2019 National Signing Day: Storylines around the Pac-12
Way, way back in the olden days of 2016, the first Wednesday of February was THE day to circle on your calendar for recruiting. Here in the futuristic times of 2019, we’ve already had one early signing period, so the February National Signing Day doesn’t have quite the zeal it used to. Most of the leg work has been done by now, but there are still some things to solidify. Here’s a look at five storylines to monitor on Wednesday around the Pac-12:
- Washington making moves?
The 2018 Pac-12 champs already appear to be in good shape with its 2019 recruiting class that is currently ranked 17th according to 247 Sports, but it could be getting even better. 247 Sports recruiting analyst Chris Hummer listed the Dawgs as one of 10 teams across the country that could be making a big splash on Wednesday. Washington, which has already signed 12 4-star recruits, has a commit from another 4-star recruit who is expected to sign on Wednesday and is in good shape to land an additional 4-star linebacker.
- How does USC rebound from a recruiting loss?
USC currently has the No. 18 class in the country, which is really good for most schools, but at USC, expectations are a little higher. Things took a turn for the worse when the Trojans lost early signee Bru McCoy, who enrolled at USC but decided to transfer to Texas after offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury took the Arizona Cardinals head coaching gig. McCoy, recruited to USC as a wide receiver, was the No. 9 overall recruit according to 247 Sports and the Trojans’ highest-ranked recruit in the Class of 2019.
The Trojans have found a new offensive coordinator in Graham Harrell, another Mike Leach disciple. Will that pay immediate dividends for the Trojans in the February signing period? The Trojans figure to sign four more guys who are listed as “hard commits” by 247 Sports.
- Mel Tucker filling out his first class at Colorado
A lot of teams by now have the vast majority of their classes all locked up. That’s not the case at Colorado, which is understandable because Mel Tucker took over the gig less than two weeks before the December signing period started. The Buffs, which have signed 16 players, are on track to sign another eight guys on Wednesday, all of whom are 3-star recruits. Some of these guys could provide an instant impact for the Buffs. If the Buffs do end up signing all eight players listed as Colorado commits, Mel Tucker’s first class will be in position to finish eighth in the Pac-12 according to 247 Sports, which would be an improvement of two spots from 2018. Things certainly appear to be trending upward in Boulder, at least early on the recruiting trail for Tucker and staff.
- Oregon still the Pac-12 recruiting champs
The Ducks made a major splash in December by signing the nation’s No. 1 recruit according to ESPN in defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, who is already enrolled at Oregon. His signing catapulted the Ducks into the top 10 nationally with their 2019 class, thus putting the Ducks in prime position to take home the Pac-12 recruiting championship. The Ducks can add to their class with a handful of 3-star guys who are listed as commits at the moment.
With an albeit ugly bowl win over Michigan State, Justin Herbert returning and a class that is currently No. 8 in the nation, things are rolling in Eugene for Mario Cristobal.
- Top unsigned guys
There are 14 recruits in the ESPN300 that have not committed or signed, so there are still some big fish on the board. While some may label Washington, Utah and Oregon as underdogs, all are thought to be top five options for a four-star linebacker, and Colorado is at least getting some consideration from a four-star cornerback.
Further down the list, USC is expected to haul in a four-star offensive lineman and Utah chould be welcoming a four-star receiver.
Join us on Wednesday, Feb. 6, for "Inside Pac-12 Football: Signing Day Special" live beginning at 1 p.m. PT / 2 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Now.