Signing day is almost here, but it is a little quieter in the Pac-12 than it has been in recent years. I always like to look back at past Pac-12 classes and see how all those exciting recruits actually panned out.
The Class of 2012 has had plenty of time to prove themselves, for memory, here are the 12 top-rated recruits who signed with Pac-12 teams as rated by Scout.com.
1. Arik Armstead T Elk Grove, CA (Pleasant Grove) - Oregon
2. Shaq Thompson S Sacramento, CA (Grant) - Washington
3. Kyle Murphy T San Clemente, CA - Stanford
4. Ellis McCarthy DT Monrovia, CA - UCLA
5. Isaac Seumalo G Corvallis, OR - Oregon State
6. Joshua Garnett G Puyallup, WA - Stanford
7. Bryce Treggs WR Bellflower, CA (St. John Bosco) - Cal
8. Andrus Peat T Tempe, AZ (Corona Del Sol) - Stanford
9. Barry Sanders RB Oklahoma City, OK (Heritage Hall) - Stanford
10. Nelson Agholor S Tampa, FL (Berkeley Prep) - USC
Pretty good pre-analysis in my opinion. All of these players were names in the Pac-12 careers, but it doesn't mean all of them ended up being the best.
Here are who I think ended up being the 10 best Pac-12 players in the Class of 2012.
1. DeForest Buckner 4* DE Honolulu, HI (Punahou) - Oregon
The 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year was not quite a five-star recruit when he signed with Oregon but was still a well-regarded, 6'7 250 monster. Buckner was a great players in his first three years at Oregon, but it was turning down the NFL to come back for his senior year and dominate the Pac-12 that makes him the most-valuable player in his class.
2. Paul Perkins 3* RB Chandler, AZ - UCLA
Perkins was a 175-pound slight afterthought in a stellar UCLA class, but he ended up being anything but that as a Bruin. He replaced the legendary Johnathan Franklin and did as good of a job as possible doing it. He ran for nearly 3,500 yards and scored more than 30 touchdowns in his three-year career.
3. Leonard Wiliams 4* DE Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland) - USC
Williams was one of those nice four-star recruits pulled from Florida that USC/UCLA/Oregon seem to sign every year. He had some excitement around him, but the Trojans had more-heralded recruits signing than him. Williams was a force from day one as a Trojans as a two-time All-American and All-Pac-12 selection who was arguably the best defender in the Pac-12 as a sophomore and junior.
4. Shaq Thompson
Thompson lived up to the five-star, top-five at any position ranked nationally, hype as a Husky, but as a linebacker and running back, not a safety as he was listed by recruiting sites. He was a rare playmaker on defense, scoring four defensive touchdowns as a junior and also ran for 100 yards as a running back as one of the most unique players to ever star in the Pac-12.
5. Joshua Garnett
Garnett was seen as a college-ready, can't-miss, five-star prospect coming out of high school and was arguably the top guard prospect in the nation. Garnett was a nice player for the first three years of his career, but fully fulfilled his potential as a senior when he won the Outland Trophy and became an All-American.
6. Kyle Murphy
Murphy was considered to maybe be the best offensive lineman in the Class of 2012 and he didn't disappoint as a Cardinal. Murphy was a multi-year starter and All-Pac-12 player for the Cardinal as their most-consistent lineman for a lot of wins the past few years.
7. Gabe Marks 4* WR Los Angeles, CA (Venice) - Washington State
Marks was a rare four-star recruit to sign with Washington State who may have been drawn up to Pullman to star in Mike Leach's air raid. Marks has done just that at WSU, filling up the stat sheet and will likely move even higher up this list after 2016 as he is coming back for his senior season.
8. Andrus Peat
Peat was right there with Garnett and Murphy as one of the top offensive line recruits in his class. He used his outrageous physical abilities that made him a blue chip recruit to quickly become an All-American at Stanford and become the leader of great Stanford offensive lines before Garnett and Murphy took over.
9. Destiny Vaeao 2* DE Pago Pago, AS (Tafuna) - Washington State
Vaeao was one of the first players to sign directly from American Samoa so almost nothing was known about him when he signed with the Cougars. Vaeao was a beast for the Cougars throughout his career, but particularly as a senior when he was a first-team All-Pac-12 player who played a huge role in the Cougars having their best season in more than a decade.
10. Nelson Agholor
Agholor was a blue chip safety recruit coming out of Florida but quickly moved over receiver at USC. Agholor exploded as a receiver and was far and away the Trojans' offense player for much of his career.