clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Re-ranking the Pac-12 football recruiting class of 2011

The Class of 2011 was loaded with huge sleepers.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The Class of 2011 was not seen as a particularly overly deep or talente done in the Pac-12 at the time it was signed, but in retrospect it was loaded with players who would end up becoming stars in the Pac-12. Taking a look at the players that signed, I wanted to rerank the top players who signed in the Pac-12 in the class.

First though, let's take a look at the Top 12 rated players who signed in the Pac-12 in 2011 according to The top of the class had a few gems in Thomas, Seferian-Jenkins, Hundley and Lee, but is mostly major (Farmer, Townsend and Wallace) and minor (Moala, Lyerla, McClure and Jalil) busts.

1. 5 * CB De'Anthony Thomas - Los Angeles (Crenshaw) - Oregon

2. 5* DT Viliami Moala - Sacramento (Grant) - Cal

3. 5* WR Kasen Williams - Sammamish, WA (Skyline) - Washington

4. 5* WR George Farmer - Gardena, CA (Junipero Serra) - USC

5. 5* TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins - Gig Harbor, WA - Washington

6. 5* QB Brett Hundley - Chandler, AZ - UCLA

7. 4* LB Colt Lyerla Hillsboro, OR - Oregon

8. 4* DE Greg Townsend - Beverly Hills, CA - USC

9. 4* CB Stefan McClure - Vista, CA - Cal

10. 4* LB Anthony Wallace - Dallas (Skyline) - Oregon

11. 4* S Marqise Lee - Gardena, CA (Junipero Serra) - USC

12. 4* DT Mustafa Jalil - San Diego (Cathedral Catholic) - Cal

Now, let's take a look, after the fact, at how this class should have actually been ranked based on how the careers of the prospects in the class have played out complete with what their star ranking is in hindsight.

1. 5* QB Marcus Mariota - Honolulu (St. Louis) - Oregon

An easy call here. Mariota was an unheralded, three-star recruit who Scout ranked as the number 34 quarterback in the class and whose signing with Oregon drew little fanfare. The skinny kid with some speed out of Hawaii would end up with a nearly perfect career in Eugene though as he started every game of his three-year career, won the Heisman, got Oregon to the brink of a national championship and lost just a handful of games while shattering school, conference and national records.

2. 5* QB Brett Hundley

Hundley came to Westwood with sky high expectations and he pretty much fulfilled them, leading UCLA to nearly 30 wins in just three years while putting up more than 10,000 all-purpose yards and more than 100 touchdowns. Hundley was considered one of the best quarterbacks in the Pac-12 during his entire career and left as one of the unquestioned best QBs in UCLA history after leading the Bruins to a Top 10 finish as a junior.

3. *5 RB Ka'Deem Carey - Tucson (Canyon Del Oro) - Arizona

Carey was a local boy who was very well known around Arizona coming out of high school, but who was far from a national recruit. Carey would turn into a superstar under Rich Rodriguez, nearly running for 2,000 yards in his sophomore and junior seniors while running for more than 40 touchdowns and leading Arizona back to bowl games.

4. *5 RB Bishop Sankey - Spokane, WA (Gonzaga Prep) - Washington

Sankey was well regarded coming out of high school as a four-star recruit and the nation's number 17 running back, but he still greatly outperformed his pretty good expectations as a Husky. Sankey was an absolute rock for the Huskies as a sophomore and junior, rushing for more than 3,000 yards and 36 touchdowns as the best player on arguably the two best Husky teams of the past 10 years.

5. 5* WR Brandin Cooks - Stockton, CA (Lincoln) - Oregon State

Cooks was a three-star prospect seen as a player who had great speed, but questionable size for the next level and was ranked as the number 67 receiver in his class. Cooks excelled as a freshman and sophomore but exploded as a junior with Pac-12 records in receptions and receiving yards while winning the Biletnikoff Award.

6. 5* DT Danny Shelton - Auburn, WA - Washington

Shelton was another solid recruit for the Huskies that more than fulfilled his expectations and turned himself into a high NFL Draft pick. Shelton was a very good player for the Huskies in the first three years of his career, but exploded into an All-American as a senior as arguably the nation's top defensive tackle.

7. 5* S Marqise Lee

Lee was certainly a highly-touted prospect coming out of high school as a Top 100 recruit, but he was greatly overshadowed by super recruit teammate George Farmer. Lee would greatly outshine Farmer though, especially as a sophomore when he put together a 118-reception, 1,721-yard and 14-touchdown season and won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and the Biletnikoff.

8. 5* CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - Chino Hills, CA  - Oregon

Ekpre-Olomu was a four-star, very good, but probably not elite recruit coming out of high school. Ekpre-Olomu would end up having a phenomenal career, earning first-team All-Pac-12 his final three years in college.

9. 5* T Jake Fisher - Traverse City, MI (West) - Oregon

Fisher was a great pull from Big Ten country by the Ducks and was right on the border of being an elite recruit as the nation's sixth-best tackle prospect. Fisher would start at Oregon for three years, and in my opinion, was the Ducks' best offensive linemen in those seasons as he paved the way for endless rushing yards and protected Mariota impeccably.

10. 5* TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins

Seferian-Jenkins was a Top 50 recruit coming out of high school as a giant prospect with elite receiving schools and was a five-star recruit. Seferian-Jenkins straight-up lived up to his high expectations as a Husky, shattering pretty much all of Washington's tight end records while winning the Mackey Award as a junior before heading to the NFL.

11. 5* WR Nate Orchard

An under-the-radar hometown prospect, Orchard was a big receiver who only ran a 4.7 40 that was ranked as the number 152 receiver in the nation. Having one of the most-interesting careers in recent Pac-12 history, Orchard bulked up and ended up moving to defensive where he blew up as a senior and led the nation in sacks.

12. 5* CB De'Anthony Thomas

Thomas was one of the most exciting recruits in the Class of 2011 as an electric player with gamebreaking speed that could make an impact on offense, defense and special teams. Thomas is kind of hard to peg since he kind of ended up being an offensive jack of all trades for the Ducks, but he did an excellent job of it in his three year career, regularly being an atomic bomb to defenses for the Ducks.

Others considered

5* RB Javorius Allen - Tallahassee, FL (Lincoln) - USC

5* S Jordan Richards - Folsom, CA - Stanford

5* WR Ty Montgomery - Dallas (St. Mark's) - Stanford

4* WR Nelson Spruce - Westlake, CA - Colorado

4* QB Cody Kessler - Bakersfield, CA (Centennial) - USC