Mid-Summer Report Card: Grading Pac-12 recruiting
The 2024 recruiting cycle has reached the mid-point, which means that many recruiting classes across the country are filling up fast. Here's how each team in the Pac-12 has fared up to this point.
THIS SERIES: Grading Big 12 recruiting at the mid-point of the 2024 cycle | SEC | Big Ten | ACC
Earlier this month, Arizona landed Tucson (Ariz.) Salpointe four-star defensive end Elijah Rushing, beating Oregon, Notre Dame, UCLA and Tennessee as he became the second-highest-rated prospect to ever pick the Wildcats, behind only Tetairoa McMillan. Things could get even better if former Ole Miss QB commit Demond Williams from Chandler (Ariz.) Basha ends up there, but that’s not a done deal yet.
Still, coach Jedd Fisch and his staff are doing a great job in this recruiting class. June was an incredibly busy month as the Wildcats loaded up with 13 pledges, but Arizona still needs more quality over quantity as Rushing remains the only four-star pledge in a class of 18 commits so far.
Arizona's commitment list: 2024
Recruiting the state of Arizona is going to be a focus for coach Kenny Dillingham and his vibrant staff. They have tremendous connections with the top programs there, and while the Sun Devils have only landed one of the top 12 players in the state so far there are many successes in this class.
Four-star ATH Dylan Tapley is definitely a big one, along with four-star CB Tony-Louis Nkuba, so Arizona State already has some key pieces in the class, along with a steady start to July by landing two three-stars in Martell Hughes and Chris Johnson. Of 16 commits, though, only two are four-stars, so Arizona State’s average star ranking is hovering just above three.
Ranked ninth in the Pac-12 with just 10 commitments, the Golden Bears were actually very busy in June and early July, landing eight of their pledges during that time, including three-star athlete Rahshawn Clark from Seattle Garfield.
June ended with a big pledge from former Washington quarterback commit EJ Caminong, and Pasadena, Calif., three-star tight end pledge Camden Jones is one of the best-looking players in the entire 2024 class. But Cal needs a spark on the recruiting trail to really get things going again.
As coach Deion Sanders and his staff navigate high school recruiting and taking players out of the transfer portal, the Buffaloes have only nine pledges heading into late July.
That seems low, but Colorado has chosen quality over quantity as four-star receiver Aaron Butler and four-star defensive end Brandon Davis-Swain are the leaders of the class so far. Four-star Zycarl Lewis is another big-time addition to the class and many more could be coming – especially if the Buffaloes can start the season off well, although the schedule is challenging.
Maybe more than any coach in the country, Sanders has shown his ability to draw talent whether from the high school ranks and especially the portal as he’s using all tools available to him to build a healthy roster.
Oregon has the top-rated class in the Pac-12, is sixth nationally and has the most four-star commits in the entire conference. It’s been another grand recruiting year for coach Dan Lanning as he continues to build an elite roster in Eugene.
Long Beach (Calif.) Poly four-star linebacker Dylan Williams is the crown jewel of the class so far, but he’s only one of 13 four-star prospects as QB Michael Van Buren, WR Jordan Anderson, DB Ify Obidegwu and DL Xadavien Sims and Tionne Gray lead the way as well. The Ducks are doing incredibly well and it’s no surprise as every top recruit talks highly of Lanning, his coaching staff and their experiences when they’re on campus.
Over the years, Oregon State’s recruiting classes have been undervalued from a rankings perspective as coach Jonathan Smith and his staff have tapped unseen potential and done a phenomenal job finding players that fit his program – and his style on both sides of the ball – the best.
With that being considered, the Beavers have only 10 commitments so far in this class, rank second-to-last in the Pac-12 and are No. 74 nationally in the team rankings. High three-stars WR Malachi Durant and ATH Andrew Brinson were two major additions in June, but Oregon State needs more of them. Some might already be in the class, if history is any indication.
Oregon State's commitment list: 2024
First-year coach Troy Taylor and his staff had arguably the best June of any team in the country with 23 commitments as they loaded up with quality players such as four-star QB Elijah Brown, four-star defensive end Dylan Stephenson and many others
The month of June was really strong for the Cardinal and that continued into July with the commitment of four-star defensive end Benedict Umeh from Avon (Conn.) Old Farms.
With Taylor bringing in an entirely new system, style and way of doing things, it’s been a major success so far without Stanford playing a single game yet under the new coaching staff.
Recruiting is going to go a particular way under coach Chip Kelly and his staff: They’re going to be patient, they’re going to target a select group of players and not cluster bomb offers around the country. In the end, UCLA has landed some prime-time players as Kelly builds the program back up, but it’s unlikely to blow away the recruiting rankings.
The same can be said so far this recruiting cycle as the Bruins have just nine commitments and they’re ranked No. 61 nationally, led by four-star defensive back Khristian Dunbar-Hawkins and four-star RB Cameron Jones in the class so far.
UCLA's commitment list: 2024
The Trojans had a phenomenal and active June with 13 commitments and they loaded up with several four-stars, including local four-star defensive backs Marcelles Williams and Dakoda Fields, out-of-state four-stars DB Jarvis Boatwright, LB Elijah Newby, TE Walter Matthews and so many others.
As it stands now, USC is ranked third in the Pac-12 rankings and is tied exactly down to the number (3.65) in average star rankings with Oregon at the top of the conference team rankings. Four-star receiver Xavier Jordan is really productive and could be an ideal fit in coach Lincoln Riley’s offense.
Utah has had back-to-back 10-win seasons. Coach Kyle Whittingham hasn’t had a losing season since 2013. The Utes beat USC twice last season and blew out the Trojans in the Pac-12 championship game a year ago. It’s clear Whittingham and his staff know what they’re doing.
But Utah has been almost non-existent so far in the 2024 recruiting class. The Utes have only six commitments (the fewest among any Power Five school) but three of them are four-stars in QB Isaac Wilson, WR David Washington and DE Vili Taufatofoa, so there is a nice base of top players with a lot of room to add more.
Utah's commitment list: 2024
As of June 23, the Washington recruiting class consisted of only four-star offensive lineman Paki Finau. Quarterback EJ Caminong and receiver Landon Bell had de-committed earlier in the month. It was looking really ugly for the Huskies which, was befuddling because they’ve done such a good job recruiting, getting momentum within the program and have a ton to offer.
Patience paid off, because late June saw a rush of commitments. From June 24 to the end of the month Washington landed 11 commitments, including ones from four-star receivers Jason Robinson and Peyton Waters, linebacker Khmori House and defensive end Dominic Kirks.
The Huskies currently sit at sixth in the Pac-12 rankings and No. 50 overall, which is better than it could have been but not great as they look to keep building into the fall.
Washington's commitment list: 2024
Over the years, Washington State has typically found underrated prospects, guys that fit the system, fit in Pullman and fit as the underdog. With that in context, the Cougars have some talent in this class, but they’re still waiting for those highest-profile prospects, which are so challenging to get to come to Washington State over the years.
California ATH Josh Joyner and Florida QB Evans Chuba are mid-three-star prospects and the highest-rated players in the class so far. There are definitely some sleepers – maybe Camden DeGraw from Idaho or Frank Cusano from Northern California – but right now the Cougars have the lowest average star ranking in the conference.
Washington State's commitment list: 2024