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Checking in on Pac-12 recruiting

12/13/2010

National Signing Day on Feb. 2 is more than eight weeks away, and a lot of big names remain on the board, but it seems like a good time to check in with Pac-10 recruiting.

Er, make that Pac-12 recruiting. We've included Colorado and Utah, considering these incoming freshmen will bump heads next fall -- or redshirt -- as Pac-12 players.

At present, four programs rank among the top-25 teams in the ESPN Recruiting rankings: USC (13), Stanford (15), Oregon (19) and Washington (22). California also is a threat to push into the top-25, and UCLA has made a late run the past two years under coach Rick Neuheisel, so the Bruins also could surge.

You can review the ESPNU 150 here.

Team name links to the commitment list.

Arizona

Commitments: 18

ESPNU 150: 0

Comment: The top-three committed players are linebackers. Closing strong on linemen on both sides of the ball would significantly bolster the class.

Arizona State

Commitments: 10

ESPNU 150:0

Comment: This will be a small class because the Sun Devils only had 13 seniors this year. Still, there's not a lot of bang here.

California

Commitments: 12

ESPNU 150: 1

Comment: California continues to be in the running for a number of elite prospects on the ESPNU 150. Receiver Maurice Harris and one of the highly rated running backs figure to be in the mix for playing time early.

Colorado

Commitments: 6

ESPNU 150: 0

Comment: Coaching changes always complicate (read: typically hurt) recruiting: see only six commitments. The good news is the Buffaloes don't need a big class. Don't be surprised if you start seeing new coach Jon Embree making some noise late in Southern California.

Oregon

Commitments: 16

ESPNU 150: 4

Comment: Just as Oregon has moved up in the national pecking order on the field, so has it moved up in recruiting. The Ducks continue to extend a national reach for what figures to be a top-20 class.

Oregon State

Commitments: 23

ESPNU 150: 0

Comment: This looks like a typical Oregon State recruiting class under Mike Riley. It was under the radar, though snagging a couple of players previously committed to UCLA was a show of verve. When the Beavers are doing well, it's celebrated. When they struggle -- as they did this season -- there's some grumbling about recruiting. Based on this season, the question with this class is can anyone offer immediate help on either line?

Stanford

Commitments: 21

ESPNU 150: 1

Comment: The Cardinal will try to close strong with about three or four more top-shelf guys, and that will happen if Jim Harbaugh is still the coach on national signing day. This will be another top-25 class with lots of top-to-bottom quality.

UCLA

Commitments: 8

ESPNU 150: 1

Comment: The best news is QB Brett Hundley, a duel threat guy just about everyone wanted who looks well-equipped to run a pistol offense (if that's what the Bruins will be doing next fall). While the effort at present seems to be lagging, the Bruins are among the finalists for a number of elite guys. They could close strong.

USC

Commitments: 19

ESPNU 150: 5

Comment:Trojans coach Lane Kiffin could push this class close to the top-10 again, even with scholarship limitations. For those who keep asking: USC can only sign 15 players for the 2011 class, due to NCAA sanctions, but it can bring in a handful of January enrollees. So every name over 15 will be in school in January.

Utah

Commitments: 20

ESPNU 150: 0

Comment: Going forward, you'd think Utah would have more to sell in Southern California than now, but the Utes recruiting strategies of late seemed to work just fine. So far this class is fairly balanced: 11 offense, nine defense.

Washington

Commitments: 18

ESPNU 150: 3

Comment: This is a good class, but can the Huskies close strong? They appear to be losing ground to Oregon on Auburn (Wash.) defensive lineman Danny Shelton and just lost running back Brendon Bigelow (Fresno, Calif./Central to California.

Washington State

Commitments: 19

ESPNU 150: 0

Comment: Paul Wulff has upgraded Washington State recruiting, but the Cougars aren't a program that's going to sign a bunch of four- and five-star guys. It will be interesting to see if the Wulff and the Cougars can prevent Washington from poaching talented RB Bishop Sankey (Spokane, Wash./Gonzaga Prep).