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Thursday, February 7, 2013 - Page updated at 09:30 p.m.
Jim Mora bags talented recruiting class at UCLA
By Bob Condotta
Seattle Times staff reporter
Just how good the recruiting classes are that were signed Wednesday by Pac-12 schools won't really be known for a few years.
What's already been proved, however, is that former Seahawks coach Jim Mora can adapt to recruiting. Mora's first full class at UCLA was unanimously judged the best in the Pac-12, ranked as high as fifth in the nation by Scout.com.
"He may just be one of those guys who fits better in college, and he is figuring that out," said JC Shurburtt, national recruiting director for 247Sports.
Analysts also said it was a solid year for the conference. Scout.com had nine Pac-12 teams ranked among its top 39 classes, and Rivals.com had nine among its top 37.
A brief look at each class:
Bruins finished well, holding on to Bellevue High linebacker Myles Jack despite a continued effort by Washington to lure him away. Bruins went outside California more than usual, getting four-star QB Asiantii Woulard from Florida in something of a surprise.
Huskies didn't get every win they wanted on signing day. But analysts raved about the 22-man class, led by three standout receivers, a good D-line group and Troy Williams, the third four-star QB signed by UW the past two years.
Worries that Chip Kelly's departure would hurt the Ducks in recruiting proved unfounded as they finished with a flourish, holding off UW for twins Tyree and Tyrell Robinson of San Diego. Oregon also signed TE Danny Mattingly of Spokane.
Trojans get docked mostly because they signed just 12 players due to NCAA sanctions, and lost a few key commitments late. Still, no one will weep for Trojans, whose average star rating of 4.42 per player via Scout.com is best in nation. QB Max Browne of Skyline High is already enrolled.
Bears finished with a surprising surge under new coach Sonny Dykes, who signed 26, including touted QB Jared Goff. LB Johnny Ragin III of Wilsonville, Ore., resisted a late Ducks push to stay with Cal.
Rich Rodriguez's first full class at Arizona was solid, led by dual-threat QB Anu Solomon of Las Vegas, who some compare in style to Russell Wilson. Arizona got two players UW recruited hard in RB Pierre Cormier and CB Derek Babiash.
7. Arizona State
The first full class for Todd Graham filled immediate holes as the Sun Devils brought in 10 JC transfers plus OL Christian Westerman, a transfer from Auburn. However, ASU suffered a big loss when QB Josh Dobbs signed instead with Tennessee.
8. Washington State
Cougars put together a group ranked as high as No. 39 by Scout.com in Mike Leach's first full class. QB Tyler Bruggman of Phoenix seriously considered staying home to play at ASU before sticking with a longtime Cougars commitment.
This seems like a surprisingly low ranking for a team coming off a Rose Bowl win. The young Cardinal team had few scholarships to give and signed just 12. There are lots of highly regarded players, though, including one of the nation's best MLB prospects, Peter Kalambayi.
10. Oregon State
Beavers have made a living of turning classes rated near the bottom of the conference into teams that finish near the top. This is another group that might outplay its ranking. The highlight player is four-star CB Dashon Hunt, who also visited Nebraska and Boise State.
Utes signed 24 players, including three QBs as they seek to fill a spot that has been a big problem since joining the Pac-12. A surprise addition was athlete Micah Thomas of Houston.
New coach Mike MacIntyre did what he could to assemble a class on short notice. QB Sefo Liufau of Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma might get a shot at early playing time with rebuilding Buffs.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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