football Edit

Pac-12 Breakdown: Top-ranked recruits on each roster

JT Daniels
JT Daniels (AP Images)

Mark Pszonak contributed to this report.

With the college football season set to swing into full action this weekend, recruiting is always on my mind. So I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the highest ranked returning player on each roster and the highest ranked player from the class of 2019. We continue today with the Pac-12.

These are only players signed by the school and doesn’t include transfers.

RELATED: Highest-ranked players on Big Ten teams | SEC | ACC

CLASS OF 2020 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Position | Team | State

CLASS OF 2021 RANKINGS: Rivals100 | Position | Team | State

ARIZONA

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: With Arizona promising that he could play quarterback, instead of athlete, Tate committed to the Wildcats in mid-March of his junior year. A big senior season brought plenty of new suitors, but he stuck with Arizona. After a dynamic, yet surprising, 2017 season, Tate saw his productivity drop substantially in 2018. Most noticeable were his rushing numbers, which went down from 1,411 yards in 2017 to 224 yards in 2018. Now healthy after dealing with a few injuries last fall, supposedly the speed and explosiveness is back, which is something the Wildcats will need this fall if they hope to make some noise in the Pac-12.

Farrell’s take: Tate was a special talent coming out of high school who was a better runner than passer but still had a strong arm and could keep a defense off balance. He’s ready for a bounce back season this year as we can see by the opener. Curry was a great get out of Texas and I think he’ll have a big career at Arizona with his reliable hands.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ARIZONA FANS AT GOAZCATS.COM

ARIZONA STATE

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Benjamin initially committed to Iowa, but re-opened his recruitment during his senior season. After trimming his new list down to Arizona State, Utah and Michigan, he committed to the Sun Devils at the Army All-American Bowl. Benjamin burst onto the national scene last fall with 1,642 yards and 16 touchdowns on the ground, plus 35 receptions and two touchdowns through the air. With the Sun Devils starting true freshman Jayden Daniels at quarterback this fall, look for even more to be placed on his shoulders this season.

Farrell’s take: Benjamin was a downhill runner with good feet and he could catch the ball as well out of the backfield. He seemed to be a better fit for the Iowa offense but he has been dominant at Arizona State and the Sun Devils have utilized him very well. Daniels is a special talent and already the starter as a true freshman.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH ARIZONA STATE FANS AT DEVILSDIGEST.COM

CALIFORNIA

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: The Mississippi native held offers from both in-state programs, Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and North Carolina, but a visit to Berkeley to check out Cal was enough to get a commitment in late August. While Duncan is coming off his best statistical seasons, 20 receptions for 267 yards and four touchdowns, his career to this point has not met expectations. Despite the lack of productivity, he returns as one of the more experienced players at the position this season. With some of the younger talent still adjusting to the speed of the game, Duncan will be relied upon to produce.

Farrell’s take: Duncan was a big get out of Mississippi for Cal and a prospect who could play offense or defense and impact on special teams coming out of high school. He hasn’t hit his stride yet but this could be a big year for him. Johnson was an athletic defensive tackle who had room to fill out and a big recruit from Arizona.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH CAL FANS AT GOLDENBEARREPORT.COM

COLORADO

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Bisharat initially committed to Stanford, but after re-opening his recruitment he took January official visits to Colorado and Arizona State, and also considered Alabama, Cal and Nebraska, before committing to the Buffaloes on the eve of National Signing Day. Through his first three seasons in Boulder, Bisharat has mainly seen time as a reserve running back. Totaling only 57 carries for 249 yards during this time, he was moved to tight end during this off-season. Overall the positional group is lacking experience, so there will be an opportunity for Bisharat to earn playing time.

Farrell’s take: Bisharat was a Rivals250 prospect out of high school and was listed as an athlete who could have been a running back or linebacker or even a big defensive back. Now he’s at tight end so that will be interesting. La’Vontae Shenault is the younger brother of star wide receiver Laviska and is a Rivals250 prospect who could impact early.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH COLORADO FANS AT CUSPORTSNATION.COM

OREGON

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: During his senior season Addison took official visits to Arizona State, Washington, Nebraska and Michigan, but it turned into a battle between UCLA and USC, which the Bruins won. While he committed to UCLA in December, he was never cleared by the school’s admission’s office, so he received his full release in July. Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona State and Washington quickly pursued, with the Ducks winning the chase a couple of weeks later. With his late arrival in Eugene, Addison was never able to make an impact as a true freshman. However, he has been pushing for first-team reps throughout the summer so expect to see plenty of him on the field this fall.

Farrell’s take: Addison was a Rivals100 prospect with great size and a frame he could fill out and he could have played offense or defense. However, he was better with the ball in his hands and as a big target and we should see that this season. Thibodeaux was the only five star to commit to the Pac-12 last cycle and is an athletic edge rusher who will be a force.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OREGON FANS AT DUCKSPORTSAUTHORITY.COM

OREGON STATE

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Hodgins initially committed to Washington State, but after reopening his recruitment he began to focus on Oregon State, Oregon and Nebraska. He took official visits to each of the three during his senior season before committing to the Beavers in November. Hodgins has been very productive during his first two seasons in Corvallis. After finishing 2018 with 59 receptions for 876 yards and five touchdowns, there are reasonable expectations that he has the potential to develop into one of the top wide receivers in the Pac-12 this fall.

Farrell’s take: Hodgins was a big California pickup for the Beavers in 2017 as a tall, agile receiver with a great catch radius. He had a very good season last year and should take the next step this year. Speights isn’t long or big but he’s an excellent pass rusher and has a great motor.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH OREGON STATE FANS AT BEAVERSEDGE.COM

STANFORD

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Little committed to Stanford over Texas during his senior season. He claimed that the Cardinal’s pro-style offense and reputation for producing NFL linemen were key factors in his decision. Coming off a first-team All-Pac-12 season in 2018, big things are expected from Little in 2019, who is also considered one the top offensive tackles in next spring’s draft if he decides to forego his senior season.

Farrell’s take: Little was a five-star and top-10 prospect who was a massive get for Stanford out of Texas in 2017 and is an All-American caliber tackle. Jones was ranked just outside the Rivals100 this past cycle and has a chance to be the next dynamic back for the Cardinal.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH STANFORD FANS AT CARDINALSPORTSREPORT.COM

UCLA

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Holmes trimmed his list of top schools down to UCLA, Michigan, USC, Ohio State and Nebraska before committing to the Bruins at the Army All-American Bowl. Ohio State seemed to be trending at the end, but it was UCLA which pulled off the big recruiting win. Holmes has not disappointed during his first two collegiate seasons, having totaled 87 tackles, six interceptions, two forced fumbles and 11 pass breakups. More of the same, if not better, is expected from him this fall, as he has become the heart-and-soul of the defensive unit.

Farrell’s take: Holmes was a five-star cornerback coming out of high school with great ball skills and a rare ability to play the ball. His instincts were off the chart and he was physical for his size as well. Rhyan was just outside the Rivals100 last season and is a big, athletic offensive tackle who could see the field early.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH UCLA FANS AT BRUINBLITZ.COM

USC

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Daniels committed to USC after a late push from Michigan, Stanford and Washington, among others. He decided to skip his senior year of high school to enroll early at USC, where he won the starting job as a freshman. As expected, Daniels’ experienced some ups-and-downs in 2018, finishing with 2,672 yards, 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Now more comfortable with the speed of the college game, expectations are very high in Los Angeles that Daniels will take a huge jump this fall.

Farrell’s take: Daniels re-classified and was part of the quarterback class with Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields. He has been up and down so far but his ceiling is very high and the new offense plays into his strengths. Jackson was close to being a five-star out of high school and may make us regret holding off because he’s going to be a monster in the Pac-12.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH USC FANS AT TROJANSPORTS.COM

UTAH

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Johnson took official visits to Utah and Nebraska, which led to his commitment to the Utes in late October. However, he then took additional official visits to Oklahoma and Arizona State before solidifying with Utah. After showing promise as a true freshman, Johnson impressed in 2018 with 41 tackles and four interceptions. Even bigger things are being expected from him in 2019, as he is being touted as a potential first-round NFL pick.

Farrell’s take: Johnson was a big-time recruit for Utah, a Rivals100 cornerback with good size and speed out of California and he’s living up to the hype and then some. Jones is a freak of nature, a 6-foot-9 receiver who has a very high ceiling.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH UTAH FANS AT UTENATION.COM

WASHINGTON

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: A visit Spiker took to Seattle after his junior season put Washington in front, and it was a lead they never relinquished. He committed to the Huskies over USC, UCLA, Oregon and Michigan in mid-March. Spiker redshirted during the 2018 and has been battling for playing time since that point. The Huskies have plenty of talent at the position, but Spiker seems to have done enough to be involved in the regular rotation this fall.

Farrell’s take: Spiker was close to a fifth star in 2018 and a prolific receiver out of California who was a huge part of the Washington class. After a redshirt year, he should start making his impact this year. Tuitele was a Rivals100 prospect this past cycle and is a massive defensive tackle with excellent agility.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH WASHINGTON FANS AT DAWGREPORT.COM

WASHINGTON STATE

HIGHEST-RANKED RETURNING PLAYER

HIGHEST-RANKED SIGNEE FROM 2019 CLASS

The skinny: Calvin’s recruitment was chaotic, as he committed and de-committed from Oregon State and Nebraska during the last month, before flipping to Washington State on National Signing Day. Calvin has put together two productive seasons in Pullman, having totaled 75 receptions for 797 yards and four touchdowns during that time. While a lower leg injury has limited him during the summer and may cause him to miss the beginning portion of the season, expectations are high that Calvin can have his best season to-date when he gets out on the field.

Farrell’s take: Calvin’s recruiting process was a wild ride with many commitments but his speed made him a Rivals250 prospect despite a lack of great size. Brown was an undersized linebacker out of California this past cycle but has a great frame to add weight.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS WITH WASHINGTON STATE FANS AT WAZZUWATCH.COM