LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 02: Head coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies pumps his fist after a Huskies field goal in the third quarter against the USC Trojans at the Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 2 2010 in Los Angeles California. Washington won 32-31. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Washington just made the biggest hire of the PAC 12 offseason. And it's a defensive line coach.
In a move that will send recruiting shockwaves down the West Coast, the Washington Huskies have hired defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi away from the California Golden Bears. Lupoi had been a part of the Cal program for 12 years, including six as a player, two as a graduate assistant and four as a coach. Lupoi is considered the top recruiter west of the Mississippi.
Despite Cal not having a winning Pac-12 record in the last three years, Lupoi's efforts landed Cal many top recruits who would have previously never seriously considered Cal as a destination. The loss of the coach who is arguably the best recruiter in the country is already having implications for the Golden Bears.
I have a lot of thinking to do.
Finally, Cal fans have to be worried about losing defensive tackle recruit Ellis McCarthy to USC. Though a recent commitment, McCarthy was already considered anything but solid to the Golden Bears.
According to Yahoo!, Cal currently has 21 commitments. Of those, two are considered five-star prospects, while another seven are rated as four-stars. It's an excellent class, and it will be interesting to see if Cal can hold it together.
And while Cal will try to keep its current prospects, it also has to focus on bringing in uncommitted kids. One such player is Arik Armstead, arguably the top recruit in the nation. Armstead's commitment to Cal seemed imminent, but Lupoi would have been his position coach, and his departure certainly casts some doubt on the Armstead-Cal relationship.
Also reacting to Lupoi's departure is top uncommitted defensive tackle Aziz Shittu. "WOWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!! The Game Just Changed. I want to cryyyyyy," tweeted Shittu.
Lupoi will immediately get to work with Steve Sarkisian's staff at Washington. And while the Huskies might be able to pull some recruits that Washington would otherwise not have signed, this hire's true impact on the Huskies will likely be felt in the 2013 recruiting cycle. With a raise from the $164,000 he was earning at Cal to a rumored $500,000 for a defensive line coach, Washington is signaling to the PAC 12 that it is serious about contending.
For more on Cal Bears football and recruiting, visit California Golden Blogs.
For more on PAC 12 football and recruiting, visit Pacific Takes.