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Pac-12 football recruiting: Oregon, USC battle for conference supremacy

DJDuckDJDuck Posts: 4,701
1,000 Awesomes 2500 Comments 250 Answers 500 Up Votes
edited October 17 in Duck Refuge
5 year FBS Average 15.4
10 year FBS Average 15.9
Best class 7 (2019)
Worst class 27 (2016)
5 year PAC 12 Average 2.4
10 year PAC 12 Average 2.7

Reasonable expectations: Top-10 classes
The data: Oregon was ranked in the top five of the final AP poll five times from 2010 through 2019 despite not signing a top-10 recruiting class until 2019. The program created a national brand by running an up-tempo, exciting offense that scored a ton of points — doing so while wearing the most colorful uniforms that sport had ever seen.
That success, however, didn’t translate into top-10 recruiting classes. The Ducks recruited well — consistently signing top-20 classes throughout the 2010s — but they were unable to join the elite programs in college football. That, apparently, is changing. Mario Cristobal’s first three recruiting classes ranked 13th, seventh and 11th, and his 2021 class ranks third nationally. In the past two years, Oregon has signed four five-star prospects — defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (2019), linebackers Justin Flowe (2020) and Noah Sewell (2020) and cornerback Dontae Manning (2020), and it has one (wide receiver Troy Franklin) committed in the 2021 class.
The outlook: Cristobal has emerged as one of the best recruiting head coaches in college football. He’s focusing a lot of his efforts in California but is also taking a national approach. The Ducks’ 2020 class featured at least one signee from 14 different states, and the 2021 class includes players from 12 states (so far). And that is the approach he has to take because the state of Oregon produces so few blue-chip prospects. As long as the program continues to win games — and the uniforms remain cool and the fans pack Autzen Stadium — Cristobal should continue to attack elite talent to Eugene.

5 year FBS Average 20.0
10 year FBS Average 23.0
Best class 16 ('18, '19)
Worst class 38 (2014)
5 year PAC 12 average. 3..8
10 year PAC 12 average 4.4

Reasonable expectations: Top-20 classes
The data: Washington’s recruiting is on an uptick. The Huskies’ average over the past five years (20th) is six spots better than the previous five years (26th), and they have signed three consecutive classes ranked No. 17 or better.
The only real blemish over the past decade was Chris Petersen’s transitional class in 2014, which ranked 38th — not bad for new head coach — and produced seven NFL Draft picks. Every other class has been in the top 30. Washington does have the distinction of having the second-worst recruiting ranking (average of 23.4 since 2014) of any team to reach the College Football Playoff. Michigan State, at 30.0, has the lowest.
The outlook: Washington had a significant coaching switch when Jimmy Lake took over after Petersen’s unexpected retirement. Lake, previously the program’s defensive coordinator, is regarded as an outstanding recruiter, and he has a great opportunity at a school that has a lot to sell.
But this year could represent a huge missed opportunity for the program. There are three top-10 national recruits in the state of Washington during this cycle, and although the Huskies have a commitment from five-star quarterback Sam Huard, the others — defensive tackle J.T. Tuimoloau and receiver Emeka Egbuka — are expected to leave the state. If Lake can enjoy success early in his tenure, don’t be surprised if he elevates the program’s recruiting profile in the next few years.
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