Pac-12: William Wright

A look back at 2007 recruiting

July, 21, 2010
7/21/10
9:00
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The 2007 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. (And, yes, we did this last summer with the 2006 class, which you can review here -- Ducks fans should get a kick out of it).

As for the 2007 rankings, USC ranked No. 1 in the nation, according to ESPN.com's Scouts Inc. Oregon, at No. 23, was the only other Pac-10 team in the Scouts Inc., top-25.

Scout.com ranked USC No. 2 in the nation, Oregon ninth, and California 12th. The rest of the Pac-10 went, in order, Washington (29th in nation), UCLA (36th), Arizona State (38), Oregon State (40), Stanford (43), Arizona (49) and Washington State (54).

Here's an overview.

Arizona

Class: 17

ESPNU top 150 players: 2 (DE Apaiata Tuihalamaka, TE Rob Gronkowski)

How many are expected to start in 2010: Four (RB Nic Grigsby, CB Trevin Wade, WR William Wright, K Alex Zendejas)

Misses: Tuihalamaka, QB Bryson Beirne,

Verdict: Obviously, the biggest catch of this class, Gronkowski, is gone. Otherwise, a lot of these guys qualify for the "where are they now?" file.

Arizona State

Class: 24

ESPNU top 150 players: 0.

How many are expected to start in 2010: Five (C Garth Gerhart, WR Kerry Taylor, CB Omar Bolden, DE James Brooks, OG Matt Hustad)

Misses: OL Po'u Palelei, LB Oliver Aaron

Verdict: This is a decent class, particularly when you factor in the contribution of the since-departed JC signees, such as LB Morris Wooten and DE Luis Vasquez. And there are several non-starters who will contribute this year.

California

Class: 27

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: 10 (OT Matt Summers-Gavin, P Bryan Anger, LB D.J. Holt, WR Alex Lagemann, OT Mitchell Schwartz, S Sean Cattouse, S Chris Conte, OG Justin Cheadle, DE Cameron Jordan, RB Shane Vereen).

Misses: QB Brock Mansion, CB D.J. Campbell

Verdict: Obviously, ESPN.com's Scouts Inc., missed with its evaluation of this solid recruiting class, particularly when you consider RB Jahvid Best, WR Nyan Boateng and LB Devin Bishop were significant contributors before their tenures were done. Jordan and Vereen obviously were well underrated. And there were 21 running backs better than Best?

Oregon

Class: 29

ESPNU top 150 players: 1 (DE Kenny Rowe)

How many are expected to start in 2010: 10 (Rowe, WR D.J. Davis, LB Casey Matthews, CB Talmadge Jackson, OG Carson York, TE David Paulson, OG Mark Asper, WR Jeff Maehl, S Eddie Pleasant, DE Terrell Turner).

Misses: DT Myles Wade, S Malachi Lewis

Verdict: When you toss in DE Will Tukuafu, WR Aaron Pflugrad (a starter who transferred to Arizona State) and WR Terence Scott, this is a good, if not great, class. Three or four of these guys should be All-Conference players.

Oregon State

Class: 35

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: Eight (HB Joe Halahuni, S Cameron Collins, WR Darrell Catchings, CB Brandon Hardin, FB Will Darkins, DE Taylor Henry, LB Keith Pankey, WR James Rodgers)

Misses: CB David Ross, RB Reggie Dunn

Verdict: We don't have the time to go back and retrace the maneuvers that are part of managing a 35-man recruiting class (each class can only include a maximum of 25 members, but there are lots of ways to fudge numbers). Obviously, there are the Beavers typical crew of so-called diamonds in the rough -- hello, James Rodgers -- but here's a guess that coach Mike Riley winces over some of these names. Certainly not a lot of production from the six JC guys.

Stanford

Class: 19

ESPNU top 150 players: 0.

How many are expected to start in 2010: Six (P David Green, CB Corey Gatewood, LB/FB Owen Marecic, TE Coby Fleenor, DE Thomas Keiser, DE Matt Masifilo)

Misses: QB L. D. Crow, S Sean Wiser

Verdict: An interesting class considering that six of the eight lowest rated players are on the Cardinal's preseason two-deep depth chart, including three starters. In terms of skill positions -- see the two QBs -- this class doesn't measure up.

UCLA

Class: 11

ESPNU top 150 players: 2 (QB Chris Forcier, RB Raymond Carter)

How many are expected to start in 2010: Five (LB Akeem Ayers, LB Glenn Love, LB Steve Sloan, DT Nate Chandler, OT Mike Harris)

Misses: Forcier, Carter

Verdict: This is a very small but highly productive class collected by former coach Karl Dorrell -- note that it includes DT Brian Price, who bolted early for the NFL. The only busts were the two highest rated players, Forcier and Carter, and JC LB Mike Schmitt. The other eight members are either on the two-deep or, in Price's case, already in the NFL.

USC

Class: 20

ESPNU top 150 players: 10 (RB Joe McKnight, LB Chris Galippo, RB Marc Tyler, S Marshall Jones, DE Everson Griffen, QB Aaron Corp, WR Ronald Johnson, OT Martin Coleman, DT DaJohn Harris, C Kris O'Dowd)

How many are expected to start in 2010: Four (LB Chris Galippo, WR Ronald Johnson, C Kristofer O'Dowd, LB Malcolm Smith)

Misses: S Marshall Jones, OT Martin Coleman

Verdict: Obviously, this class, ranked No. 1 in the nation, was overrated, even when you factor in that McKnight, Griffen and Damian Williams already are in the NFL, and NT Christian Tupou would be a second-year starter if he didn't blow out his knee this spring. Lots of guys who never contributed or left the program.

Washington

Class: 27

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: Eight (WR Devin Aguilar, LB Alvin Logan, LB Cort Dennison, SS Nate Williams, LB Mason Foster, CB Quinton Richardson, DE Kalani Aldrich, K Erik Folk)

Misses: DE Emeka Iweka, DT Nick Wood

Verdict: You read the names of the seven highest-rated players in this class and you have one reaction: Terrible. But then you see six defensive starters among the lower rated guys. Still, the Huskies defense is a huge question mark. How it performs this year will tell you how this class should be rated.

Washington State

Class: 26

ESPNU top 150 players: 0

How many are expected to start in 2010: Five (CB Aire Justin, WR Daniel Blackledge, C Andrew Roxas, OG B.J. Guerra, SS Chima Nwachukwu)

Misses: WR Deon Ford

Verdict: Not much should be expected from Bill Doba's final recruiting class, and this one doesn't deliver much sizzle. A couple of solid hits, though, including a couple of departed JC transfers.

Phil Steele announces his All-American, Pac-10 teams

May, 19, 2010
5/19/10
6:00
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Phil Steele has released his All-American and All-Conference teams.

In the interest of space -- Steele publishes four All-American lineups and four All-Conference teams -- here are his Pac-10 All-Americans as well as his first-team All-Pac-10 team.

You can see all four All-Pac-10 teams here.

All-Americans

Offense
First-team
C Kristofer O'Dowd, USC
K Kai Forbath, UCLA
KR Chris Owusu, Stanford

Second-team
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
C Colin Baxter, Arizona

Third-team
WR James Rodgers, Oregon State

Fourth-team
QB Jake Locker, Washington
RB LaMichael James, Oregon
K Thomas Weber, Arizona State

Defense
First-team
LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
S Rahim Moore, UCLA

Second-team
DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
DT Jurrell Casey, USC

Third-team
LB Mike Mohamed, California
CB Trevin Wade, Arizona
P Bryan Anger

Fourth-team
LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State

All-Pac-10 first-team

Offense
QB Jake Locker, Washington
RB LaMichael James, Oregon
RB Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State
WR James Rodgers, Oregon State
WR Ronald Johnson, USC
WR Jermaine Kearse, Washington
TE Kavario Middleton, Washington
C Kristofer O'Dowd
OG David DeCastro, Stanford
OG Butch Lewis, USC
OT Bo Thran, Oregon
OT Adam Grant, Arizona

KR Chris Owusu, Stanford
PR William Wright, Arizona

Defense
DE Ricky Elmore, Arizona
DT Stephen Paea, Oregon State
DT Jurrell Casey, USC
DE Thomas Keiser (LB), Stanford
LB Akeem Ayers, UCLA
LB Mike Mohamed, California
LB Mason Foster, Washington
LB Vontaze Burfict, Arizona State
CB Trevin Wade, Arizona
CB Desmond Trufant, Washington
S Rahim Moore, UCLA
S John Boyett, Oregon

K Kai Forbath, UCLA
P Bryan Anger, California

Ranking the Pac-10 receivers

August, 24, 2009
8/24/09
11:38
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

This is the first of our position rankings. On Tuesday, which is Pac-10 day on ESPN.com -- hey, take the day off; it should be a national holiday! -- we will continue with quarterbacks, which is one of our monumental stories for tomorrow's package. Feel free to disagree. This took quiet a while to put together, with lots of shuffling and re-thinking, etc.

USC: Damian Williams and Ronald Johnson are one of the best pairs in the nation. They combined for 17 touchdowns in 2008. There's outstanding depth and athleticism behind them, led by David Ausberry.
Arizona: This is a shaky No. 2 because Delashaun Dean has been hurt almost all of camp, but he and Terrell Turner combined for 86 receptions last year. William "Bug" Wright and Juron Criner ar
e up-and-comers.
UCLA: Terrence Austin and Taylor Embree combined for 93 receptions last year but only one touchdown. Nelson Rosario should be more a factor this fall, while freshman speedster Randall Carroll and Ricky Marvray look ready to contribute.
Arizona State: Chris McGaha, Kerry Taylor and Kyle Williams combined for 81 receptions and eight touchdowns last year, while Gerell Robinson looks a lot better after struggling as a true freshman.
Oregon: This might be a little high, considering the Ducks' top two receivers from 2008, Terence Scott and Jaison Williams, are gone. Jeff Maehl -- 39 receptions, five touchdowns -- is the only returning receiver with double-digit receptions. But speedy Jamere Holland and newcomers Lavasier Tuinei, Tyrece Gaines, and Diante Jackson have opened eyes during practices (though Gaines and Jackson have battled injuries).
California: Everybody from 2008 is back as is talented sophomore Marvin Jones, who missed most of last year with a knee injury. The crew had potential last year, but it wasn't realized. There's more experience now, so it's likely things will trend up at the position for the Bears.
Oregon State: James Rodgers is a great start, but Sammie Stroughter and Shane Morales will be the toughest combination to replace in the conference. And this ranking doesn't include the injured Darrell Catchings, which means this is a young and unproven unit. Damola Adeniji, Jordan Bishop, Casey Kjos, Geno Munoz and Markus Wheaton have had their moments this preseason.
Washington: D'Andre Goodwin, Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar combined for 100 receptions last year. The bad news is they scored only three touchdowns. Toss in freshman James Johnson, and this is one of the Huskies strongest positions. They may well be better than eighth, but they've got to prove themselves.
Stanford: The Cardinal is expecting dramatic gains for its passing offense with quarterback Andrew Luck. And the receiving corps might be ready to jump aboard. Ryan Whalen and Doug Baldwin combined for 64 receptions last year, and Chris Owusu and some intriguing young players, such as Jamal-Rashad Patterson, will help. But after averaging 152 yards passing last year, the receivers, like the Huskies crew, need to prove themselves.
Washington State: The Cougars had the worst passing offense in the conference last year -- six touchdowns, 21 interceptions -- and the departed Brandon Gibson represented a third of that production. Speedy Jeshua Anderson could be a more refined receiver this fall, and there's some youngsters who might make an impact. Injuries have hurt during the preseason.

20 players who will emerge in 2009

May, 6, 2009
5/06/09
11:08
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Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller

Some of these guys will be familiar. Some of these guys will become familiar.

A guess at rising stars on both sides of the ball coming out of spring practices for every Pac-10 team.

Arizona
Offense
: William "Bug" Wright, WR, So.: If he stays focused, he can be a playmaker in the slot.
Defense: Vuna Tuihalamaka, LB, Jr.: Coach Mike Stoops gushed about him after spring practices.

Arizona State
Offense
: Garth Gerhart, C, So.: Toby Gerhart's brother beat out a returning starter to anchor the middle of the Sun Devils' line.
Defense: James Brooks, DE, So.: With tackle Lawrence Guy and opposite end Dexter Davis distracting offensive lines, Brooks should get chances to make plays.

California
Offense
: Mitchell Schwartz, OT, So.: The general feeling is Schwartz could play his way into a first-day pick in the NFL draft.
Defense: Mychal Kendricks, LB, So.: Talent meets opportunity -- will Kendricks take advantage?

Oregon
Offense
: Jamere Holland, WR, Jr.: He's always been fast, but he broke out because he started doing what his coaches told him to do.
Defense: Brandon Bair, DT, Jr.: Singled out by coach Chip Kelly for his play this spring.

Oregon State
Offense
: Jordan Bishop, WR, Fr.: Coaches have been gushing about Bishop for a while now, and he didn't let up this spring.
Defense: David Pa'aluhi, LB, So.: Rare a sophomore breaks through at linebacker for the Beavers, but Pa'aluhi did for a reason.

Stanford
Offense
: Andrew Luck, QB, Fr.: His "hello" moment was 352 yards passing and five touchdowns in the spring game.
Defense: Delano Howell, SS, So.: An athlete and a tough guy, Howell provides two ingredients the Cardinal secondary needs.

UCLA
Offense
: Morrell Presley, TE, Fr.: Needs to hit the weight room but he's a pass-catching talent.
Defense: Datone Jones, DE, So.: Don't be surprised if he leads the Bruins in sacks this year.

USC
Offense
: Curtis McNeal, RB, Fr.: You have to do something special to distinguish yourself among the Trojans' running backs. McNeal did this spring.
Defense: Malcolm Smith, LB, Jr.: Everybody loved the way he played this spring.

Washington
Offense
: Chris Polk, RB, Fr.: A season-ending injury in 2008 may have been the best thing that happened to Polk, who seemed to find his stride during spring.
Defense: Quinton Richardson, CB, So.: Defensive coordinator Nick Holt singled him out after the spring game, and the Huskies secondary needs him to come through.

Washington State
Offense
: Zack Williams, OG, Jr.: He's got a little nasty to him, something that was missing from a line that got pushed around last year.
Defense: Louis Bland, LB, So.: He's undersized but fast and instinctive -- his run blitzes might have won the Apple Cup for the Cougars. Will his game take another step forward?

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