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Pac-12 football recruiting needs: A lot of Pac-12 teams need to reload at defensive tackle

A quarter of the Pac-12's teams need help at defensive tackle more than any other position.


As recruiting season winds down, each Pac-12 team is trying to fill their class with specific needs that graduation and attrition have left thin. Here are the positions that each Pac-12 team needs to fill the most with this recruiting class and who might be able to fill it.

Arizona - Running back

The Wildcats lost the nation's best running back in Ka'Deem Carey early to the NFL Draft and also lost their back up Daniel Jenkins to graduation. The Wildcats make their living on handing the ball off over and over again to their backs in Rich Rodriguez so they desperately need to reload with a talented freshman since they don't have a single running back returning who scored a touchdown in 2013.

Prospects - The Wildcats already have a commitment from one of the West's best backs in Nick Wilson, a 5'11 195 back from Fresno who actually looks like Carey in that his bread and butter is making the most of runs between the tackles, but can also bust it open when the opportunity is there. The Wildcats also have a commitment from a back all the way from Washington D.C. in Jonathan Haden, a speedy back that could offer the home run option to compliment Wilson's power as soon as 2014.

Arizona State - Linebacker

Honestly, the Sun Devils need to reload everywhere on defense as they lose just about every starter from 2013, but they need talent and depth at linebacker most as they also lose a few of their depth guys to graduation too and lost Carl Bradford early to the draft.

Prospects - The Sun Devils have gotten a good start on reloading the unit as they already have four commitments from linebacker prospects. The most exciting of the commits is former USC commit D.J. Calhoun from El Cerrito, California who is a big-hitting and versatile linebacker who is amongst the best prospects on the West Coast at his position and he could contribute right away if he adds a little weight. The rangy (6'4 215) Ismael Murphy-Richardson can't be overlooked though as he fills the rush LB/DE role for the Sun Devils and is a rising prospect that came on a little late and looks like he will staying home despite getting pushed by programs like Oklahoma, Texas A&M and USC. They also have a commitment from solid Texas linebacker Christian Sam and could have one soon from under-the-radar Chandler prospect Santana Sterling.

Cal - Defensive tackle

The Bears expected to replace massive defensive tackle DeAndre Coleman, but had to be shocked when junior Viliami Moala declared for the draft, leaving their cupboards even more bare up front other than sophomore Jacobi Hunter who emerged in 2013.

Prospects - The Bears are in good shape to land Bellevue, Washington standout Marcus Griffin if they can outduel some other Pac-12 schools and he would have the size to contribute right away if he can absorb the rest of the game quickly. For a more immediate impact, the Bears already signed junior college prospect Trevor Kelly who they hope can contribute right away along with fellow JC recruit David Davis.

Colorado - Defensive end

The Buffaloes don't lose much from 2013, but pass-rushing specialist Chidera Uzo-Diribe will be hard to replace up front.

Prospects - Colorado has done a great job of locking up defensive end prospects as they already have five commitments at the position for 2014. Jase Franke is the top-rated of their commits and has the size at 6'4 260 to maybe contribute next season. The rest of their commits are prospects that will most likely take a few years to develop before they see the field.

Oregon - Defensive tackle

The Ducks struggled to stop the run towards the end of 2013 and they lose the three top defensive tackles in their rotation to graduation as Wade Keliikipi, Taylor Hart and Ricky Heimuli-Havili all depart. They have some players waiting in the wings, but no one to the level of those three, so they badly need to reload.

Prospects - The Ducks are going hard after a number of top prospects at the position and the guy at the top of their wish list right is South Carolina prospect Poona Ford who is a short prospect at 6'0, but is stout and one of the best defensive tackles out there at getting after the passer. They have already addressed some needs at the position by getting a commitment from 6'7, Phoenix prospect Jalen Jenks and have a shot at run-stuffing San Antonio prospect Trey Lealaimatafao if they can wrestle him away from schools like LSU and UCLA.

Oregon State - Guard

The Beavers really need help on their offensive and defensive lines with how poorly they ran and stopped the run in 2013, but no spot needs more help right now than offensive guard where they lost both starters from 2013.

Prospects - The good news is that they already got a commitment from one of the Northwest's best offensive line prospect in Camas, Washington's Drew Clarkson who has potential to contribute quickly if needed. They also have a commitment from Florida prospect Yanni Demogerontas.

Stanford - Guard/Center

The Cardinal lose a ton of talent all over the place, but especially in the trenches and on the offensive side where they lose both starting guards and center. Stanford has recruited offensive linemen really well under David Shaw, but they have not other proven guards and could really benefit from adding more to the fold.

Prospects - The Cardinal don't have any elite prospects on the hook, but commit Austin Hall from Phoenix fits the mold of their typical lineman as he's an NFL player's son and is big and polished. They are also in the hunt to steal Vanderbilt commit Jesse Burkett from Jacksonville who also really fits their mold.

UCLA - Wide receiver

The Bruins struggled to find consistent playmakers in their receiving corps last season and they lose their best one in Shaquelle Evans. They have some young talent at the position, but none have really flashed the ability to be a star and I know that the Bruins and Jim Mora would love to have get a true freshman who could be just that for Brett Hundley.

Prospects - Big time Louisiana prospect Malachi Dupre would probably be exactly that kind of guy at 6'3 with unlimited potential but it will a tall task to pull him away from Alabama, Florida State and LSU. A more attainable, but equally impressive prospect that the Bruins are in on is Fresno's Michiah Quick who is a smaller, more explosive prospect that they are battling a handful of elite schools for. Even if they can't land Dupre or Quick, the Bruins already have some great commitments from big receivers 6'2 221 Indiana prospect Austin Roberts and 6'4 210 Elk Grove, California prospect Alex Van Dyke whom they beat out a number of big time schools for.

USC - Defensive end

The Trojans lose talent all over the place, but no place more than at defensive end with Morgan Breslin, Devon Kennard and George Uko all departing. They still have Leonard Williams up front, but they will need to start reloading their on the edge right now, especially considering that Williams is assuredly headed to the NFL Draft in 2015.

Prospects -The Trojans missed out on a number of elite prospects, but have already had success locking in talented West Coast prospects. They may be able to unexpectedly flip an elite prospect from another school late, but if they don't early enrollee from Boise Don Hill is a rangy pass rusher that could get a look. The Trojans also have a soft commitment from Bellflower, California prospect Malik Dorton, but I'm not sure how hard they are trying to hold onto him.

Utah - Defensive tackle

The Utes lose a ton up front on defense, particularly at tackle, where they lose both starters from 2013 along with their third guy in the rotation.

Prospects - The Utes have already addressed their needs with commitments. Utah prospect Allan Havili needs to add size, but is incredibly athletic for a 6'4 270 prospect and has great potential. Fellow Utah product Kyle Christiansen doesn't have the athleticism of Havili, but does have the size to contribute right away at 6'3 315.

Washington - Safety

The Huskies lose both starters at safety from 2013 and don't have a single player in their depth chart at the position that will be an upperclassman in 2014.

Prospects Local Bellevue prospect Budda Baker is the big fish here as he is one of the best overall athletes in the Class of 2014 and recently decommitted from Oregon to consider just UCLA and Washington. Baker would have a very good shot at starting as a true freshman if he becomes a Husky. If they can't reel in Baker, they still already have four commits at the position.

Washington State - Cornerback

The Cougars return freshman standout Daquawn Brown from 2013 but lose their other three contributors at the position from 2013.

Prospects - The Cougars already have four commits at the position, headlined by Concord, California prospect Kevin Griffin who has great size and Alameda, California prospect Sulaiman Hameed. Junior college prospect Joseph Turner might be the most important of all though, as he will likely be expected to contribute right away.