When it comes to recruiting, there is never a situation where everybody wins.
One program wins by signing a recruit, the other teams that were in the running to sign him end up losing. It's as simple as that. Most programs win some and lose some. This year was different though because one team won every recruit they were after.
USC were the big winners in the Pac-12 on signing day. We'll go over USC's day and the rest of those who did good and the others who did not so good.
If you include the commitment of linebacker Osa Masina a couple of weeks ago and the commitment from linebacker Porter Gustin yesterday, the Trojans went undefeated in every recruiting battle up to and including signing day.
They weren't settling for Plan B guys either. These were the big dogs that were pursued by just about everyone in the conference and other national powers and it seemed like those schools didn't stand a chance. Masina, Gustin, Rasheem Green, John Houston, Iman Marshall, and a fast rising sleeper prospect in defensive tackle Kevin Scott. To bat 1.000 with all of those prospects is ridiculous. They even stole away a Washington State commit with a blue shirt offer on signing day. That's not cool at all. It's practically rubbing it it.
USC was the big winner and if it's a sign of things to come, good luck to everyone else trying to compete with the kind of talent they are putting together.
In any other year, UCLA could have been the run away winner with what they did. They swung big with out of state prospects like tight end Chris Clark, running back Soso Jamabo, and guard Josh Wariboko. Landing those three was a definite homerun.
It could have been even better though if Roquan Smith went through and ended up sending in his letter of intent. Instead, they are going to have to try and fight to land him post-signing day and hope that defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich can stay instead of taking a job with Atlanta Falcons. No Ulbrich likely means no Smith.
Beating Arizona State for wide receiver Cordell Broadus and Notre Dame for safety Nathan Meadors were both nice wins, but honestly they don't match up to what USC did today. If they had beaten ASU for defensive tackle Joseph Wicker, that would have helped their cause as well.
Still, to land that many quality players is impressive. They needed a day like this if they want to continue to beat USC like they have been doing lately on the field.
Winner: Arizona State
I mentioned Wicker, which was an unexpected surprise. He's one of the top interior pass rushers in the entire recruiting class. They also held onto a commitment from athlete Jaason Lewis after he took a visit to Ole Miss last week, which was huge.
Unfortunately though, there's this...
Loser: Arizona State
ASU was a bridesmaid for several recruits like Broadus, Gustin, Masina, Houston, and Green. They also lost one of the top prospects in the state of Arizona when slot receiver Paul Lucas flipped to Oregon State. It wasn't a bad day, but it wasn't as good as the Sun Devils were hoping it was going to be.
This isn't a reflection of the class overall. I like what they did at several positions, including stealing JC linebacker Jonah Moi away from Washington State right before signing day. But just like ASU, I'm sure Oregon was hoping for so much more. They obviously do a good job in recruiting and sign some great talent, but they were not even really in the race at end for players like Green, Marshall, and Houston. At one time, there was hope that the Ducks had a legitimate shot at each.
Throw that in with the loss of defensive back PJ Locke to Texas and it didn't really turn out as good as they had originally planned.
Loser: Washington State
The good news? Washington State signed former Colorado commit T.J. Fehoko, a player that could end up being a heck of pass rusher for them.
The bad news? There is almost too much to mention.
They lost an immediate impact contributor in Moi to Oregon. One of their top wide receiver commits, Deontay Burnett, accepted a blue shirt offer from USC instead of signing with the Cougs. Cornerback commit Taeon Mason flipped to San Jose State. (I repeat, San Jose State.) They lost a 4 star linebacker, Kyavha Tezino, to San Diego State. (I repeat, San Diego State.) And Dahu Green, another very good wide receiver commit, flipped to Oklahoma right before signing day. Those are just the most recent ones!
I gave Wazzu credit for putting together a solid class before, but it slowly crumbled apart down the stretch. They were ranked in the top 30 classes nationally and finished up at 49. Losing receivers coach Dennis Simmons to another job at Oklahoma hurt them quite a bit, but this was basically the reverse USC in terms of signing days. No program lost as much as they had committed to them.