two finalists, the 6'7", 290-pound tackle from Central High School in Keller, Texas, also claimed offers from Arkansas, Baylor, Mississippi State and others.

Maxpreps' Tom Lemming writes that Goines should be a major addition to a Bruin offensive line that has struggled mightily with depth in recent seasons--at least once he's given time to fill out:

He proves to be one of the more aggressive LT prospects in the Southwest. Blessed with quick feet, he's passionate about the game of football, works hard to improve his game, and is athletic enough to have played a little TE in 2010. Looks thin at 272 and should weigh between 310 and 320 in college. He's not there yet but his potential is unlimited.

So why is a prospect from Texas spurning dozens of offers to stay closer to home to hit the far left coast? A big part of the answer is likely Adrian Klemm, the former SMU assistant turned ace recruiter for Mora's staff at UCLA--one of those offers was also from the Mustangs.

Mora may not have been seen as a smash hire at the time of his arrival and will still have plenty to prove no matter how well the Bruins finish in recruiting, but to date there's no arguing with the success of his staff selections so far.

Posted on: January 29, 2012 6:22 pm
 

Athlete Devin Fuller heads West to UCLA

By MaxPreps Stephen Spiewak

Devin Fuller, the nation's No. 35 recruit, has committed to UCLA.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pound athlete, who intends to play quarterback in college, chose UCLA over Rutgers, Nebraska, Arizona and TCU.

Fuller was a U.S. Air Force Junior All-American in 2010 and followed up with a fine senior performanc in which he led Northern Valley back to the North I Group III finals.

According to Fuller's father, picking a school whose offensive system matched Fuller's skill set was paramount.

"I think where he fits in with the coaching staff and team (is important) and who really believes in him at quarterback," said Bart Fuller, Devin's father. "And that's really going to be his gut feeling."

Apparently, he found that fit in UCLA's system under head coach Jim L. Mora.

Many expected Fuller to land at Rutgers. However, news of Greg Schiano's departure dealt a blow to the Scarlet Knights' hopes of landing him.

Photo by Dan Coppola
Posted on: January 26, 2012 12:58 pm
Edited on: January 26, 2012 1:11 pm
 

Pac-12 Signing Day Overview



Posted by Bryan Fischer


National Signing Day is almost here and recruits across the country are gearing up for plenty of last-minute pitches and school visits as head coaches look to shape their program for years to come. There was some head coaching turnover in the Pac-12 and a few interesting moves in terms of assistants which makes 2012 a very interesting year in the conference. Combined with the fact that this is the best year in a while for talent on the West Coast and there some buzz about what is going on in the Pac-12.

MaxPreps.com Top 25 Team Rankings, Big Ten
College Commits Top 100 Moving
10. California 18 3
17. USC 12 3
21. Oregon 18 2
25. Stanford 17 2

Top storylines

1. What's the fall out from Tosh Lupoi leaving for Washington?

The departure of Lupoi, Cal's best recruiter, might end up a seismic shift in the Pac-12 recruiting landscape. He was responsible for getting the Golden Bears into the top 10 in the team rankings and was on the verge of landing another five-star defender to give him an impressive three on defense. Instead plenty of Cal recruits and commitments have decided to take late official visits and only a handful can be considered solid verbal pledges. Lupoi might not be able to have a huge impact on the Huskies class but they're in the running for a few top players late in the process. Needless to say, this is a big move and one that might have a huge impact in 2012 and beyond.

2. How high does Oregon go?

The near departure of head coach Chip Kelly threw many recruits for a loop but it looks like, despite some negative recruiting by other schools, the current class will remain intact with the Ducks also in the running for some elite five-star guys on the West Coast come Signing Day. Oregon currently sits just outside the top 20 but if they land one or two of the guys that are left on their board, it's very possible to find them in the top 15 with one of the most talented classes headed to Eugene in a long time.

3. Roster management in Los Angeles

It's a good thing both head coaches in Los Angeles have NFL experience because they're going to have to do some good ol' fashioned roster management - something that does happen outside of the SEC - albeit for different reasons. Lane Kiffin and USC are finally starting to feel the effects of sanctions and have to be careful to not only sign 15 or fewer recruits on Signing Day but come in under the NCAA-imposed  limit of 75 scholarship players by the fall. The Trojans are in the running for some top talent and, with early enrollees, will actually bring in more than 15 players so it will be interesting to see what the team looks like going forward. Across town, this was expected to be a small UCLA class of 17 or so recruits but the Bruins currently have 25 commits. There are some creative things Jim Mora can do so it will be interesting to see who winds up on the roster come the fall.

4. Which new coach winds up with the best class?

The massive coaching turnover in the Pac-12 has made things interesting among the conference's middle class. Rich Rodriguez had an early head start but it took awhile to get his full staff on board and that might have cost him some. Todd Graham has to deal with a lot of negative recruiting thanks to the way he left Pitt but has managed to do better than tread water and could land one of the state's top players. Meanwhile, Mike Leach has done a remarkable job of remaking the Wazzu class to fit his offense and aggressively get players who might have been overlooked by others but are simply players when it counts on the field. Finally, Jim Mora has done a great job getting some elite talent to get excited about UCLA. Should be an interesting finish.

Most impressive class: California

Most underrated class: Oregon State

Work left to do: Arizona

Top Players to Watch
Name Pos Committed
5. Shaq Thompson DB California
6. Ellis McCarthy DT UCLA
8. Andrus Peat OL Uncommitted
13. Nelson Agholor ATH Uncommitted
16. Arik Armstead OL/DT Uncommitted
21. Zach Banner OL Uncommitted
26. Josh Garnett OL Uncommitted
30. D.J. Foster ATH Uncommitted
37. Jordan Simmons OL USC
41. Aziz Shittu DT Uncommitted
 

Assistant recruiters of note:

Robert Anae, Tony Gibson and Calvin Magee, Arizona
Mike Norvell, Arizona State
Marcus Arroyo, Ron Gould and Todd Howard, California
Eric Bieniemy, Darian Hagan and Bobby Kennedy, Colorado
Jerry Azzinaro, Gary Campbell, Mark Helfrich and John Neal, Oregon
Mark Banker, Brent Brennan, Mike Cavanaugh and Danny Langsdorf, Oregon State
Lance Anderson, Pep Hamilton and Mike Sanford Jr., Stanford
Adrian Klemm, Demetrice Martin, Noel Mazzone and Angus McClure, UCLA
James Cregg, Clay Helton, Kennedy Pola and Ed Orgeron, USC
Brian Johnson, Morgan Scalley and Kalani Sitake, Utah
Eric Kiesau, Tosh Lupoi, Johnny Nansen and Peter Sirmon, Washington
Mike Breske, Jeff Choate and Jim Mastro, Washington State

Head coach under pressure: Jeff Tedford, California

Top Pac-12 class prediction: California

Top Pac-12 signee: Shaq Thompson

Pac-12 school-by-school
North Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 QB Zach Kline
OL Freddie Tagaloa
DB Shaq Thompson
WR Bryce Treggs
This is a top 10 class for now. The emphasis is added because the departure of Lupoi to Washington has really thrown this group for a loop and caused several, such as Thompson, to look around before signing.
- Team page
- Commitment list
18 DE DeForest Buckner
RB Byron Marshall
QB Jake Rodrigues
WR Dwayne Stanford
Chip Kelly's flirtation with the NFL has thrown some for a loop but it looks like the Pac-12 champs will only add to a very good 2012 class. Marshall and Rodrigues are perfect fits on offense
- Team page
- Commitment list
24 WR Malik Gilmore
DB Tyler Hasty
OL Isaac Seumalo
This might be one of Mike Riley most talented classes during his time in Corvallis. Seumalo is one of the top offensive linemen on the West Coast and Gilmore is very underrated at the wide out spot. There are plenty of players who could play as freshmen or sophomores from this group.
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 OL Nick Davidson
LB Noor Davis
RB Barry Sanders
DT Jordan Watkins
It's not often you find the Cardinal in the top 25 in recruiting but things are rolling on the Farm. This is linemen heavy and has several recruits who should see early playing time. Stanford is also in the mix for elite offensive linemen Josh Garnett and Andrus Peat.
- Team page
- Commitment list
20 QB Jeff Lindquist
QB Cyler Miles
DE Damion Turpin
You wonder if this class could have been even better had Lupoi been hired earlier but as is, it's a very good effort out of Steve Sarkisian and staff. They failed to land the top OL's in the state but picked up two very good QB's to build around in Lindquist and Miles.
- Team page
- Commitment list
23 RB Robert Lewis
WR Gabriel Marks
OL Alex Mitchell
Mike Leach's hire has certainly turned heads on the Palouse and the recruiting trail. He's hit California for some players who were overlooked by other programs but are great fits for his system and done a good job in a short time span.
South Division Commits Top Players Notes
- Team page
- Commitment list
17 QB Javelle Allen
LB C.J. Dozier
WR Trey Griffey
Even though he was hired early in the process,  Rodriguez hasn't made a huge splash in recruiting. But with new facilities and his staff finally in place, that will come. Allen is a very good fit for RichRod's offense.
- Team page
- Commitment list
19 ATH Randall Goforth
OL Evan Goodman
OL Stephon McCray
Former head coach Dennis Erickson had assembled one of the better classes in the conference and while it has taken some hits, Todd Graham has mostly kept it together.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DB Kenneth Crawley
QB Shane Dillon
DB Yuri Wright
Landing Wright is a risk but there's no doubt he's a talented player who can contribute early on. This class should add depth across the board despite not having a big time impact player.
- Team page
- Commitment list
25 DB Ishmael Adams
DT Ellis McCarthy
QB T.J. Millweard
DB Marcus Rios
Jim Mora answered all the questions people had about an NFL guy recruiting in college with this effort. Landing McCarthy is a program-changer because big West Coast DT's don't exactly grow on trees.
- Team page
- Commitment list
12 WR Darreus Rogers
LB Jabari Ruffin
OL Jordan Simmons
OL Max Tuerk
This is the first class truly limited by NCAA sanctions but that doesn't mean Lane Kiffin hasn't been able to pull in some great players. The Trojans are also in the running for elite, top 20 players on Signing Day too.
- Team page
- Commitment list
22 ATH Chase Hansen
OL Cedrick Poutasi
QB Travis Wilson
Kyle Whittingham has talked about what a plus the move to the Pac-12 has been for recruiting and this class is one example of getting better players by being in a BCS conference.

Category: NCAAF
Tags: Adrian Klemm, Alex Mitchell, Andrus Peat, Angus McClure, Arik Armstead, Arizona, Arizona State, Aziz Shittu, Barry Sanders, Barry Sanders Jr., BCS, Bobby Kennedy, Brent Brennan, Brian Johnson, Bryce Treggs, Byron Marshall, C.J. Dozier, Cal, California, Calvin Magee, Cedrick Poutasi, Chase Hansen, Chip Kelly, Clay Helton, Colorado, Colorado, Cyler Miles, D.J. Foster, Damion Turpin, Danny Langsdorf, Darian Hagan, Darreus Rogers, DeForest Buckner, Demetrice Martin, Dennis Erickson, Dwayne Stanford, Ed Orgeron, Ellis McCarthy, Eric Bieniemy, Eric Kiesau, Evan Goodman, Freddie Tagaloa, Gabriel Marks, Gary Campbell, Isaac Seumalo, Ishamel Adams, Jabari Ruffin, Jake Rodrigues, James Cregg, Javellle Allen, Jeff Choate, Jeff Lindquist, Jeff Tedford, Jerry Azzinaro, Jim L. Mora, Jim Mastro, Jim Mora, John Neal, Johnny Nansen, Jordan Simmons, Jordan Watkins, Josh Garnett, Kalani Sitake, Kennedy Pola, Kenneth Crawley, Kyle Whittingham, Lance Anderson, Lane Kiffin, Malik Gilmore, Marcus Arroyo, Marcus Rios, Mark Banker, Mark Helfrich, Max Tuerk, Mike Breske, Mike Cavanaugh, Mike Leach, Mike Norvell, Mike Riley, Mike Sanford Jr., Morgan SCalley, NCAA, Nelson Agholor, NFL, Nick Davidson, Noel Mazzone, Noor Davis, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-12, Pep Hamilton, Peter Sirmon, Pitt, Randall Goforth, Rich Rodriguez, Robert Anae, Robert Lewis, Ron Gould, Shane Dillon, Shaq Thompson, Signing Day Overview, Stanford, Stephon McCray, Steve Sarkisian, T.J. Millweard, Todd Graham, Todd Howard, Tony Gibson, Tosh Lupoi, Tosh Lupoi, Travis Wilson, Trey Griffey, Tyler Hasty, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Zach Banner, Zach Kline
 
Posted on: December 18, 2011 7:59 pm
 

Rios becomes Jim Mora's first commit at UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Several people doubted UCLA's hire of Jim L. Mora due mostly to his lack of recruiting acumen. After a few key hires and a quick trip around the state of California in his first week on the job, Mora answered his critics with his first commitment Sunday in Elk Grove (Calif.) cornerback Marcus Rios.

"I called Coach Mora and told him I was a Bruin and he was just really happy," Rios told Scout. "He said he was excited to have me be the first to commit to him and to just keep working hard and to be ready to play for him."

The 6-foot, 175-pound defensive back was committed to Boise State for most of the year but decommitted earlier this fall. Rios had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Notre Dame and others but was sold on Mora's background and vision for the program down in Westwood.

"Coach Mora, being an NFL guy and a defensive guy, that means a lot because he knows a lot about defense," Rios said. "And he seems like he's going to be a really good coach and UCLA is a building program. And Coach Angus (McClure), we had a real close relationship and he was always recruiting me hard, way back since the spring."

In addition to being the first commitment for the new coaching staff, Rios becomes the 19th member of the Bruins' class of 2012. He had 59 tackles and four interceptions to wrap up his senior year.

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