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Monday, July 20, 2009
A look back at 2006 recruiting classes

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

The 2006 recruiting class members are either seniors or redshirt juniors this fall, so they should be the backbones of most Pac-10 team's starting lineups.

Therefore, it seems like a reasonable moment to look back and review some recruiting hits and misses.

In the big picture, USC ranked No. 2 in the nation, according to ESPN.com's Scouts Inc., behind No. 1 Florida (sorta makes sense, eh?). UCLA, at No. 19, was the only other Pac-10 team in the Scouts Inc., top-25.

Scout.com ranked USC No. 1 in the nation, Arizona 19th, UCLA 20th and California 23rd. The rest of the Pac-10 went, in order, Arizona State (32nd in nation), Washington (35th), Stanford (38), Oregon State (41), Washington State (45) and Oregon (52).

Oregon last? Hmm.

Anyway... here's an overview

Arizona

Class: 24

ESPNU top 150 players: 2

How many are expected to start in 2009: Nine (CB Devin Ross, DT Earl Mitchell, FS Cam Nelson, WR Terrell Turner, DE Brooks Reed, DE Ricky Elmore, WR Delashaun Dean, OG Conan Amituanai, C Colin Baxter)

Misses: QB Tyler Lyon, RB Derke Robinson

Verdict: This is an underrated class -- even guys who aren't listed as starters are projected to contribute in 2009. It's also notable that the few who didn't pan out -- or were problems, such as DE Louis Holmes -- were the big names.

Arizona State

Class: 24

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2009: Seven (SS Ryan McFoy, RB Dimitri Nance, OG Jon Hargis, WR Kyle Williams, DT Saia Falahola, QB Danny Sullivan, LB Travis Goethel OR LB Gerald Munns)

Misses: DE Jermaine Williams, RB Rodney Glass

Verdict: A solid class when you consider that nine of the 24 signees were JC players who have already moved on -- a group that included RB Ryan Torain and S Troy Nolan, who were the class's most elite performers.

California

Class: 20

ESPNU top 150 players: 2

How many are expected to start in 2009: Six (CB Darian Hagan, DT Derrick Hill, QB Kevin Riley, C Chris Guarnero, DE Tyson Alualu, LB Mike Mohamed)

Misses: RB James Montgomery, RB Tracy Slocum, DT Justin Prueitt

Verdict: Ratings, smatings. Montgomery, Slocum and Prueitt were highly rated, Alualu and Mohamed barely registered. Overall, a solid class.

Oregon

Class: 20

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2009: Five (C Jordan Holmes, LT Bo Thran, RT C.E. Kaiser, DT Brandon Bair, LB Spenser Paysinger)

Misses: The class included three quarterbacks: Cody Kempt, Justin Roper and Nate Costa. Kempt and Roper have transferred, Costa has been riddled by injuries.

Verdict: Decidedly mixed. One thing is for sure: This class bolstered the Ducks offensive line. Also interesting, Bair and Paysinger transitioned to their current positions from tight end and receiver, respectively.

Oregon State

Class: 30

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2009: Eight (C Alex Linnenkohl, LB Keaton Kristick, OT Timi Oshinowo, TE Howard Croom, WR Casey Kjos, LB Dwight Roberson, S Suaesi Tuimaunei, H-back John Reese OR Joe Halahuni).

Misses: In a class of 30, there are always misses. But when a team recruits under the radar, as Oregon State often does, it's hard to call a signee a "miss." The closest thing is LB Mana Lolotai, who didn't qualify academically and now plays at Hawaii. He's the only Beavers signee who received a rating from Scouts Inc., who is not listed on the depth chart.

Verdict: Just typical Oregon State recruiting here: few big names, solid production.

Stanford

Class: 19

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2009? Two (RB Toby Gerhart, OG Andrew Phillips)

Misses: QB Alex Loukas and DE Levirt Griffin top a fairly long list.

Verdict: While Gerhart and Phillips are entrenched starters and a couple of others will contribute this fall, this is mostly a lost class recruited by Walt Harris.

UCLA

Class: 22

ESPN
U top 150 players
: 1

How many are expected to start in 2009? Eight (WR Terrence Austin, CB Alterraun Verner, K Kai Forbath, FB Chane Moline, RB Christian Ramirez, DT Jerzy Siewierski, OG Nick Ekbatani, OT Sean Sheller)

Misses: C Andy Keane, WR Dominique Johnson

Verdict: This was a solid class, but it was decidedly top heavy with the under-the-radar guys mostly staying that way.

USC

Class: 26

ESPNU top 150 players: 13

How many are expected to start in 2009: Seven (FS Taylor Mays, RB Stafon Johnson, LB Michael Morgan, TE Anthony McCoy, CB Shareece Wright, FB Stanley Havili, OG Alex Parsons OR Zach Heberer).

Misses: Four big name guys transferred: receivers Vidal Hazelton and Jamere Holland, safety Antwine Perez and running back Emanuel Moody.

Verdict: Good class, but maybe not as good as it looked in February of 2006.

Washington

Class: 22

ESPNU top 150 players: 1

How many are expected to start in 2009? Seven (QB Jake Locker, DT Cameron Elisara, OT Cody Habben, C Ryan Tolar, FB Paul Homer, LB Donald Butler, WR D'Andre Goodwin)

Misses: S/RB Leilyon Myers, DE Anthony Atkins

Verdict: On the one hand, this class is contributing many of the Huskies key starters in 2009, including Locker and Goodwin. On the other, the Huskies went 0-12 last year. Still, this class doesn't rate a bust.

Washington State

Class: 24

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2009? Four (DT Toby Turpin, DE Kevin Kooyman, LB Andy Mattingly, OT Joe Eppele OR Micah Hannam)

Misses: WR Anthony Houston, RB Keith Rosenberg, RB J.T. Deiderichs

Verdict: The more highly rated players in this class were mostly busts, while the guys with lower ratings, such as Mattingly, have contributed. Obviously, this class didn't help the Cougars very much.