2020 Pac-12 Recruiting Rankings
No, really. How good were the Pac-12 classes this 2020 recruiting season?
The defending Pac-12 champion just got a whole lot better. Once again, Mario Cristobal went after some of the best prospects in the country, and he landed his share. He might have missed out on quarterback superstar D.J. Uiagalelei – he’s off to Clemson – but getting linebackers Justin Flowe and Noah Sewell and defensive backs Dontae Manning was big. The secondary, defensive tackles, linebackers, and offensive linemen were all strong.
The peaceful transition of power made it an easy class to sign. It’s not quite as strong a recruiting season as 2019, and the cake was already baked before Jimmy Lake took over, but he was able to land big DB Jacobe Covington. It’s a good group of offensive linemen, the receives are solid, and overall, it’s a good enough class to stay ahead of the pack. Next year, though, Lake and the staff need to go big-game hunting to keep up with Oregon.
As always, Stanford came up with a great recruiting class under David Shaw – never underestimate what it takes to play at this school. The offensive line is the star, but the receivers are solid, the defensive backs are promising, and there’s enough talent – taken from a national scope – to create one of the Pac-12’s best classes outside of Oregon.
4. Arizona State
Now that this is Herm Edwards’ program and he has had time to work, he’s starting to crush it on the recruiting trail. The master motivator was able to put together a very deep and very good class with a loaded group of receivers, a slew of excellent defensive back prospects, and enough linebackers to work into the depth chart mix early on.
There might not be any flashy superstar prospects, but there are a whole lot of very good ones with a big class of rock-solid players full of versatility and with bulk for a few spots. The secondary is loaded, getting three defensive tackles is a big deal – few Pac-12 teams are doing much for the interior – and there’s plenty of pop for the passing game.
Mel Tucker did a solid job after getting a year to work. He and the Buff staff went big with a huge group of defensive ends. The passing game got better with a loaded group of pass catchers, nailed it with RB Ashamed Clayton, and upgraded the overall talent level for a program that’s used to getting by with a slew of okay prospects. This is the type of class to turn into a bit of a player in the Pac-12 South.
Not to damn with faint praise, but it’s a good class for Utah. Getting defensive ends a great group of defensive ends was big, the crop of defensive backs are outstanding, and the three linebackers signed should be factors down the road. There’s not much for the offense outside of RB Ty Jordan, but the defensive side just got a whopper of a class.
Ehhhhhhhhhhh, whatever. At least it’s not a rough as USC’s class. Chip Kelly’s insistence on bringing in his guys to do what he needs had better start working, and the talent evaluation had better be right, because there’s not a whole lot of wow factor here. There’s a whole lot in place for the defensive back seven, but there’s not a whole lot for the offense outside of QB Parker McQuarrie an WR Logan Loya.
9. Washington State
It’s not like Mike Leach ever did a whole lot to crank up the recruiting, so the coaching change wasn’t that big a deal. It’s still a better class than the 2019 version, with a whole lot of receivers, pass rushers, and offensive linemen brought in fit the former system. Nick Rolovich and his staff did a nice job of scrambling to close five players on NSD – most notably, two good-looking defensive backs in Alphonse Oywak and Chau Smith.
10. Oregon State
Jonathan Smith and OSU will never get the elite prospects, but this was a strong class for the program with plenty of options for several spots. It’s a strength-in-numbers group with enough prospects for the secondary, linebacking corps, and offensive line to beef up the depth chart. Landing QB Chance Nolan helps the overall cause.
Where’s the talent? Considering he’s had a few years to build up the recruiting base, Kevin Sumlin isn’t landing enough difference-makers to make much of a dent in the Pac-12 South. It’s a smallish class with a sprinkling of prospects for just about every position, but there isn’t the bulk talent for any one spot to make it a quantity-over-quality class.
A complete and total disaster of a class, the uncertainty at head coach, all the young talent on the team, a big 2019 class, and changes among the assistants all contributed to this clunker. It’s one thing to only land 13 players – again, there wasn’t much room – but if you’re USC, they had better all be stars. Outside of WR Gary Bryant, Clay Helton just signed a bunch of guys.