Pac-12 spotlight: Top recruiting priorities for 2017 class
The spring evaluation period is winding down so there’s no better time to look at the top priorities in the 2017 recruiting class for each Pac-12 team. Here is a glance at what each team needs heading into the summer.
Biggest remaining need: Defensive line
Notes: The Wildcats have addressed the defensive line already in the 2017 class with commitments from three-star DT Kurtis Brown and two-star DT Elijah Watson but they’re probably not done across the line. There is a tremendous amount of talented defensive ends on the board and a few defensive tackles left, too, that Arizona is heavily pursuing.
ARIZONA STATE SUN DEVILS
Biggest remaining need: Inside linebackers and defensive backs
Notes: Arizona State is pretty thin at defensive back, so that needs to be addressed in this recruiting class. The Sun Devils had a commitment from four-star Jermani Brown but after he moved to Virginia, his recruitment took off and he’s looking elsewhere. The good news is that there are plenty of top defensive back targets out there. Inside linebacker will be an issue, too, if Christian Sam leaves early.
CAL GOLDEN BEARS
Biggest remaining need: Linebacker
Notes: The Golden Bears should be loaded at the offensive skill positions for a long time, especially after having the No. 1 draft pick in Jared Goff and putting a bunch of receivers in the league as well. But linebacker is an issue and it looks like Cal’s coaching staff is doing everything possible to address it. A ton of offers are out at the linebacker position, but the Golden Bears don’t have any pledges there yet.
MORE: Golden Bear Report
Biggest remaining need: Safety
Notes: Colorado’s top three players at safety are upperclassmen and the Buffaloes addressed the issue by going the junior college route after Signing Day. It’s still a focus with the 2017 class. That’s one reason why Colorado has targeted more than a dozen safeties in this recruiting class.
Biggest remaining need: Tight end and defensive line
Notes: Defensive line is a focus for Oregon’s recruiting class and the Ducks have already addressed it with the commitment of four-star DE Langi Tuifua from South Jordan (Utah) Bingham. There are many other talented targets available across the defensive line and many of them are serious about Oregon early on. Tight end also needs to be addressed, another position losing players to graduation, but there’s good news here, too. Robinson-Carr and Falo are very talented and really high on the Ducks.
OREGON STATE BEAVERS
Biggest remaining need: Offensive line and defensive back
Notes: The Oregon State coaching staff has wisely identified the offensive line as a target in the 2017 recruiting class and aggressively gone after many of the best prospects in the West at those positions. The Beavers have really focused on players in the Pacific Northwest with a bunch of offers. For Oregon State, the good news is there are plenty of talented players to choose from along the offensive line in that region this recruiting cycle.
Biggest remaining need: Wide receiver and defensive back
Notes: Stanford had the third-best class in the Pac-12 last recruiting cycle and addressed many needs on offense and defense but receiver and defensive back could be big targets in this class. The Cardinal have already loaded up with two talented tight ends but St. Brown is up there and Peoples-Jones is one of the nation’s top WRs. Holmes is a major target who could contribute all over the field.
MORE: Cardinal Sports Report
Biggest remaining need: Offensive line
Notes: There will be some reloading done along UCLA’s offensive line this recruiting cycle as position coach Adrian Klemm has aggressively targeted prospects, especially in the West. The Bruins could be in luck because there are some really talented players at offensive tackle and guard who are serious about UCLA at this point. There will be stiff competition for many of them – especially five-star Davis – but the Bruins should get their fair share.
MORE: Bruin Sports Report
Biggest remaining need: Defensive line
Notes: The Trojans’ coaching staff has covered the country with offers for D-linemen – especially in the Southeast. There are a lot of local targets like Rogers, Andrus, Lang and UCLA commit Echols. But USC has made an effort already with offers to top players in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and a lot of other places.
Biggest remaining need: Wide receiver
Notes: Utah has a lot of space left in this recruiting class with only one commitment from JUCO DT John Penisini and wide receiver could definitely be one of the focal points over the summer and into the fall. The Utes have offered a ton of receivers – many of them already committed to other schools – but with so many months left before National Signing Day anything could happen. Utah has some young receivers but they’re unproven, so some skill guys will be targeted in this class.
Biggest remaining need: Wide receiver, quarterback
Notes: Wide receiver has been a major focus for the Huskies’ staff and to its credit Washington did a phenomenal job locking up some of the best in the West the last few months. Washington has now landed three receivers in the class with the addition of former Utah pledge Jones earlier this week. Bynum and Cook have proven to be two of the best in California. A quarterback could be the main focus heading into the summer.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
Biggest remaining need: Offensive line and defensive backs
Notes: Washington State is off to an excellent start in this recruiting class landing some outstanding skill position players – especially four-star WR Isaiah Hodgins – and now the focus could turn to loading up on the offensive line and defensive back. There are plenty of talented offensive tackles and interior guys to go around in the West and many are in the Pacific Northwest, an advantage for the Cougars. Wazzu has also offered a bunch of corners and safeties as it looks to restock there.