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Sizing up Pac 12 recruiting

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Flush with money from the coffers of America's TV networks the Pac 12 wasted no time remaking itself once the season was officially over. Complete coaching staffs were fired at four schools and replaced with experienced and aggressive coaching staffs at UCLA (Mora), Arizona (Rodgriguez), Arizona State (Graham), and Washington State (Leach).

In the aftermath of a 67-56 loss to Baylor in the Alamo Bowl UW coach Steve Sarkisian decided to fire most of his defensive staff and start from scratch. He proceeded to poach Wilcox (DC) and Sirmon (LB) from Tennessee, Heyward (DB) from Oregon State, Tosh Lupoi (DL) and Erik Kiesau (OC) from Cal.

2012 evolved into perhaps the nastiest and most competitive off season of recruiting anyone associated with the conference can remember. PSA commitments meant little as assistant coaches changed jobs with ease and led their recruits in many different directions.

In the end the conference did well exceptionally well from top to bottom with Stanford finish 6th in the country on top and Washington State finishing 53rd on the bottom.

1. Stanford - The Cardinal was solid all the way across the board but the highlight was how well they did on the offensive line. I am not sure if I have ever seen a better OL class than that. They even picked up RB Barry Sanders Jr.. Grade - A Plus

2. USC - They could only take 15 so the recruiting services mark them down a bit for that but the 15 they got averaged a total of 3.8 on the star meter. Zach Banner and Kevyon Seymour are a couple of guys I would have preferred to see in purple and gold . Grade - A

3. Oregon - The Ducks put together their usual solid class with the highlight being the number one DL in the country Arik Armstead. Deforest Buckner is another solid get on the defensive side of the ball. Grade - A

4. Washington - Sark and company rallied for a solid finish in California. Criticisms are that they missed big time locally on the OL and didn't pick up the big OLB they coveted. Two franchise quality QB's was the highlight on offense. An all star DB class is the highlight on the other side of the ball. Grade - B Plus

5. UCLA - Who said Jim Mora couldn't recruit? He did a tremendous job in his first year but just like his predecessors he didn't bring in enough quality offensive linemen which has been one of the programs biggest problems. He picked up a couple of QB's but I wouldn't describe either of them as being franchise quality. Grade - B Plus

6. Colorado - Jon Embree and his staff know how to recruit. For the second year in a row they snatched a number of players off Washington's board. The highlight of the class is scoring big time on both lines. The negatives are that they aren't getting the play makers they need on offense and they aren't keeping the best guys in state at home. Grade - B

7. Utah - Jeremiah Poutasi was part of a huge offensive line class. That includes some JC guys to fill the gaps now and some great HS guys to develop for the future. They didn't get the play maker they needed at QB. They did a great job keeping in state talent home which will be the key to this program going forward. Grade - B

8. California - The Bears had the best class in the Pac 12 until Washington came in and upset the apple cart. Kenny Lawler and Bryce Treggs bring a great skill set to the wide out positions. Michael Barton has All Pac 12 LB written all over him. Grade - B Minus

9. Arizona State - A new head coach and too many JC's for one class for my liking. DJ Foster has the ability to develop into a marquee running back. Grade - C

10. Oregon State - The coaching changes on the west coast didn't help the Beavers. They lost some big time recruits over the last two weeks. One guy they didn't lose was OT Isaac Seumalo who decided to stay home. Grade - C

11. Arizona - If they can get a late commit from all world Davonte Neal it would really help this class out. Rodriguez is doing a better job keeping local recruits home which was a problem for Stoops. Grade C

12. Washington State - Welcome to Pullman Mike Leach. You thought Lubbock was desolate..nope...Pullman is desolate. He picked up a couple of kids from Pago Pago that UW was also looking at. WR Gabriel Marks is a great get. Grade C