Rivals.com ranks UW class 20th, fifth in Pac-12

Rivals.com ranks UW class 20th, fifth in Pac-12

Credit: REUTERS

Washington Huskies head coach Steve Sarkisian watches his team play the Oregon Ducks during the first quarter of their NCAA football game in Seattle, Washington, November 5, 2011.

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by Sportspress Northwest Staff

SportsPressNorthwest

Posted on February 3, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Updated Saturday, Feb 4 at 8:01 PM

Washington football coach Steve Sarkisianexpressed understandable happiness over his latest crop of recruits which, by all accounts, is the best, in quality and depth, of the three classes he has brought to UW. Rivals.com, one of the major rating services, ranked Sarkisian's 2012 class 20th nationally.

"Washington continues their positive swing with another impressive recruiting haul," Rivals.com summarized. "Shaq Thompson and defensive end Pio Vatuvei are big gets on defense, while quarterback Jeff Lindquist and athleteJaydon Mickens should provide depth and could turn into the Huskies' offensive stars of the future."

The only problem with Washington's No. 20 ranking is that four Pac-12 schools received higher grades. Stanford, which creamed the Huskies 65-21 in Palo Alto last fall, received a No. 5 ranking, USC a No. 7, UCLA a No. 12 and Oregon a No. 15.

Rivals.com assigns each recruit a star or stars, five being the highest. It then factors in the average number of stars in a recruiting class and calculates a total score. The website claims Alabama, with three five-star recruits and 2,621 total points, had the best class in the country.

Stanford, which had three five-star recruits and 2,297 total points, led Pac-12 schools. USC signed three five stars and had 2,040 points; UCLA signed one five-star player and had 1,731 points; Oregon failed to sign a five-star recruit but received 1,641 points.

The Huskies landed one five-star player (Shaq Thompson), five four-star players and 14 three-star players for 1,452 points.

Rivals.com liked Stanford's recruiting haul primarily because of its signing of offensive lineman Joshua Garnett, a Puyallup native whose father, Scott, played under Don James at Washington in the early 1980s.

"In addition to Garnett, the Cardinal landed Andrus Peat and Kyle Murphy, another pair of five-star talents. Factor in defensive end Aziz Shittu, and David Shaw may have secured the program's strongest signing day class ever," Rivals.com wrote.

Of USC's signees, Rivals.com opined, "Lane Kiffin and his staff managed to assemble an incredible crop of talent. Every signee in their class is a quality player, and, more importantly, numerous needs on both sides of the ball were addressed."

Rivals.com gave the majority of credit for UCLA's recruiting class to Jim Mora, the former Husky walk-on and Seahawks head coach who replaced Rick Neuheisel.

"Despite his NFL pedigree," said Rivals.com, "Mora came to campus and immediately reversed the fortunes of UCLA recruiting. Nearly two-thirds of the Bruins' class was added after his hire, including a number of top-tier flips (Ellis McCarthy, Jordan Payton). It's just one class, but signing day should serve as a great starting point for UCLA's new staff."

The aforementioned Payton, who gave Washington a verbal commitment Jan. 31, flipped on signing-day eve.

Of Oregon's class, Rivals.com said, "Chip Kelly and Co. assembled another strong class, headlined by defensive ends Arik Armstead, Alex Balducci, and DeForest Buckner. They also bought into the popular tight end trend: The Ducks signed big targets Evan Baylis and Pharaoh Brown."

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