We're continuing our look at how Pac-12 schools have recruited when it comes to blue chip prospects (4 or 5 star rating according to the 247Sports composite rankings) over the last five years with the wide receiver position today.
The numbers don't lie: USC recruits at a higher level at most positions than other teams in the Pac-12 and wide receiver is no different. They head up this group with Oregon nipping at their heels in terms of speed on the outside.
1. USC 9
It was an uneven start in 2011 when they signed George Farmer (a disappointment considering the hype), Victor Blackwell (got in trouble with the law), and Marquise Lee (was a star and one of the best receivers in the nation). Unfortunately, the player who turned out well from that group was so good that he left early for the NFL.
Nelson Agholor (2012) was a 5 star player and played like one during his career. That's why he left early for the NFL. Darreus Rogers (2012) has yet to distinguish himself as an impact player, but has a great shot at starting this season. Steven Mitchell (2013) is a candidate to breakout this fall and had a great spring.
2014 4 star Rashead Johnson has already transferred, but the Trojans are still loaded with the talent at the position. Juju Smith (2014) could be one of the best receivers in the nation this season and they brought in junior college wide receiver De'Quan Hampton (2015) who could be in the mix to make an immediate impact. This list doesn't even include Adoree Jackson (2014) who will play some wide receiver or Ykili Ross (2015) who could project to wide receiver or cornerback. Cody Kessler has more than enough talent to distribute the ball to this season.
T-2. Oregon 7
Tacoi Sumler (2011) transferred before contributing anything on the field at Oregon, but losing him didn't hurt at all because the Ducks have kept brining in talent as well as turning running backs into productive receiversl.
It will be huge to have Bralon Addison (2012) back healthy this season along with weapons like Dwayne Stanford (2012), Darren Carrington (2013), and Devon Allen (2013). If this seems like more of a preview of the position, it's because all of the elite players the Ducks have landed at the position have become studs other than Sumler.
A lot is expected of redshirt freshman Jalen Brown (2014), who had a big spring game, and freshman Alex Ofodile (2015) as well.
I didn't even include Bryon Marshall (2012) or DeAnthony Thomas (2011) on this list and they both could be on their considering their hybrid roles. Incoming freshman Kirk Merritt and Malik Lovette also may end up as receivers after being ranked at running back. They have recruited a scary amount of skill talent up in Eugene, but have also done a fantastic job of developing their players as well.
T-2. UCLA 7
Devin Lucien (2011) had an underwhelming career at UCLA and has now transferred to Arizona State. Jordan Payton (2012) has been a solid player with over 20 career starts going into his senior season and Devin Fuller (2012) has been another good option out wide for the Bruins.
Eldridge Massington (2013) started to emerge as a threat last season. Alex Van Dyke (2014) played as a true freshman, but did not make a catch and Austin Roberts (2014) redshirted after suffering a knee injury. Snoop Dogg's son, Cordell Broadus (2015), should have a chance to get on the field this fall.
When you consider the 7 blue chips that UCLA signed next to the ones Oregon did and their big play ability overall, the Bruins players really aren't in the same ballpark as the guys who have been balling out for the Ducks.
4. Cal 6
Bryce Treggs (2012) seems poised for a big senior season, but Darius Powe (2012) is looking to finally break out as a senior. Kenny Lawler (2012) led the team in receiving last season and still has two years of eligibility left.
Erik Brown was a big time pickup for the Bears in 2014 and is one to watch in the next few years after he redshirted as a freshman. Both Carlos Strickland and Jaylinn Hawkins are talented enough that they could see the field as true freshmen this season.
5. Washington 5
Kasen Williams (2011) looked like he was going to be a star after his sophomore season, but his production kept decreasing the next couple of years. Jaydon Mickens (2012) had a pretty good junior season considering the poor quarterback play the Huskies had and will be counted on this fall.
The 2013 wide receiver class for the Huskies looked very promising, but it's been an interesting journey for the three blue chips that they signed. Darrell Daniels moved to tight end and started four games last season. Damore'ea Stringfellow was kicked off the team. The one player who looked to be an impact player this season was John Ross. Unfortunately, he is going to miss this upcoming season after injuring his knee.
6. ASU 4
Alonzo Agwuenu (2012) is a junior college receiver who didn't hit. Jaelen Strong (2013) was a composite 3 star wide receiver who hit big for the Sun Devils.
Eric Lauderdale (2014) is another junior college receiver who redshirted last season. Tyler Whiley (2014) also redshirted last season as did Jalen Harvey (2014). We'll get to see how they all do in their first action this fall.
7. Stanford 3
Ty Montgomery (2011) had a great career with the Cardinal and has moved on to the NFL. Francis Owusu (2013) started two games last season and has two seasons of eligibility left.
I'm excited about true freshman Trent Irwin's future. He should have a great career on The Farm.
8. Washington State 1
Gabe Marks (2012) caught 74 passes as a sophomore, but redshirted last season after an arrest for assault. He is still with the team.
T-9. Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and Oregon State 0
Considering some of the talent that these four teams have had at the wide receiver position, it's a little shocking that none of them signed a blue chip player at the position. They certainly did a great job of finding and developing talent.