Pac-12 signing day superlatives
February, 8, 2013
By Ted Miller | ESPN.com
The Pac-12 had mixed results on national signing day.
No Pac-12 team ranked in the top 10 of the ESPN recruiting rankings. Just three teams ranked in the top 25. That's not good. The best player on the West Coast, defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, a former USC commit, ended up signing with Notre Dame.
That said, folks at UCLA are happy. They probably feel pretty good at Washington, too. And USC fans should realize that, despite the decommitments, the 2013 class is pretty darn strong. Further, there are plenty of intriguing players in some of the other classes who scream "underrated!"
You can see where every class ranked here.
And here's a final look.
Biggest winner on signing day: UCLA addressed needs in the secondary and on the offensive line with high quality players. But the most notable takeaway is the continued positive momentum for the program. When Jim Mora was first hired, many Bruins fans were uncertain about him. Here's a guess that is no longer the case. He won the Pac-12 South Division his first season and beat USC on the field and in recruiting. There's clearly a buy rating on the Bruins.
Biggest loser: Stanford's class ranked seventh in the Pac-12, according to ESPN recruiting, but nearly every other recruiting service rated the Cardinal 11th in the Pac-12. Most of that is numbers: 12. Stanford's roster didn't allow for a large class. But this is the Rose Bowl champion, a team that has played in three consecutive BCS games. Other than QB Ryan Burns, Stanford didn't sign any player ranked among the top 15 at his position. Last year, in a class of 22, they signed six such players, and that doesn't include Aziz Shittu, the No. 17 defensive tackle.
Best closer: UCLA added ESPN 150 defensive end Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley) on Tuesday. They then landed ESPN 150 quarterback Asiantii Woulard (Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park), the nation's No. 1-rated dual-threat QB, and ESPN 150 inside linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea (Honolulu/Punahou) on signing day. That's a strong troika.
Best closer, rookie coach division: Oregon was hit hard by the loss of running back Dontre Wilson, who seemed like a perfect hybrid speed guy for the Ducks' offense, but he opted for Ohio State. Still, new coach Mark Helfrich also rallied on signing day, getting a big pair of flips: Defensive end Torrodney Prevot and offensive guard Cameron Hunt. Prevot flipped from USC and Hunt from California.
Biggest loss: Maybe the Pac-12 blog isn't recruiting savvy, but it was surprised that Vanderdoes opted to bolt the West Coast for Notre Dame. The general feeling over the past couple of weeks was if Vanderdoes didn't end up at UCLA, he would sign with Alabama. He's going to love winter in South Bend. Of course, by signing with the Irish, Stanford and USC will get to see plenty of him over the next few seasons.
Ready to go? Here's a guess at one player per team who will get playing time next season: Arizona (WR Samajie Grant); Arizona State (DT Marcus Hardison); California (DE Sione Sina); Colorado (QB Sefo Liufau); Oregon (RB Thomas Tyner); Oregon State DT Kyle Peko); Stanford (TE Greg Taboada); UCLA (CB Johnny Johnson Jr.); USC (S Su'a Cravens); Utah (DT Sese Ianu); Washington (WR Damore'ea Stringfellow); Washington State (WR Vince Mayle).