We are entering the stretch run of the 2010 recruiting season and Washington has the highest rated recruiting class in the conference according to Scout. Washington has more recruits than any other school at 26 and under the Scout system that gives them the advantage of brute quantity over actual quality compared to a USC.
If you look closely at the rankings this year you will find that Washington, USC, Stanford, UCLA, Oregon, and California are all doing really well. Once again what gives the Huskies the edge so far this season is quantity. USC will finish extremely strong as usual and knock Washington out of the top spot. The Trojans as usual are in on the remaining cream of the crop in January.
Arizona, WSU, ASU, and OSU are currently in a seperate tier at this point and that won't change by signing day. I do give give Arizona a bit of an asterisk because they signed six JC's which often lowers the ratings but the class doesn't come close to matching any of the front runners in any shape or form.
Scout vs Rivals
I prefer Scout first of all because I am a big fan of Dawgman. Dawgman does the best job of all the recruiting sites in making sure their information is accurate. You seldom see them make a mistake. Scout has better coverage out West and in particular the Pacific Northwest which means that they do a much better job grading talent in this area than Rivals does.
Another thing about Dawgman and Scout is they go out to see the players during the season, during the combines, and during the camps. You really can't get be credible if you don't see the players live. How many Rivals guys do you see at Northwest HS football games?
Both services formulate their team ratings differently. Scout probably weighs too much toward overall class size. That may be true but class size and balance in the class also can have a significant impact on the future of a football program. Scout takes that into account while Rivals tends to grade more on the individuals.
I think what hurts Rivals is lack of representation in the West and particularly the Pacific Northwest when it comes to evaluations. For example Scout has WSU's class rated at #40 and Rivals has them rated at #74. No way should there be a 34 spot discrepancy between the two services rankings for one school. The reason for it is Rivals doesn't have a clue on what is going on in this neck of the woods. WSU actually has a decent class and Scout recognizes that. Rivals on the other hand can't because they aren't familiar with the second tier NW players the Coug's have signed.
If I was doing the ratings as of today I would go with have USC at #1 rather than Washington. I love the Huskies class but the overall quality of the 14 recruits USC has signed is the best in the nation. Overall I think the conference is recruiting well and the most important factor is health, retention, coaching and development over the next 4-5 years.
PAC 10 Recruiting Rankings
1. Washington...The Huskies are hanging in there at #8 by Scout - #18 Rivals with four more spots to fill before they are done on February 3rd. Since we talk about UW recruiting every week there is no reason to go in depth at this point. This is a huge class which will top out at 30-31 players before it is all finished. UW has an overall 3.23 star rating which is good but ranks only 4th in the conference behind USC, UCLA, and Cal. Keep in mind it gets pretty subjective at this point. A good class is a good class.
UW is still has a decent shot at LB Hayes Pullard, DE Josh Shirley, DT Ricky Heimuli, DE Hauoli Jamora, DT Kirifi Taula, S Erick Dargan, and CB Gregory Ducre.
DT Sione Potoae - OG Colin Porter - OT Erik Kohler - RB Deontae Cooper - QB Nick Montana
2. Southern California...The Trojans are currently ranked #15 by Scout - #11 by Rivals with only 14 players in the boat at this point. It is another special group with 7 of those 14 being in the national top 100 and five of them earning a five star ranking by Scout. The Trojans will take 6-8 more players to round out the class. As usual those 6-8 will be the cream of the crop and that will push USC back into the top ten on February 3rd. A 4.14 overall star rating says it all. It is by far the highest combined star rating in the country. The Trojans focus on getting the # 1 recruits at each position and seem to get the bulk of them every year. If the NFL was drafting HS players the Trojans top five would all go high in the first round.
RB Lache Seastrunk, DE Ronald Powell, S Ahmand Dixon, LB Hayes Pullard, S Dietrich Riley, OLB Christian Jones, TE Christian Thomas, and DE Josh Shirley all are visiting in January. Look for the Trojans to fill the bulk of the class with four and five star players over the last month. DE Jackson Jeffcoat is another top recruit that is leaning USC's way.
WR Robert Woods - TE Xavier Grimble - WR Kyle Prater - DT George Uko - RB Dillon Baxter
3. Stanford...The Cardinal is having another strong recruiting year under Jim Harbaugh. With 21 athletes in the bag so far the Tree is almost finished. Because of the high academic standards at Stanford they tend to recruit nationally and early to see who can gain admission. A 3.14 star rating reperesents a strong class which is currently ranked #20 by Scout - #26 by Rivals.
RB Ricky Seale is a top target that will visit in January and is said to be a heavy Stanford lean.
QB Dallas Lloyd - CB Louis Young - RB Anthony Wilkerson - OT Dillon Bonnell - S Devon Carrington
4. UCLA...Rick Neuheisel is in one of the recruiting epicenters of the universe and he hasn't disapointed this recruiting season. The Bruins like the Trojans are always in on top kids in late January which can push their classes into the top ten nationally. Currently the Bruins have 17 kids who have verbaled and have an overall star rating of 3.47 which ranks them 9th in the country. Overall they are rated #21 by Scout - #16 by Rivals. Expect that to rise by signing day.
The Bruins have a big recruiting weekend coming up. They are still in play for LB Hayes Pullard, DE Josh Shirley, DT Ricky Heimuli, S Erick Dargan, OG Wade Yandall, DT Brandon Willis, S Dietrich Riley, and S Marquis Flowers.
RB Malcom Jones - OG Chris Ward - RB Jordan James - QB Brent Nottingham - OLB Aramide Olaniyan
5. Oregon...The Ducks are rolling the dice on a national scale this season. They are still in on some of the top kids in the country and if they close well they could end up with a top ten recruiting class. Scout has them at #32 - Rivals #34 in the country with a 3.12 star rating with only 16 recruits on the books.
Look for the Ducks to fill around six to eight more spots by February 3rd with a chance to move into the top ten or fifteen. Five star RB's Lache Seastrunk from Texas and Marcus Lattimore from South Carolina are scheduled to visit in January. They are also still in play for guys like DT Ricky Heimuli, DE Christian Thomas, DE Gabe King, DE Owamagabe Odighizuwa, CB Dior Mathis, and S Erick Dargan just to name a few.
Keep in mind that this is the home of the secret commit. You never know exactly where Oregon is until signing day.
DE Curtis White - OG Nick Rowland - QB Bryan Bennett - RB Dontae Williams - S Derrick Malone
6. California...The Bears are ranked #35 by Scout - #21 by Rivals with a 3.42 star rating which is third in the conference. Cal only has 12 commits at this point and that is the reason for the artificially low ranking. This class is made up of pure quality at this point.
With only 12 recruits on the books the Bears should be fairly active between now and signing day. DE Owamagabe Odighizuwa, S Sean Parker, S Dietrich Riley, RB Anthony Barr, CB Anthony Jefferson, MLB Dustin Elisara, are all kids the Bears are still in on. Look for some recruiting battles in the homes between Oregon and Cal over the next month.
DE Chris Martin - MLB Cecil Whiteside - MLB Dave Wilkerson - QB Austin Hindler - OT Alex Crosthwaite
7. Arizona...The Wildcats have 20 commits so far. Scout has them as the #38 class while Rivals has them at #32 in the country but a 2.70 average in star ratings puts this class in the lower tier of the conference at this point. Arizona in on some top guys at this point and the ratings are slightly skewed a bit by the fact that they have signed six JC players. Keep in mind that they could still lose top recruit Kirifi Taula to Washington or UCLA.
RB Kyle Middlebrooks, DE Josh Shirley, DT Sani Fuimaono, S Marquis Flowers, S Erick Dargan, and OLB Kyle Benson are all kids the Wildcats have a decent shot at.
DT Kirifi Taula - WR Dexter Ranson (JC) - OT Trent Spurgeon - OT Matt Jakubiec - CB Jourdan Grandon
8. WSU...The Coug's are having a pretty good recruiting season by WSU standards. Scout has them rated #40 - Rivals #74 in the country with a 2.70 average star rating. The Cougs have 20 known commits with more on the way. This isn't a bad class at all plus the Cougars bring in a much needed JC help for the offensive line. Four of the top five recruits are in state guys with great upside. Dunn and Rodgers were the two top TE's in Washington last year.
DE Scott Chrichton, DE Sean Bacon, OT Jacob Ehm, DT Fred Thompson, are a few of the players WSU is looking to close with.
TE Aaron Dunn - TE Jake Rodgers - QB Connor Halliday - OT John Fullington - RB Ricky Galvin
9. Arizona State...Dennis Erickson isn't having a great recruiting season and he needed one. Scout ranks the Devils at #44 - Rivals #39 in the country with a 2.72 star rating. The Devils have 18 in the bag at this point. One big problem Erickson is having is putting a fence around the state. The best Arizona players are going elsewhere.
DE Jackson Jeffcoat, DT Shane Pennix, S Marquis Flowers, and DT Fred Thompson are a few of the players that are still considering ASU.
Top Sun Devils
WR George Bell (JC) - TE Josh Fulton - DL Sil Ajawara - RB Deantre Lewis - RB Taylor Walstad
10. Oregon State..You wouldn't expect the Beavers to be bringing up the rear at this point with a recruiting class Scout has ranked at #70 - Rivals #52 with an overall star rating of 2.70. One huge reason for the low ranking is there are only 10 known commits in the class so far. I am not sure how much room the Beavers have this season but this isn't a strong class by any measure on paper. That being said they do have some big time recruits still on the board who are visiting this month.
DE Scott Chrichton, TE Christian Thomas, DT Ricky Heimuli, DE Hauoli Jamora, DT Kirifi Taula, DT Fred Thompson, and WR Ryan Murphy are all players the Beavers have a chance to sign.
QB Sean Mannion - TE Tyler Perry - DE Happy Iona - OG Roman Sapulo - OG Thomas Molesi