The Pac-12 is alive and kicking on the recruiting trail.
With National Signing Day rapidly approaching on Feb. 6, the country’s top recruits are lining up to commit to their schools of choice. As expected, the SEC is leading the way with nine 5-star recruits and 28 of the Top 100, according to Scout.com.
With the announcement of two of the country’s top recruits committing to UCLA on Wednesday in Tahaan Goodman and Priest Willis, the Pac-12 is in a solid second place with eight 5-star recruits and 20 of the Top 100.
But where are the Sun Devils? Where do they rank with such talent as Chans Cox, Viliami Latu and Joshua Dobbs? It will take a couple years before Arizona State starts pulling in the top talent, but I can see it coming, trust me.
In the meantime, here is a look at where the Sun Devils fit within the scope of Pac-12 recruiting.
After tumultuous endings for both L.A. schools in 2013, the two have done well to keep the past in the past and focus solely on the future. They top the conference with the best classes, and here is the rundown of how all of the schools are doing in the all-important recruiting game.
1. UCLA Bruins
The Tempe native spurned his hometown team to join Rancho Cucamonga’s Tahaan Goodman, Tyler Foreman from Encino and Fresno’s Johnny Johnson in what looks to be a strong secondary. All four players are ranked in the top 10 at their positions nationally.
UCLA’s defense gave up an average of 27.6 points per game last season and was tied for sixth in the Pac-12 with 15 interceptions.
The Bruins have also received “soft verbal” commitments from five additional 4-star recruits, including the country’s No. 4 outside linebacker in Myles Jack (6’3″, 230 lbs) out of Bellevue, Wash.
The Bruins have a total of five players in the Top 100, with 16 4-star recruits and six 3-star recruits.
2. USC Trojans
Although the Trojans’ 2013 class is relatively small with only 10 commits and three “soft verbals,” they are obviously more concerned with quality over quantity.
All of the recruits come with either four or five stars next to their name, and nine players are from the Top 100.
Their six 5-star recruits are the most of any team in the country and more than all but two conferences’ combined totals. Among their ranks is the country’s No. 1 safety, Su’a Cravens (pictured) from Murrieta, Calif., and the No. 1 quarterback in Max Browne from Sammamish, Wash.
Other notable recruits are the country’s No. 2 cornerback, Jalen Ramsey from Brentwood, Tenn., the No. 2 defensive tackle, Kenny Bigelow from Elkton, Md., and a pair of running backs; Justin Davis from Stockton, Calif., and Ty Isaac from Joliet, Ill., ranked No. 6 and No. 7, respectively.
The Huskies come in third in the Pac-12 with a good-looking class, including three players from the Top 100. Their class of 21 includes nine 4-star and 11 3-star recruits. They have nabbed the nation’s No. 10 quarterback in Troy Williams (pictured) of Harbor City, Calif., along with the nation’s No. 3 center and No. 5 kicker.
They also have a soft verbal commitment from ex-Texas Longhorns commit Daeshon Hall from Lancaster, Texas. Hall, the No. 6 defensive end in the country, would be a great addition to Steve Sarkisian’s 2013 class. Other standouts for the Huskies include 4-star Demorea Stringfellow, the No. 11 wide receiver in the country, and 4-star Elijah Qualls, the nation’s No. 11 defensive tackle.
Four-star quarterback Jared Goff from Kentfield, Calif., leads Cal’s impressive class of 25 recruits. A total of four 4-star recruits and a conference-leading 18 3-star recruits will be making their way to Berkeley as it stands today.
Other standouts for the Bears include 4-star Cameron Hunt from Corona, Calif., the No. 15 offensive guard in the country, and the No. 2 kicker in the country, Matt Anderson from Danville, Calif.
Two more 4-star California natives are headed to Cal in running back Khalfani Muhammad from Sherman Oaks and defensive back Darius Allensworth from Romoland.
Four-star quarterback Anu Solomon is the 35th-ranked quarterback in the country by Scout.com but comes in as the No. 2 QB in the country according to Rivals.com, as well as a Top 100 recruit.
Solomon is joined by other top recruits Logan Stott, the No. 14 offensive guard from St. George, Utah; Derek Babiash, the No. 25 cornerback from Poway, Calif., and Pierre Cormier, the No. 29 running back from San Diego.
The Sun Devils are going big on defense with the 2013 class.
They are the only school in the Pac-12 with more defensive commits than offense and also have the highest amount of junior college transfers in the conference.
The Devils secured Arizona’s No. 3 player and the nation’s No. 13 middle linebacker, Chans Cox (pictured). He also played fullback in high school and is ranked as the No. 1 fullback in the nation.
Other top-ranked recruits headed to Tempe are 4-star quarterback Joshua Dobbs, the No. 12 quarterback in the country from Alpharetta, Ga., 4-star linebacker Viliami Latu from Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and 4-star defensive end Marcus Hardison from Dodge City Community College in Kansas.
7. Oregon Ducks – Thirteen total recruits, including 5-star running back Thomas Tyner and six 4-star recruits. Who knows which ones will stay now that Chip Kelly has bolted for the NFL.
8. Stanford Cardinal – Another small class of only 12 so far, but there are four 4-star recruits, including two of the top 10 middle linebackers in the country in Peter Kalambayi and Kevin Palma.
9. Oregon State Beavers – A good-sized class of 21 recruits, including 4-star cornerback Dashon Hunt from Westlake Village, Calif., and the No. 21 offensive guard in the nation in Sean Harlow from San Clemente.
10. Utah Utes – The largest class in the Pac-12 so far with 28 commits, including 4-star JUCO transfer wide receiver Andre Lewis. The Utes also wrangled 16 3-star recruits.
11. Washington State Cougars – The Cougars scored a big-time commit in 4-star quarterback Tyler Bruggman from Phoenix, Ariz. The Cougars also nabbed 12 3-star recruits.
12. Colorado Buffaloes – How do you sell a team that had one win all year long and finished 100-plus in all four major categories: rushing, passing, rush defense, pass defense? They have 15 total recruits, and seven of them are 3-star.
There are less than two weeks left until National Signing Day, and there are still 11 players in the Top 50 and 22 total in the Top 100 who are undecided. The big names like Robert Nkemdiche, Reuben Foster and A’Shawn Robinson will most likely stay in the SEC, but watch out for the Pac-12.
The conference is making a serious run at the big boys and has already left power conferences, like the Big Ten and the Big 12, in its rear-view mirror.