USC Trojans: UCLA Bruins
- A quick Brady Hoke comment on the Rich Rod transition at Michigan.
- A new twist in Arizona State's spring game.
- Fabiano Hale is back practicing for Cal, as is his alleged assailant.
- Former QB to be inducted into Colorado Sports Hall of Fame.
- Photos of the equipment Oregon uses in practice.
- The forgotten piece of the Oregon State backup QB battle.
- Could David Yankey be the Seahawks' pick at No. 32?
- Some UCLA reaction to the unlimited meals rule change.
- A true freshman could start on USC's offensive line.
- Utah's offensive tempo is better in practice this week.
- UW is revealing uniforms today; watch the players' reaction here.
- An update on Washington State's center battle.
When you attend a school as prestigious as Cretin-Derham Hall, as No. 16-ranked recruit Jashon Cornell does, you are bound to have connections. The Minnesota school has produced its share of college and NFL players over the years, including associate dean of students Marcus Freeman, who played for Notre Dame.
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This recruiting cycle represents a huge year for talent in California, which means the Pac-12 should be able to put together some very healthy recruiting classes. In looking at the top five targets for the conference in the 2015 ESPN 300, it's no surprise that three come from Southern California. But if the Pac-12 wants to have a better overall finish in the recruiting rankings next year -- USC at No. 14 overall was the highest finish in 2014 -- the conference will need to reel in several out-of-area standouts, which is why the first two names on the list are here.
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If things were to play out how McShay envisions, the Pac-12 would account for just three first-round picks. The surprise there is not the amount, but who is not included -- UCLA OLB/DE Anthony Barr.
After projecting Barr at No. 7 in his first mock draft in December, McShay had him at No. 11 in versions 2.0 and 3.0. This time? All the way to the second round at No. 36 to the Oakland Raiders.
It's long been assumed the UCLA pass rusher was the obvious candidate to be the first Pac-12 player taken, but the torch -- at least in this instance -- has been passed to Oregon State receiver Brandin Cooks at No. 18 to the Jets. McShay's previous forecast had USC receiver Marqise Lee in that spot, but now he has Lee joining former Oregon coach Chip Kelly in Philadelphia at No. 22.
Lee did some serious damage to Chip Kelly's Oregon teams in 2011 and 2012, with a combined 20 catches for 344 yards and three touchdowns.
UCLA offensive guard Xavier Su'a-Filo is tagged for former USC coach Pete Carroll and the Super Bowl champion Seahawks at No. 32.
Seven players from the Pac-12 were projected to go in the second round, and a notable running back from the conference is on the board after the first two rounds.
- Rich Rodriguez is seeing progress at Arizona following spring game.
- ASU might ban kegs from tailgates and are now charging students for football tickets -- this might not end well.
- Notes from Cal's intense practice on Saturday.
- Coloardo coaches are excited to see more of back up QB Jordan Gehrke next fall.
- Dior Mathis carries a lot, and it has helped him in Oregon's CB race.
- OC John Garrett working to refine the Beavers' offense this spring.
- Stanford's spring game recap, plus other notes.
- A collection of notes from UCLA as it goes into its third week.
- Will USC have a featured back or committee approach?
- Utah's offense not playing with enough tempo yet.
- Notes and video from Washington's 12th practice.
- WR Vince Mayle has come into the spring a more sleek, slender player.
- Bonus link: Bo Pelini brought his cat to Nebraska's spring game -- the story behind all that.
- The secondary is primary for Arizona this spring. … Bonus link: Rich Rodriguez believes in ice cream at football practice.
- De'Marieya Nelson needs to take it to the next level for Arizona State.
- Notes from the midway point of Cal's spring season.
- LB Addison Gillam is getting stronger, being pushed by Brady Daigh.
- Oregon's tall D-line is looking to play low this spring.
- Victor Bolden has big shoes to fill for the Beavers.
- Stanford is hosting a Google+ Hangout after the spring game.
- Malcolm Bunche arrived at UCLA at the perfect time.
- TB Justin Davis is eager to return after his ankle injury last season.
- Uaea Masina might be smaller, but he's making the most of this spring.
- UW OC Jonathan Smith mic'd up (video) at practice.
- Washington State added a running back transfer from Boise State.
2. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley is working more under center this spring. “It’s different,” the redshirt junior said. “Being under center and being in the shotgun are two different views. When you are under center, you are right there….You have to take your seven-step drop, push up in the pocket while keeping your shoulders (level).” If Hundley has a peccadillo, it is maintaining the balance of his shoulders. UCLA coach Jim Mora said he wants to work Hundley under center to expand the offense. If it helps Hundley in the 2015 NFL Draft, even better.
3. Stanford wide receiver Jordan Pratt will be 29 years old when the football season begins. He enrolled after spending eight seasons pitching in the Dodgers’ minor-league system. “I’ll make a comment, ‘Yeah, I remember, Sept. 11, 2001, I got called out of my high school class,’” Pratt said. His teammates respond, “‘High school? I don’t even remember that. I was in preschool.’ There is this time gap. Sometimes I relate better to the TAs in my class than I do the other students. It’s a lot easier for me to talk to the professors. It’s a little easier for them to relate, too.”
- Jesse Scroggins is making a push to win the Arizona quarterback job.
- Arizona State coach coach Todd Graham is looking for more from senior running back Deantre Lewis.
- An interview with California coach Sonny Dykes via 49ers.com, which touches on the game vs. Oregon at Levi's Stadium, QB Jared Goff and Cal's connections to the 49ers.
- Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre is now responsible for coaching cornerbacks and assistant Andy LaRussa has switched to defensive ends.
- Former Oregon running back De'Anthony Thomas reportedly visited the Chicago Bears on Tuesday.
- The dean of Pac-12 coaches, Mike Riley, sat down with The Oregonian for a wide-ranging interview that touched on potential Rose Bowl expectations.
- An encompassing look at the Stanford offense's progress this spring.
- Here is a list of five UCLA players who need to prove themselves this spring.
- Former USC receiver Marqise Lee took a trip to visit the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday.
- Utah is seeing signs of an improvement in a secondary which struggled last season.
- New strength and conditioning coach Tim Socha is making things fun at Washington.
- A spring practice report from Day 6 at Washington State.
- Athlon picked an All-Pac-12 team comprised of BCS-era players.
- Arizona's Samajie Grant is learning a fifth position.
- The ASU offensive line is beginning to take shape.
- Updates from Cal's Monday practice, plus notes.
- Sean Irwin looks to be a promising tight end for Colorado.
- Marcus Mariota on player unionization: A degree "fulfills what we need."
- Oregon State wants its tight ends to be "Renaissance Men."
- Keanu Nelson will play his final year at BYU.
- Football coaches from Japan attended UCLA's recent practices.
- Six USC players who need to turn it around this spring.
- Utah's schedule this season is backloaded. Is it also too tough?
- Washington wide receivers coach Brent Pease was mic'd up at a recent practice (video).
- What would a football players union look like at Washington State?
- A walk-on is standing out on the D-line for Arizona.
- ASU WR Ellis Jefferson is ready to produce.
- Video and notes from Sonny Dykes and Rob Likens.
- Colorado-Colorado State was moved up, and it's a night game.
- The weight of expectations is increasing in Eugene.
- Gina Mizell and Connor Letourneau discuss day 2 at Oregon State.
- An NFL draft scouting report of Tyler Gaffney.
- Neither Aaron Wallace nor Aaron Porter is currently enrolled at UCLA.
- USC responds well to coaches' criticisms in Thursday's practice.
- Utah spring camp report: day 8.
- Gregory Ducre is another Washington player that impressed at pro day.
- John Canzano stopped by Pullman to chat with Mike Leach.
Unlike a number of ESPN Junior 300 prospects, Keisean Lucier-South didn't grow up dreaming of becoming a football star. In fact, he had to be convinced that it was the best path for him.
Lucier-South began playing sports at an early age, but it was always basketball that grabbed the majority of his attention and passion. It became his primary sport when he was 5 years old, and even though he picked up football only a few years later, the gridiron couldn't captivate his imagination quite like the court.
But a conversation before his sophomore season between his head coach and defensive coordinator -- a conversation he wasn't initially involved in -- turned things around for Lucier-South.
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Iman Marshall is already one of the most well-known and sought-after recruits in the West region, but don't expect to hear that name much between now and signing day.
Around the Long Beach (Calif.) Poly campus and the entirety of Southern California, Marshall is simply referred to as "Biggie."
"It goes all the way back to when I was a baby, from my mom," Marshall said. "I guess I was a chubby little baby."
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- No single player is separating himself at QB for Arizona.
- Todd Graham's thoughts following Tuesday's practice (video).
- The biggest issues for Cal this spring.
- The McCartney brothers have gone different ways at Colorado (also, this was written by a Ringo...)
- They has been a lot of good weight gain at Oregon.
- Oregon State opens up the spring with a relaxed attitude.
- David Shaw is questioning the Northwestern unionizing efforts.
- UCLA tackle Torian White is no longer with the team.
- Are the USC quarterbacks just waiting for the next great QB?
- Nate Orchard has gone through many changes since coming to Utah.
- Notes from Washington's first post-spring break practice.
- Former Washington State QB Jason Gesser visited Pullman on Tuesday.
- DE Scott Crichton, Oregon State: No. 4 (Kiper), No. 5 (McShay)
- DT Will Sutton, Arizona State: No. 8 (Kiper), No. 10 (McShay)
If you've been following along since the end of the season, Sutton's spot isn't all too surprising. He didn't have a good showing at the combine and has taken heat about his physical condition, dating to before last season. Even with the concerns, it's hard to imagine he won't eventually find his way in the NFL. After all, he's only the second player in conference history to be a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. Washington's Steve Emtman (1990-91) was the other. That's not by accident.
Coincidentally, the SEC's Defensive Player of the Year, Michael Sam, isn't ranked in the top 10 by either. See the list here.
Other Pac-12 defensive linemen who figure to be in the mix in the draft are Cassius Marsh (UCLA), Taylor Hart (Oregon), Deandre Coleman (Cal), George Uko (USC), Tenny Palepoi (Utah), Morgan Breslin (USC), Ben Gardner (Stanford) and Josh Mauro (Stanford).
- OLB Anthony Barr, UCLA: No. 2 (both)[+] EnlargeKirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsFormer UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr could be the first Pac-12 player to be drafted this year.
- OLB Trent Murphy, Stanford: No. 6 (Kiper), No. 9 (McShay)
- ILB Shayne Skov, Stanford: No. 3 (both)
- ILB Jordan Zumwalt, UCLA: No. 8 (Kiper)
Barr is widely considered the Pac-12's best hope at landing in the first 10 picks, but if McShay was drafting, that wouldn't be the case. On drafting Barr, McShay wrote:
[Barr] of UCLA is a speed-rusher who stalls out when attempting to convert speed to power, and there is too much finesse to his game for me to pay a top-15 price for him. He looks like he's on skates when he attempts to set the edge.
That's not exactly a ringing endorsement for the same player Stanford coach David Shaw compared to Jevon Kearse. Shaw called Barr called the best (defensive) player the conference has had in the "last few years."
Murphy is in a similar boat to Sutton in that his college production isn't necessarily being viewed as a lock to translate to the NFL. He still figures to be a good fit for a 3-4 team and should be expected to contribute right away.
Outside of the four listed, it wasn't a very deep year for linebackers in the conference. Utah's Trevor Reilly, who can play both OLB and DE, Arizona State OLB Carl Bradford and USC's Devon Kennard headline the rest of the NFL hopefuls.
- CB Keith McGill, Utah: No. 7 (Kiper)
- S Deone Bucannon, Washington State: No. 5 (Kiper), No. 3 (McShay)
- S Dion Bailey, USC: No. 7 (Kiper)
McGill should send a thank you card in Pete Carroll's direction. It's largely because of Seattle's use of big-bodied corners en route to a Super Bowl victory that the league appears to be trending in that direction. At 6-foot-4, McGill's size -- in addition to his solid showing at the combine -- is a rare asset among the group of corners.
Bucannon looks like he'll be the first defensive back off the board, but will he be a first-round pick? That's unlikely, but it would be a surprise if he lasts into the third round.
Another storyline to watch is where the three defensive backs who left early -- safety Ed Reynolds (Stanford), cornerback Terrance Mitchell (Oregon) and cornerback Kameron Jackson (Cal) -- wind up.
See the lists for linebackers and defensive backs here.
Here's a look at how the Pac-12 offensive players stack up:
Marcus Mariota might have been taken No. 1 overall if he decided to leave Oregon, but without him the Pac-12 doesn't have any top-10 representation. Washington's Keith Price, who was not invited to the NFL combine, has a big day on Wednesday when the Huskies hold their pro day. Barring a team taking a flyer on him in the draft, Price is probably going to have to take the undrafted route to forge a NFL career.
- RB Bishop Sankey, Washington: No. 2 (both Kiper and McShay)
- RB De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon: No. 5 (Kiper), No. 8 (McShay)
- RB Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona: No. 10 (McShay)
- FB Ryan Hewitt, Stanford: No. 2 (both)
The surprise here is how little both analysts think of Carey, who was the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and ranked No. 3 in the nation in rushing yards. Sure, his 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine (4.70) didn't do him any favors, but this feels like a situation where the film isn't speaking as loudly as it does for others.
The love for Thomas was a bit surprising as well, but it's also tough to compare him to the rest of the group because he doesn't project as a true running back in the NFL. His versatility undoubtedly scored him points, but it also should be noted that 10 other running backs clocked faster 40 times at the combine -- including Stanford's Tyler Gaffney. See the whole list here .
- WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State: No. 3 (Kiper), No. 4 (McShay)
- WR Marqise Lee, USC: No. 5 (both)
- TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington: No. 3 (Kiper), No. 4 (McShay)
- TE Colt Lyerla, Oregon: No. 9 (Kiper)
- TE Jake Murphy, Utah: No. 10 (Kiper), No. 9 (McShay)
- TE Richard Rodgers, Cal: No. 8 (McShay)
Cooks and Lee, a pair of Biletnikoff Award winners, will both expect to hear their name called in the first round. After that, it will be interesting to see how the rest of the pass-catchers fall into place.
McShay lists Lyerla as the pass-catcher with the biggest risk:
Lyerla has some significant behavioral and emotional issues (leaving the Oregon program at midseason in 2013 and being arrested for cocaine possession weeks later) that just aren't worth dealing with, even for the potential reward his talent promises, were he to straighten things out.
See the whole list here .
- OG David Yankey, Stanford: No. 2 (both)
- OG Xavier Su'a-Filo, UCLA: No. 3 (Kiper), No. 1 (McShay)
- C Marcus Martin, USC: No. 1 (both)
If they were quarterbacks, Yankey and Su'a-Filo would be forever linked. Widely regarded as two of the best offensive guards in the country, it will be interesting to see who goes off the board first. Su'a-Filo was the players' choice as the best offensive lineman in the conference in 2013, but Yankey was given the honor in 2012.
Martin is one of eight players Kiper and McShay agree is the best player at his position. See the whole list here .
TBD Weber State Arizona State TBD Idaho State Utah TBD Rutgers Washington State
TBD UC Davis Stanford TBD Fresno State USC TBD Colorado State Colorado TBD Washington Hawaii TBD California Northwestern TBD Portland State Oregon State TBD UCLA Virginia TBD South Dakota Oregon