2019 National Signing Day: 5 takeaways from the next wave of recruits making their way to the Pac-12
Both big National Signing Days have come and gone, and while recruits have until April 1 to make a ultimate decision, most of the fireworks have popped off. While there is one highly-touted Pac-12 target still on the board, let’s dive into five takeaways for the Pac-12 and the football class of 2019:
Oregon solidifies its Pac-12 recruiting championship in a major way
The Ducks had the conference recruiting crown in the bag already with the school’s first-ever consensus top-10 class in the nation, but that didn’t stop Mario Cristobal and staff from making some serious noise on Wednesday. About six weeks after landing top recruit and defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux (No. 1 or No. 2 depending on the site), the Ducks were able to get another big defensive lineman in Kristian Williams, who is a 4-star recruit according to 247 Sports.
Oregon went near and far to sign the No. 7 class in the country. Williams is one of two recruits from Tennessee, while the Ducks also inked prospects from North Carolina, Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Texas in addition to guys closer to home (and it doesn’t get any closer to home than Patrick Herbert, the younger brother of quarterback Justin Herbert).
Buffs beef up in first class under Mel Tucker
First-year Colorado head coach Mel Tucker talked with our Pac-12 Networks studio crew about all the work it takes and the long hours necessary behind getting the ball rolling at a new program. Having been on the job for just two months, Tucker did well to bring a class that was ranked two spots higher in the Pac-12 and eight spots better nationwide than the 2018 Colorado recruiting haul.
Tucker also told the crew that the trenches were a major focus for the Buffs in this recruiting class, and it certainly shows when looking at the 2019 signees. Eleven offensive or defensive linemen are making their way to Boulder, with five defensive tackles and three offensive guards comprising the bulk of the big uglies.
But don’t worry, Colorado also brought in some skill dudes, namely La’Vontae Shenault, the younger brother of 2018 breakout star Laviska Shenault and the second-highest-ranked player in Colorado’s recruiting class.
Feast your eyes on what the Buffs can look forward to with the addition of La'Vontae Shenault. pic.twitter.com/uOUhq6s62i
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) February 6, 2019
Arizona invades Texas
First-year coaches don’t get much time to work on their inaugural recruiting class, but Kevin Sumlin really had to scramble in 2018 with getting the Arizona job in the middle of January, nearly a month after one signing day period had passed.
The 2019 class is Sumlin’s first full class at Arizona, and it certainly has his imprint. Sumlin, who was the head coach at Houston and Texas A&M for a combined 10 seasons before taking the Arizona gig, signed eight guys from the fertile recruiting grounds of Texas. By comparison, Arizona signed four guys from Texas in 2018 and none in 2017.
The highlight of the Lone Star State bunch if 4-star wide receiver Jalen Curry, who is a top-200 recruit in the country. He is one of two guys from St. Pius X in Houston, with pro-style quarterback Grant Gunnell being the other. We saw JT Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown build upon their high school chemistry in their freshman seasons at USC; perhaps we’ll see something similar brew at some point in the future in Tucson?
Trojans get a nice Wednesday haul
USC took a hit on the recruiting trail when signee and enrollee Bru McCoy, a top-10 recruit per 247 Sports, decided to leave for Texas after offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury took the Arizona Cardinals head coaching NFL gig.
However, Wednesday was much kinder to the Trojans, as they were able to ink Kyle Ford, a top-40 recruit and four-star guy per 247 Sports (some sites have him as a five-star recruit). Ford, the highest-ranked Trojan in the class of 2019, is a strong replacement for McCoy, who was recruited as a wide receiver to USC. He is also one of two four-star wide receivers in the 2019 class for USC, with Drake London being the other. The two should fit in nicely with new offensive coordinator Graham Harrell’s Air Raid.
.@USC_Athletics locked down a .
Trojans fans give a warm welcome to your new WR, Kyle Ford!
Learn more about him on Inside Pac-12 Football: Signing Day Special at 1 PT/2 MT on us. pic.twitter.com/e6eMn7pvfs
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) February 6, 2019
The Trojans also signed a four-star cornerback on Wednesday in Adonis Otey out of Tennessee, further cementing a top-20 class. USC fans are used to top-10 classes (the Trojans have brought in a top-10 class each of the last five years), but USC had a solid Wednesday to wrap up 2019.
Final recruiting rankings
Overall, the Pac-12 had four top-25 classes in 2019, with Oregon at No. 7, Washington 17th, USC 18th and Stanford 21st. That’s in line with recent history, as the Pac-12 has had at least four top-25 classes in each year this decade. Here’s a look at the (basically) final 2019 Pac-12 recruiting rankings, with the national ranking listed in parenthesis:
- Oregon (7)
- Washington (17)
- USC (18)
- Stanford (21)
- Arizona State (31)
- Cal (41)
- UCLA (43)
- Colorado (44)
- Utah (45)
- Arizona (55)
- Washington State (64)
- Oregon State (68)