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Recruiting 2012 - Pac-12 South Team Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Feb 2, 2012


Ranking and analyzing the 2012 Pac 12 South Recruiting Classes

Recruiting 2012 

Pac 12 South Needs

Recruiting 2012
 
CFN Top Prospects for 2012
- No. 1 to 50 | No. 51 to 100 | No. 101 to 150
- No. 151 to 200No. 201 to 250 | No. 251 to 300
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
- Tight Ends | Off. Tackles | Guards & Centers 
- Def. Ends | Def. Tackles | Linebackers | Corners | Safeties 

- 2011 Pac-12 Recruiting Rankings  

- Pac 12 North 

1. UCLA | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Jim Mora is doing a good job keeping many of Rick Neuheisel’s recruits coming in. The Bruins loaded up two years ago and had a smallish class last season, and now it’s about bringing in as many good prospects as possible across the board. The defense has been improved over the last several seasons, and now it’s time to work harder on the offense with QB Devin Fuller a major coup, even through Brett Hundley was the star of last year’s class. The defense is getting plenty of bodies for the secondary with a tremendous group of corners coming in.

Team Concerns For 2012: Offense. The defense was strong last year and it should be again even though starting tackles Justin Edison and Nate Chandler are done. The Bruins have to start putting points on the board and that starts with better quarterback play from Kevin Prince. If he can get the job done, there are a slew of terrific options waiting in the wings.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: New head coach Jim Mora is putting together a terrific recruiting class, but first he has to find a way to generate more production on both sides of the ball from a team that got to the Pac-12 title game. Is QB Kevin Prince ready to become more productive? There are other options to play around with this offseason, but the offense will end up needing RB Johnathan Franklin to carry the load again. Three starters are back up front, but No. 1 target Nelson Rosario is done are most of last year’s key receivers. The old regime did a good job recruiting for the defensive front, and now it’s time for Owamagbe Odighizuwa to live up to is prep billing in a rotation on the end. Both starting tackles are gone as are both outside linebackers, but leading tackler Patrick Larimore returns in the middle and all four starters are back in the secondary. Jeff Locke will be in the mix for All-America punting honors.

2. USC | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... The bull’s-eye. USC will be in everyone’s preseason top five, and maybe even No. 1 overall, but there’s part of the equation that recruiting experts are quick to point out: the effects of the sanctions are about to kick in. The program might have gotten through the storm, but the scholarship reduction part of the penalty is going to hurt even with a ton of players redshirted and waiting in the wings. Lane Kiffin can sign just 15 players in each of the next three seasons meaning there’s no margin for error whatsoever. Anyone being signed now has to be a starter at some point in the next few years, or else.

Team Concerns For 2012: The defensive line is the only area of real concern with end Nick Perry leaving a year early and with the tackle situation in need of an overhaul. There are terrific prospects waiting to show what they can do, and there’s enough depth at the moment for a good rotation. Finding a left tackle to take over for Matt Kalil is the only other major question mark.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: After a brief hiccup for a few years, it looks like it’s back to business as usual for the mighty Trojan program. Depth might be a bit of an issue after a few years of sanctions, but from 1-to-22 this will be among the most talented and athletic teams in America. The difference will be in the experience. Getting left tackle Matt Kalil back for one more season would’ve been nice, but the return of Matt Barkley to quarterback the loaded attack makes up for it. Robert Woods and Marqise Lee form the nation’s best 1-2 receiving punch, while the backfield is loaded with option.

Defensively, the return of huge-hitting safety T.J. McDonald for his senior year means the starting back seven will return intact, led by a trio of sophomore linebackers that can flat out fly. The one concern is a defensive front that has to replace both tackles and loses pass rushing end Nick Perry a year early to the NFL, but this is one areas stockpiled with big-time prospects.

3. Colorado | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Lots and lots and lots and LOTS of bodies. This will be a huge class with a little something for all spots, especially for a defensive line that has to be the cornerstone of the program’s resurgence. If all goes according to plan, this might be the Big 12’s best class of defensive tackles, while the ends aren’t too shabby with three-star prospects the norm. The offense doesn’t need pass catchers after loading up in previous classes, but a few solid prospects are expected to sign on.

Team Concerns For 2012: The 2012 comes at the right time with defensive line the team’s biggest concern. Three starters are gone off a decent front, and while there are plenty of young prospects waiting in the wings, the goal will be to use as much of a rotation as possible. Most importantly, the offense has to score more points. QB Tyler Hansen is finally done as is top tailback Rodney Stewart, opening up the competition in spring ball for both jobs.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: The Buffs didn’t exactly shine in their first year in the Pac-12, but they won two of their final three games and screwed up Utah’s conference title hopes. The secondary has to be far, far better after getting ripped up time again by any efficient quarterback. Three starters return in the defensive backfield, but the pass rush that was so impressive has to replace end Josh Hartigan. Offensively, Tyler Hansen and Rodney Stewart are done after doing what they could in the backfield for the last few years, and this spring there should be an interesting battle at quarterback, while Tony Jones and Josh Ford will get their chances to carry the mail. The line loses two starters including top guard Ryan Miller, while top wide receiver Toney Clemson is done on the outside X position.

4. Utah | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... The offensive line is the target, even though only one player is gone off the 2011 two-deep depth chart. The Utes are building up for three years from now, and this is the class to do it. However, a few JUCO transfers like Junior Salt and Marc Pouvave are massive-bodied blockers who’ll push for time in the rotation right away. The offense isn’t exactly ignored, but there isn’t a big need for prospects with the 2011 class so strong on receivers.

Team Concerns For 2012: It’s all about getting QB Jordan Wynn healthy. Jon Hays proved he could get the job done as a fill-in, but Wynn is the star with the ability to take the program to a Pac-12 title. Defensive end is the team’s biggest hole with three players in the rotation done, meaning JUCO transfer Sione Tupouata will have the spotlight n from the start.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Utah closed out strong – one stunning hiccup against Colorado aside – and now it should be ready to be the team everyone was expecting. A lot depends on the health of QB Jordan Wynn, who’s expected to be back for spring ball after missing most of last year with a shoulder problem. But even if he’s 100%, can he show he’s better than he was after getting banged up the first time around? RB John White will be the focal point of the attack with three good starters back up front to pave the way. Eight starters return on offense including all the top targets. Defensively, the excellent run defense will work around tackles Dave Kruger and Star Lotulelei, but leading tacklers Chaz Walker and Matt Martinez are gone from the linebacking corps. Three starters are back to a secondary that wasn’t good enough considering the pass rush was strong all year long.

5. Arizona State | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  . 

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Defense, and lots of it. The last three classes under Dennis Erickson loaded up with offensive talent and firepower. New head man Todd Graham’s biggest job in a short time is to keep everyone already schedule to come in, but mostly he has to work on improving a defense that came up short time and again. The cornerbacks should be good, the linebackers better, and JUCO transfers Mike Pennel and Jake Sheffield are expected to immediately play a big role at tackle.

Team Concerns For 2012: With QB Brock Osweiler leaving early for the NFL, the Sun Devils need one of last year’s key recruits, Mike Bercovici, to be more of an all-around playmaker than the bomber Osweiler was. The defensive front seven needs an overhaul, especially at linebacker, where all three starters are gone including Vontaze Burfict in the middle. In all, seven starters have to be replaced on defense giving all the new recruits a chance at seeing time right away.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Not only is the program undergoing an overhaul at coach, with Todd Graham trying to right the ship, but several big holes need to be filled. The loss of QB Brock Osweiler a year early to the NFL hurts, top target Gerell Robinson is done, and three starters are gone off the line. RB Cameron Marshall will be fed the ball early and often, but he’ll need help from a steady quarterback – possibly sophomore Mike Bercovici – to take the heat off. For good and bad, linebacker Vontaze Burfict took off for the pros, but that leaves just two starters – tackle Will Sutton and end Junior Onyeali – back on a defense that struggled way too much. Both safeties need to be replaced, but corners Osahon Irabor and Deveron Carr are back on the outside. Jamal Miles and Kyle Middlebrooks should be among the nation’s top returners.

6. Arizona | The Entire 2012 Recruiting Class  

The 2012 Class Was Heavy On... Players who can run the spread. Arizona was No. 3 in the nation in passing with Nick Foles under center, and now Rich Rodriguez has to find a Denard Robinson/Pat White type who can run his offense. He’s saying he’ll tailor the offense around the players and not the players to the offense, but that doesn’t mean he’s not going after the players he needs. However, this doesn’t look like it’ll be a big class of running backs with most of the attention paid to the defensive line.

Team Concerns For 2012: Quarterback, quarterback, quarterback. Foles is off to the NFL and the top backup options are all gone, so the job this offseason will be wide open to any and all prospects coming in. Even with the emphasis about to go on the running game, a No. 1 receiver has to emerge – Dan Buckner, your table is ready – with Juron Criner gone. The defense has to find two new starting linebackers and needs a shutdown corner to replace Trevin Wade.

Looking Ahead To The 2012 Season: Are the pieces in place for Rich Rodriguez to get rolling with what he wants to do on offense right away? Not really. The program was built to throw the ball, and it did with Nick Foles under center finishing third in the nation in passing, and now RichRod needs bodies after Tom Savage and Daxx Garman chose to transfer. A few true freshmen will get a shot, but Josh Kern – assuming he signs – is a big bomber. The starter might end up coming from the JUCO ranks. It’s going to take some rebuilding and retooling, but all five starters are back on the O line and Ka’Deem Carey and Daniel Jenkins are decent-looking backs. The defense was a disaster, finishing last in the Pac-12, but the entire line returns. Corner Tevin Wade is gone as is top pass rusher C.J. Parish, but leading tackler Marquis Flowers returns at free safety.

- Pac 12 North