Since our last update on August 26, there have been very little, to almost no change, in almost all 12 of the Pac-12 schools recruiting classes for 2021. Partly because there was skepticism about the 2020 season and if we’d see it earlier than January. Partly because around half the nation’s high school football teams are playing their fall seasons.
And perhaps the biggest reason why, coaches have officially shifted to the classes of 2022 already, and the offers for juniors are on the rise right now. We’ll have more on that as we get into this week.
For now, let’s reassess where the classes for 2021 are, and who’s maybe left as each team’s biggest target.
1. Oregon Ducks — 262.85 recruiting points
Previous Rank: 1 (262.82)
The Ducks stand pat at 18 total commits, and that’s perfectly fine. They’re comfortably in the lead here and only Korey Foreman’s potential commitment to USC could see Oregon topple from No. 1. Their biggest target left is absolutely 5-star DE J.T. Tuimoloau, who is the nation’s second-ranked player and hails from Eastside Catholic in Sammamish, Washington. Four-star WR Dont’e Thornton is also high on the list, as is replacing Penei Sewell with potentially top-ranked tackle prospect Kingsley Suamataia, also from Utah where Sewell hails.
2. USC Trojans — 255.29
Previous Rank: 2 (255.13)
The Trojans, like the Ducks above them, have stood comfortably at 18 commitments for the class of 2021. Their sights are absolutely set on Foreman to commit, and that would round out their class into the top of the Pac-12 and a top five class nationally. Outside of Foreman, we’ve spoke about them before, but their top targets have to also be Tuimoloau, as well as third-ranked ILB Ethan Calvert, guard Josh Simmons and out-of-state DE Aaron Armitage.
3. Arizona State Sun Devils — 203.89
Previous Rank: 3 (203.29)
Head coach Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils climbed into the top three, and they look comfortable enough to stay in the top five at least for this class, as the race for three, four and five will be a tight one. Their top remaining targets are the aforementioned Dont’e Thornton and Minneapolis, Minnesota DE Davon Townley, the country’s 25th-ranked DE.
4. California Golden Bears — 203.13
Previous Rank: 4 (202.72)
Cal is sitting on 18 total commits and eyeing the remaining top prospects of this class. They’ve hit their three top targets in WR J.Michael Sturdivant, QB Kai Millner and CB Kaleb Higgins while RB Byron Cardwell and DE Yanni Karlaftis are on their list as the next highest.
5. Washington Huskies — 200.72
Previous Rank: 5 (195.41)
The top five class with more room to grow than any others, Washington has just 15 total commits for this class so far. They picked up three-star safety Vincent Nunley from California since the last update and he ranks as the country’s 108th-best at his position. Their class will skyrocket if they can keep in-state prospects Tuimoloau and WR Emeka Egbuka in Washington, and would give them three five-star commits in this class.
6. Arizona Wildcats — 169.88
Previous Rank: 6 (171.01)
The next in line of the third tier of Pac-12 schools, Arizona pushed up the boards with a stellar summer on the recruiting trail. They currently have 22 total commits, more than any other Pac-12 school, so they have the least amount of room to grow, but their top targets in three-star athlete Velltray Jefferson and CB Ceyair Wright could make nice enough additions to stay ahead of this recruiting tier in the conference.
7. UCLA Bruins — 169.88
Previous Rank: 7 (162.23)
Just 13 commits for this class and head coach Chip Kelly reportedly offering upward of 20 athletes for the class of 2022 may give some pause as to whether or not they’re going to add much to the class of 2021. They’ve got their sights set on Ethan Calvert, Byron Cardwell and Josh Simmons, all predicted by the folks at 247Sports to be leaning towards USC, however. We’ll see what Kelly and Co. do to round out this class over the next few weeks.
8. Washington State Cougars — 161.32
Previous Rank: 8 (156.28)
They’ve added three-star WR Joseph Manjack from Memorial High School in Tomball, Texas since our last check-in as they’re climbing on the Bruins and Wildcats ahead of them. They’re eight-for-eight on their top targeted players this circuit and if they could pull some of their next-highest players like RB Justin Johnson (three-star, 26th overall RB) and DT Jacob Schuster (in-state, three-star, 12th-ranked in Washington), this class could crack the top half.
9. Colorado Buffaloes — 151.94
Previous Rank: 9 (148.27)
The Buffs picked up three-star athlete Nikko Reed from Hayward, California last week and their class is slowly, but surely, rounding into form. It’s not a world-beater, by any stretch of the imagination, but damnit does this class look good all things considered for head coach Karl Dorrell and Co. With 16 players committed, including all six of their top targets, this class can round into even finer form with the additions of some other high choices on their list: three-star DE Khristian Zachary from Georgia, three-star DE Arden Walker from Englewood and three-star WR Jimmy Valsin from Texas, who I’d just love to see play for coach Darrin Chiaverini.
10. Utah Utes — 137.39
Previous Rank: 10 (122.23)
One of two classes in the conference with fewer than 10 committed players, the Utes have a long way to go for 2021. They’ve recently just got to nine total commits with the addition of four-star LB Mason Tufaga from Honolulu, Hawaii and they’ll be needing some of their top targeted players to commit sooner than later to give much hope. The experts at 247Sports have three-star DE Logan Fano (from Utah, 32nd-ranked DE), three-star TE Isaac Vaha (from Utah, 6’7, 230, 32nd-ranked TE) and three-star OLB Kahanu Kia (from Hawaii, 71st-ranked OLB) as predictions for this class, and that would certainly help the class of 2021.
11. Stanford Cardinal — 132.02
Previous Rank: 11 (110.34)
Head coach David Shaw has hit the ground running on the class of 2022 offers, sending offers to two top quarterbacks. But the class for 2021 is still lacking a bit, even by Stanford standards. They’ve secured the services of WR Jayson Raines recently but their current class for 2021 has five defensive backs, a tight end, running back, receiver and quarterback. They’re missing several positions of potential need in the coming years and will have to add to it with top targets in CB Ceyair Wright, DE Aaron Armitage and LB Ese Dubre.
12. Oregon State Beavers — 109.91
Previous Rank: 12 (97.01)
On the day of our last update, the Beavers picked up a commitment from three-star CB Arnez Madison to give them their second defensive back for this class. Madison is a big man at 6’2, 170 pounds, and has a frame available to fill out during his college years. They’ll hope they can pull their top two targets from Texas in OLB Terrence Cooks and WR Jimmy Valsin to climb the rankings while they also have their sights set on OT Omega Williams from California to bolster their offensive line.