College football recruiting is a funny thing. Come each signing day fans turn 17 and 18 year old kids into idols, but then when September rolls around, most are forgotten about for a few years, but not the big time elite prospects, they are expected to contribute right away and a lot of the top players who signed with Pac-12 schools in 2009 did, but some didn't. We took a look at the Class of 2004 earlier this week.
1. Matt Barkley - QB - Santa Ana, CA (Mater Dei) - USC
Barkley was seen as the next Mark Sanchez - polished, successful, big and strong armed, from an Orange County powerhouse - he may have been the top overall prospect in 2009. Like Sanchez and many OC quarterbacks before him, he committed to USC early on in the process. He started from the beginning at USC and had an up and down career that peaked during his junior season when he had one of the best seasons of any quarterback in the nation and is now in the NFL.
2. Vontaze Burfict - LB - Corona, CA (Centennial) - Arizona State
A dominating, physical presence who was probably the biggest hitter in the country, Burfict was huge and arguably the top linebacker prospect in the nation in 2009. He committed to USC at one point, but off-the-field issues were always a question mark and he ended up switching to Arizona State and making a huge splash. He immediately became one of the best linebackers in the Pac-12 but was a massive head case and constantly struggled with behavior, he left a year early for the NFL where he went undrafted, but has become one of the best linebackers in the league.
3. Devon Kennard - DE - Phoenix (Desert Vista) - USC
Similar to Everson Griffen who came before him, Kennard was a big pass-rusher that was one of the best defensive linemen in his class. He was recruited by a number of national programs, but ended up staying on the West Coast and signing with USC. He battled injuries during his career at USC, but had a strong senior year for the Trojans in 2013 and is now headed to the NFL.
4. Shayne Skov - LB - Pawling, NY (Trinity-Pawling) - Stanford
A big, prototypical linebacker with great athleticism and energy, Skov was maybe the top inside linebacker in his class. He settled on the Cardinal early and shut his recruitment down with just a visit to Palo Alto. He had one of the best careers of any linebacker to ever play at Stanford, played a huge part in the Cardinal becoming a national power and is now on his way to the NFL.
5. T.J. McDonald - S - Fresno (Edison) - USC
The son of NFL player Tim McDonald, T.J. was rated as a five-star recruit by Scout and Rivals and has great size and athleticism for the safety position, making him one of the top recruits on the West Coast. He quickly followed in his father's footsteps by committing to USC over every elite program in the nation. He played four years at USC and ended up leaving as an All-American.
6. Nick Kasa - DE - Broomfield, CO (Legacy) - Colorado
A physical freak, Kasa was a 6'7 235 defensive end/tight end who could really move and make plays all over the field. Kasa was recruited by big time programs from all over the country including Florida and Oregon, but ended up being a huge score for the Buffs and staying at home. Kasa started out as a defensive end, but ended up moving to tight end during his junior season and played well as a senior before being taken by the Raiders in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
7. Morrell Presley - TE - Carson, CA - UCLA
Presley was widely regarded as the top tight end in the Class of 2009 and was an incredibly dangerous pass catcher at 6'4 215.Presley ended up becoming Rick Neuheisel's first big recruiting score at UCLA as he pulled him away from USC. Unfortunately for UCLA, he did not pan out at UCLA and quickly transferred out of the program and was arrested in 2011.
8. Corey Adams - DT - Scottsdale, AZ (Saguaro) - Arizona State
A weight-lifting standout with ideal size and athleticism for the position, Adams was one of the top defensive linemen out West in 2009. He had an intense recruitment and was another huge, local snag for the Sun Devils when they got him to stay home over Nebraska, Ohio State and USC. He had unlimited potential, but injuries plagued his career and he had to retire from football as a senior.
9. Cliff Harris - CB - Fresno (Edison) - Oregon
Great size and acceleration, along with a nose for the ball made Harris one of the top corners in the Class of 2009. He considered teams all up and down the West Coast, before signing with Oregon. He was becoming one of the best cornerbacks in the nation at Oregon when he began a string of off-the-field incidents that ended his college career.
10. Patrick Hall - S - Ventura, CA (St. Bonaventure) - USC
A fantastic all-around athlete that was one of the top pure football players in the country, Hall's speed and size made him one of the most coveted defensive backs in the nation and he decided to stay local and play for USC. However, he failed to make an impact as a Trojan and transferred out of the program in 2012.
11. Keenan Graham - DE - Las Vegas (Silverado) - UCLA
Graham was an incredibly quick defensive end who could provide some serious heat off the edge and was one of the best players at his position in the Class of 2009. He chose over a number of other national programs and started his career slowly, but just finished a great senior year with the Bruins and now has a shot at the NFL.
12. Kevin Graf - T - Agoura, CA - USC
It was a light year for linemen out West and Graf might have been the best available with his polish and size. Graf quickly choose USC and just wrapped up a good career in which he was a starter at tackle for a few years.