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Grading the 2016 Pac-12 recruiting classes: Bruins sign best class in Pac-12

Handing out grades to each Pac-12 football recruiting class for 2016.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Arizona - C-

Star: 4*G Michael Eletise - The best interior offensive lineman out West, Eletise is the kind of elite offensive line prospect the Wildcats need to get to shore up their offensive line.

Sleeper: 3* RB J.J. Taylor - I am excited to see what this small back with big time speed can do in Rich Rodriguez' offense with bigger backs also in the fold.

Miss: 4* S Lamar Jackson - The Wildcats got a long look from the four-star prospect before he committed to Nebraska.

The Wildcats did fine in recruiting, but I feel like the small class they brought in, isn't as good as some of the earlier classes Rich Rodriguez has brought in. I like bringing in maybe the best guard to sign Pac-12 in Michael Eletise who could help build up their line. What I don't like is the absence of a big time quarterback or running back who could slide in behind Anu Solomon and Nick Wilson.

Arizona State - B-

Star: 4* WR N'Keal Harry- The Sun Devils scored big in getting one of the West's best receivers to stay home where he will be a big (6'3 210) target in the passing game.

Sleeper: 3* RB Tre Turner- A back from New Orleans with 4.3 speed... I'm interested.

Miss: 4* CB Byron Murphy - The Sun Devils lost a local Scottsdale product to an equal ground school inside in the Pac-12 in Washington.

The Sun Devils signed a staggering eight JC players to try and bounce back right away from disappointing in 2015 despite having a veteran team. I don't like relying on JC players, but the Sun Devils did sign some good ones. For high school recruits, I really like the offensive playmakers they are signing, particularly Harry (a big receiver with speed) but they may have depth problems down the road because the lack of high school players signed in this class.

Cal - C-

Star: 4* ATH Melquise Stovall- The only four-star prospect to sign with the Bears this year, Stovall is a 5-7 175 prospect who can immediately be a general playmaker at RB/WR for the Bears.

Sleeper: 3* WR Drew Kobayashi- Yet another St. Louis School (Honolulu) Pac-12 prospect, Kobayashi is a big downfield threat who could be devastating in the Bear Raid.

Miss: 4* LB Camilo Eifler - The four-star prospect from down the road in Oakland considered the Bears but left town for Washington.

Remember when Cal used to have some of the best classes in the Pac-12? Those days weren't that long ago and maybe that's why I am disappointed in Cal's class. They signed a lot of players and they almost all seem like Pac-12 level players, but their is a distinct lack of stars, especially at quarterback and receiver where they will need to replace Jared Goff and company.

Colorado - B

Star: 4* RB Beau Bisharat- A big back (6'2 210) who was once committed to Stanford, he is the kind of elite prospect Colorado needs to land to get back to being a player in the Pac-12.

Sleeper: 3* T Hunter Vaughn - At 6'8 270, he could be another Colorado tackle prospect with intriguing size who explodes like Nate Solder.

Miss: 4* DE Carlo Kemp - Very tough to lose a four-star prospect from right in Boulder.

I like this Colorado class given how few games they have won in recent years. They don't have any true stars, but they have a lot of three-star-type players who I think can play at the Pac-12 level and who can help get them back on track to being a contender in the conference. Grabbing four-star, former Stanford commit Bisharat at the last minute was the score of their class.

Oregon - B-

Star: 4* ATH Tristen Wallace- A 6'3 225, big-time Texas QB who could play a number of positions, the Ducks beat out some Big 12/SEC heavy hitters for Wallace.

Sleeper: 3* QB Justin Herbert- The local Eugene QB prospect who can really move may have been a bigger recruit had an earlier injury in his career not hampered him.

Miss: 5* LB Caleb Kelly - The elite linebacker gave Eugene a long hard look, but ultimately left Pac-12 territory.

This Ducks class is ranked in the Top 25 by Scout, but I don't love it. They have some nice four-star prospects, sprinkled in, but none of the sure-fire stars they have signed in recent years and overall, the class if not to the level you would expect from a program that has won as many games as Oregon has in the past decade. What I do like, is they snagged some great prospects from their home state like S Brady Breeze, LB Lamar Winston and sleeper QB Justin Herbert and the usual four-star national prospects they are known for pulling in like ATH Tristen Wallace (Texas) and WR Dillon Mitchell (Memphis).

Oregon State - B

Star: 4* S Christian Wallace- The 2-win Beavers somehow pulled the big-time 6'3 210 safety prospect out of Texas.

Sleeper: 3* LB Andrzej Hughes-Murray- A huge, 6'3 240 linebacker who I thought was going to get recruited harder by elite Pac-12 schools.

Miss: 4* DE Maxs Tupai -The four-star prospect from Utah tripped to Corvallis before deciding on BYU.

This is actually a pretty nice class in my opinion given how many games Oregon State won last season. I like the solid three-star prospects they are bringing in and even snagged a couple of four-star prospects. They also have a handful of sleepers I really like who could end up being your classic underrecruited Beavers who end up being stars.

Stanford - B+

Star: 4* LB Curtis Robinson- Has the intangibles of a safety with linebacker size, will be a very nice weapon in Stanford's defense.

Sleeper: 3* DT Bo Peek - A 6'3 290 bulldog nose tackle who could be the next David Parry.

Miss: 4* LB Jeffrey McCulloch - The Cardinal went down to the wire for the elite Texas prospect but ultimately lost out to the Longhorns.

This is the kind of class that has made Stanford the program it has become. It's far from their best class ever, but it's thoroughly solid. I like the classes balance and it has some legit stars to get excited about like polished linebacker Robinson, four-star TE Kaden Smith who could be their next great tight end and a lot of really good offensive linemen and four-star quarterback K.J. Costello who has a shot to replace Kevin Hogan.


Star: 5*LB Mique Juarez- Simply a prototypical NFL linebacker who is the full package who could be an All-Pac-12 as a true freshman.

Sleeper: 3* T Alex Akingbulu- A rangy prospect who could play a number of position who has a lot of potential to fulfill.

Miss:5* DE Oluwole Betiuku - The Bruins lost out on one of the best LA prospects this year to their crosstown rival.

UCLA has a class most programs would kill for, but the problem is Jim Mora has raised the bar so high with UCLA's recent recruiting classes that this one doesn't quite get an A. Overall, it is a great, very deep class with some nice stars in it, like Juarez, arguably the West's top prospect, who they had to fight off SEC powers. As usual, the Bruins closed exceptionally well.

USC - B+

Star: 5* Oluwole Betiku - Endless potential, Betiku has played just one year of football and already looks like an elite pass rusher.

Sleeper: 3* QB Matt Fink- Fink is one of the lowest-rated quarterbacks to ever sign with USC, but the Trojans have to really like what he can do to have him be the only quarterback in this class.

Miss: 5* DT Rashan Gary - The Trojans went down to the wire with the nation's top recruit but just couldn't pull him out West.

The Trojans took a really small, really good class. Like UCLA, it isn't too exciting given their recent classes, but don't sleep on it. As usual, they killed  it on signing day and reeled in a handful of big time prospects. My only concern with the class is why USC wasn't able to bring in an elite quarterback prospect with Cody Kessler graduating.

Utah - C+

Star:5* JC T Garrett Bolles- The Utes pulled in the nation's top JC player who could come in right away and be an All-Pac-12 player.

Sleeper: 3* JC QB Troy Williams- Williams started a game for Washington in 2014 and excelled in JC last season, could end up as the Utes' next starter.

Miss: 4* JC DT Handsome Tanielu - Another talented JC prospect, he visited Utah, but didn't sign.

Utah is bringing in a decent class, but I wouldn't rate it as one that will keep the program at the level it has been at the past two years. The Utes made their money in the JC ranks with this class, bringing in the nation's top JC player in Bolles and former Washington QB Williams might be the replacement for Travis Wilson.

Washington - B+

Star: 4* RB Sean McGrew- Arguably the top running back out West this year, McGrew is a tiny lightning bolt that could be Washington's De'Anthony Thomas.

Sleeper: 3*S Taylor Rapp- Rapp earned some serious offers despite playing near Canada.

Miss: 5* QB Jacob Eason - The nation's top QB recruit was up the road from Seattle in Lake Stevens, but he signed with Georgia.

All things considered, I think Washington pulled in the best class in the Pac-12 this year when considering where their program is right now. The Huskies pulled in a Top 25-rated class despite winning just seven games last year and reeled in arguably the top-rated running back and tackle in the Pac-12 this season while also loading up on four-star defensive prospects.

Washington State - C

Star: 3* CB Jalen Thompson- A big time pass defender heads to Pullman.

Sleeper: 2*ATH D'Jimon Jones- Versatile, in-state playmaker the Cougars liked early and brought right in.

Miss: 3* QB Ian Book - The eventual Notre Dame signee was once a Cougar commit.

A decent, deep class for the Cougars with a lot of bodies that to me is is headlined by having no quarterback despite having two different QBs committed at different times.