National Signing Day is upon us Wednesday, but most of the surprises in the Pac-12 are well behind us. Almost all the remaining recruits have made their commitments or made it quite clear where they're signing in the next few days.
The Pac-12 figures to be in good shape. There are several teams that will end up with top-25 recruiting classes; the rest are a tier down, but only a tier. Let's take a look at the recruiting.
Top three classes
UCLA: The big winner figures to be UCLA, which is standing on the border of a top-five national recruiting class. The Bruins are set to close at a record pace, and also have numerous blue-chippers on the board that could very well end up with the team like DT Eddie Vanderdoes, DE Kylie Fitts, ILB Isaac Savaiinaea, and QB Asiantii Woulard.
USC: The Trojans have been plagued by decommitments throughout the last few months, but the caliber of players they've found to replace any holes in their 2013 class has been pretty incredible. They should have at least a few more that have a good shot of committing on Signing Day. OLB Quinton Powell and CB Jalen Ramsey are two names to watch.
Washington/Oregon: The Huskies and Ducks are pretty much battling it out for the third-best class. Washington has plenty of impressive wide receivers, defensive linemen and cornerbacks, and should improve mightily at those positions with some of the players from this class. Oregon has the best player for either school in Thomas Tyner, who could become an immediate mainstay in the Ducks' running back rotation.
National Signing Day announcements
Eddie Vanderdoes: Vanderdoes is the big prize on the board. The USC decommit will announce on signing day, and it looks like UCLA is the favorite with Notre Dame and USC watching from behind.
Kylie Fitts: Fitts could very well end up in Los Angeles, but not with the school he originally planned. Fitts decommitted from USC after being denied a scholarship for early entrance, and could announce for UCLA on Tuesday.
Quinton Powell: Powell has eliminated Florida and is now looking at USC or Miami. The Trojans are the favorite for the five-star linebacker.
Tyree and Tyrell Robinson: The Robinson twins are currently committed to Oregon, but Washington got the last official visit and the players seem to be deliberating between the two schools. Which team will win out?
Jalen Ramsey: Ramsey is committed to the Trojans, but could decide to go elsewhere. UPDATE: Ramsey has decommitted and picked Florida State.
Teams that need to improve
Washington State: The Cougars have the system. Now, they need the talent and the players that are ready to execute it. Washington State has made pretty solid steps in that direction by landing two Air Raid-type quarterbacks in Tyler Bruggman and Isaac Dotson, two pretty solid running backs in Olito Thompson and Jamal Morrow, and decent offensive line talent. WSU could use more wide receivers, but they have some work to do.
Cal: Sonny Dykes has taken over for Jeff Tedford, and has done a yeoman's job of cobbling together a solid recruiting class after a 3-9 campaign. In particular, Dykes has landed a horde of much-needed offensive linemen to provide athleticism and depth, including Erik Bunte, J.D. Hinnant and especially Aaron Cochran. Dykes looks like he'll lose out on Cameron Hunt, but Cal still has a pretty solid offensive line class that provides the Bears with much-needed protection down the road.
Colorado: Mike MacIntyre has done what he's needed to get the Buffs back, although they will fall pretty far behind in the rankings. MacIntyre brought plenty of players he recruited from San Jose State, and has a pretty good quarterback recruit to work with in Sefo Liufau.
National Signing Day drama to watch
Plenty of other commitment stories could be happening. Top offensive lineman Cameron Hunt is expected to flip his Cal verbal to Oregon. Husky verbal defensive end Daeshon Hall will be deciding between Washington and a few Texas schools. Linebacker Keishawn Bierria could pick between Oregon State and Washington, and cornerback/safety L.J. Moore could choose among a host of schools in the conference.
Notes from SB Nation blogs
Despite some unwarranted (in my opinion) handwringing over Oregon's recruiting class as currently composed, the Ducks are already putting together a very strong group. If they can keep it mostly intact and pick up a few more key targets, they will still sign an excellent class.
The staff lucked into Asiantii Woulard, a 4* prospect out of Florida who had committed to South Florida early and decommitted once Skip Holtz was fired. Woulard is a dual threat type quarterback with good size at 6'4 200 lbs. He has only played quarterback for a couple of seasons, but he was voted the Elite 11 MVP. Woulard also broke his ankle during his last high school game, and it's unclear what kind of impact he could make early, but it's nice to know that there is a viable quarterback target on board.
Tyrell and Tyree Robinson are reported to have had a good trip this weekend, and it was enough to make them reconsider their Oregon verbals. The word has always been that one of them likes UW more than the other, and that may not have changed, but it's a good job by the staff to make these kids think it over for the next few days. Oregon is still probably the favorite here, but the odds went from something like 90/10 to 60/40. They've been thought of to be a package deal, but if one really loves Washington and the other Oregon... weirder things have happened than them deciding to part, though that would be a pretty sizable curveball.
Obviously people will now point to WSU having egg all over it's face, but these are the risks you take in recruiting. It sucks they had to pull the offer, but Turner made it out just fine. His college education is still being paid for by an FBS team. The fact that Texas is poaching our recruits sucks, but it also means we're headed in the right direction.
There is no denying that having Hunt migrate over to the Ducks is a major blow. Many recruiting services had him as the best player in Cal's 2013 class, and the Bears will likely tumble a spot or two simply for losing him. Still, Hunt's decommitment should not invalidate an otherwise solid group of linemen that Sonny Dykes recruited this year, a group that still contains the massive Aaron Cochran - among others. While Hunt would've undoubtedly helped, no one player makes or breaks a recruiting class, and the Bears will still bring in five other cubs to play up front.
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