Pac-12 Football Recruiting: The 10 Best Non-Pac-12 Region Recruits Signed by Pac-12 Teams

Joe Sargent

Joe McKnight and John David Booty both bolted Louisiana for Los Angeles.

1. Joe McKnight RB River Ridge, LA - USC - Class of 2007

McKnight was one of the biggest prospects to ever sign with a Pac-12 school regardless of where they are from. Pulling McKnight out of the heart of SEC country was an astounding feat though, especially with all of the pressure on him to go to LSU. McKnight was hyped as the next Reggie Bush and was seen as the next great USC running back when he signed.

2. John David Booty QB Shreveport, LA - USC - Class of 2003

Booty was probably the most hyped underclassman recruit in the history of football which was turned up when he incredibly graduated high school a year early to enroll at USC. The Trojans wrapped up his recruitment especially early and then got him into school, saving themselves a year of fighting off all of the national powers who assuredly would have come after him.

3. Patrick Turner WR Madison, TN - USC - Class of 2005

Turner came on the end of the period of time when everyone thought that receivers all needed to be 6'5 210, and with those precise measurements, Turner was a hot commodity. His size paired with incredible speed and athleticism made him the top receiver prospect in the country and the Trojans thought that they had the next Mike Williams when they reeled him in.

4. Kyle Prater WR Hillside, IL - USC - Class of 2010

Five years later, another 6'5 receiver was one of the most coveted prospects in the country and the Trojans scored big. Prater was big and fast and the biggest recruit that a Pac-12 school has pulled out of Big Ten country.

5. Keenan Allen S Greensboro, NC - Cal - Class of 2010

Allen may have ended up being at star at receiver, but he was actually listed as a safety coming out of high school, and he was arguably the top one in his class. It was a major shock when the five-star North Carolina product chose to play for Cal.

6. Vidal Hazelton WR Chatham, VA - USC - Class of 2006

Clearly, the Trojans do a good job of pulling in big time receivers from around the country as players in the mid-2000s all dreamed about coming the next Mike Williams of Dwayne Jarrett. Hazelton wasn't the 6'5 210 type of guy, but more of a rangy speedster that could make plays all over the field and the Trojans pulled him off of the East Coast.

7. Ronald Johnson CB Muskegon, MI - USC - Class of 2007

Johnson ended up being a receiver but was more of a pure athlete who could play a number of skill positions. Johnson was one of the fastest players in the country and was seen as just another huge signing for the Trojans who almost seemed to get bored with signing five-star prospects at this point.

8. Kenny Bigelow DT Elkton, MD - USC - Class of 2013

The Trojans got back to scoring huge scores from all around the country after taking a few years off as Bigelow was the best non-Pac-12 country prospect that the Trojans have signed in a long time. Bigelow is somewhat of a combo-defensive lineman which seems to be all of the rage in football these days and was one of the best defensive prospects for the class of 2013.

9. Brian Cushing LB Oradell, NJ - USC - Class of 2005

Pac-12 teams have started to reach into recruiting in New Jersey more recently, but it was pretty surprising back in 2005 when the Trojans grabbed Cushing. Cushing was one of the best linebacker prospects in the country and the Trojans beat out just about every other power in the country for him.

10. Lache Seastrunk RB Temple, TX - Oregon - Class of 2010

Boy, this one has been gone over again and again but long story short, the Ducks signed one of the nation's top-rated running backs and disaster ensued.

Honorable Mention

Fred Davis (WR Toledo, OH - USC - Class of 2004), Alex Fletcher (G Melville, NY - Stanford - Class of 2004), Keith Rivers (LB Lake Mary, FL - USC - Class of 2004), Andrew Luck (QB Houston, TX - Stanford - Class of 2008), Ty Isaac (RB Joliet, IL - USC - Class of 2013)

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