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Teams want recruiting aces

Interesting story here from Mitch Sherman about coaches hiring assistants known as much for their recruiting as their coaching acumen -- and the tension that sometimes creates.

And, obviously, this includes analysis of the California-Washington-Tosh Lupoi situation:

The changes paid off for the Huskies, who signed the No. 23 class nationally, headlined by safety Shaq Thompson of Sacramento, Calif., a former Cal commit ranked 16th in the ESPNU 150. Washington also got a late pledge from cornerback Brandon Beaver of Compton, Calif., considered a Cal lean before Lupoi's departure.

[Washington coach Steve] Sarkisian said Wednesday at his press conference to unveil the signees that he prioritized the hiring of excellent recruiters.

"We want to pound our chest on how much football we know," Sarkisian said, "but if the players can't execute it, then that part is a bit irrelevant. You have to have the players in place to do it. So we went out and tried to identify some guys that, I think, were not just good football coaches, but were good recruiters. I think in the end, it did have a direct impact on what we were doing."

So was Lupoi the top recruiter in the Pac-12 this year? Well, he was one of them. But the prize for Pac-12 recruiter of the year went to Stanford's Mike Bloomgren.

It's a tough call in the Pac-12 because there are so many deserving coaches, but Bloomgren and Stanford closed big. Literally. Stanford landed ESPNU 150 offensive tackles Kyle Murphy (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) and Andrus Peat (Scottsdale, Ariz./Corona Del Sol) on signing day to give the Cardinal the nation's top O-line class. A nod also goes to former Stanford coach Brian Polian (now with Texas A&M), who started the recruiting, but it was Bloomgren who closed the deal. He fought off USC and Nebraska for Peat, and the Trojans again for Murphy.

Conference coaches getting honorable mention include: Adrian Klemm, UCLA; Tosh Lopoi, Washington; Demetrice Martin, UCLA; Ed Orgeron, USC.