The Pac-12 is a very interesting conference to follow for recruiting. Ten of the 12 schools are located in California, Arizona, Washington or Oregon. And compared to some regions, the talent west of the Rockies just isn't all that good. Put those two together, and some excellent battles result.
Here, every school pulls in good talent. But not all pull in elites. One way to demonstrate this is with an all-conference recruiting team.
The format is simple. Using the 247 Sports Composite of the four major recruiting rankings (Scout, Rivals, ESPN and 247), here are the top quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, tight end, five offensive linemen, five defensive linemen, four linebackers, and five defensive backs currently committed to Pac-12 schools. As of now, JUCO recruits are not included. We plan to update this team once a month or so through Signing Day in February.
Note: Every effort was made to slot players at the positions they'll be playing in college. Analysis follows the table.
Newcomers: RB Royce Freeman (Oregon), WR Tyler Whitley (Arizona State), WR Austin Roberts (UCLA), OL Jackson Barton (Utah), DL Allen Havili (Utah), LB Joey Alfieri (Stanford), LB Kirk Tucker (Stanford), LB Christian Sam (Arizona State)
|Quite a few teams have good quarterbacks. Players like Cal's Luke Rubenzer, Oregon's Morgan Mahalak, and Arizona State's Manny Wilkins were left off the list.|
|Keller Chryst||Palo Alto||5||Stanford|
|The 6'5, 225-pound Chryst is an efficient passer with a big arm and comes from a football family.|
|The Pac-12 has decent backs, but doesn't have a five-star committed at present.|
|Royce Freeman||Imperial (Calif.)||4||Oregon|
|Freeman will bring the big back to Oregon's offensive attack.|
|Christian McCaffrey||Littleton (Colo.) Valor Christian||4||Stanford|
|McCaffrey has a solid build at 6' and 195 pounds.|
|The Pac-12 has a reputation as a throwing league, and plenty of receiver talent is on its way.|
|Tyler Whitley||Paradise Valley (Ariz.) Chaparral||4||Arizona State|
|Whitley can take the short pass and turn it into the long score.|
|Erik Brown||Fontana (Calif.) Summit||4||Washington|
|Brown committed to Washington at The Opening 2013.|
|Austin Roberts||Carmel (In.)||4||UCLA|
|Roberts is an excellent receiving threat. At 6'2 and 211 pounds, he will be an asset on third down.|
|Chase Blakley||Coeur D'Alene (Idaho)||3||Washington|
|With so many top tight end recruits still uncommitted out West, Blakley has the top spot. That likely won't last long.|
|The five highest-rated offensive linemen, regardless of position (tackle, guard or center).|
|Toa Lobendahn||Lakewood (Calif.) Artesia||4||USC|
|Lobendahn is one of the best guards on the West Coast.|
|Jackson Barton||Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton||4||Utah|
|Barton has a lot of athleticism but must add size.|
|Jordan Poland||La Jolla (Calif.) Country Day||4||USC|
|Poland is a massive offensive tackle at 6'7 and 333 pounds.|
|Tyrell Crosby||Henderson (Nev.) Green Valley||3||Oregon|
|Crosby is an athletic tackle prospect who should fit well in Oregon's zone scheme.|
|Kenyon Frison||Salt Lake City (Utah) Granger||3||Utah|
|Frison is one of the best prospects in Utah.|
|These are the four highest-rated defensive linemen, be they ends or tackles.|
|Tashon Smallwood||Fresno (Calif.) Central East||4||USC|
|Smallwood is an undersized defensive tackle checking in at 6'1 and 280 pounds.|
|Austin Maloata||Corona (Calif.) Centennial||3||USC|
|Maloata is a solid run stopper on the edge.|
|Don Hill||Boise (Idaho) Timberline||3||Washington|
|Hill is an athletic speed rusher.|
|Allen Havili||Tooele (Utah)||3||Utah|
|Havili is a strong, run-stopping tackle.|
|I was surprised to see just a single linebacker rated four stars or better.|
|Derik "D.J." Calhoun||El Cerrito (Calif.)||4||USC|
|Calhoun is an excellent and versatile linebacker recruit.|
|Joey Alfieri||Portland (OR) Jesuit||3||Stanford|
|Alfieri is a tremendous athlete.|
|Christian Sam||Allen (Texas)||3||Arizona St.|
|The 6'1, 202-pound Sam is a solid cover linebacker can be used to cover.|
|Kirk Tucker||Tucker (Ga.)||3||Stanford|
|Tucker is an active, undersized linebacker.|
|With teams playing more and more nickel and dime defense, it was appropriate to include five defensive backs.|
|Arrion Springs||San Antonio (Texas) Roosevelt||4||Oregon|
|The Ducks beat out Miami and Texas for the 5'11, 192-pound speedster.|
|Cameron Denson||Tuscon (Ariz.) Salpointe Catholic||4||Arizona|
|Denson is a big corner at 6'1.|
|Brandon Simmons||Arlington (Texas) Mansfield Timberview||4||Stanford|
|Simmons is an excellent safety prospect who can cover like a corner.|
|Jaleel Wadood||Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco||4||Cal|
|Wadood committed to Cal at The Opening 2013.|
|Jonathan Lockett||Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei||4||Washington|
|Lockett keeps Washington's California connection alive.|
The 25-member team breaks down by school as follows:
The league distribution is pretty balanced, as opposed to the ACC, where three teams have 80 percent of the team members, or the Big Ten, where Ohio State and Michigan combine for 60 percent.
Is this balance a good thing? How do you think this list will change? Will the top six schools on the list further separate from the bottom half? Or will Colorado, Washington State or Oregon State get back on the board? Let me know in the comments section.
It's interesting to see that UCLA, which recruited very well last year, and so far has been in on many top prospects, only has a single player on the list.
One other thing I notice: the lack of elite linemen. The entire conference has four linemen rated four-stars or better. Conferences sitting in other regions where elite linemen are plentiful have multiple teams with three or more linemen rated four-stars or better.
But it's important to keep in mind that 12 of the best 20 recruits in California remain uncommitted. The talent is coming.
How do you think this list will change? Let me know in the comments section.
I'll update the results next month, so be sure to check SB Nation's recruiting hub regularly.