- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
California was on the way to putting together to top recruiting class in the conference this year when the Pac-12 recruiting game was turned on its head Monday morning, as Golden Bears ace recruiter and defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi left California and headed north to join the Washington Huskies.
Lupoi was cited as a big reason by just about every commit that chose the Golden Bears, and it will be very interesting to see the fallout from his move. Washington is obviously the biggest winner. The Huskies took a big hit when their top recruiter -- defensive backs coach Demetrice Martin -- left for UCLA this offseason, but adding Lupoi has the Huskies back on their feet.
USC could be another Pac-12 winner with this move. With Lupoi leaving, all eyes will be on defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif./Monrovia), who committed to Cal a little more than a week ago and said his relationship with Lupoi was a big reason why he did so. McCarthy could become the wild card in this class now. He built a solid relationship with the rest of the Cal commits during the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, but he also had Washington among his final group of schools before narrowing it to Cal and USC. McCarthy will also receive a strong push from UCLA, and the USC coaching staff will look to stay in the mix as well. McCarthy has said he will still take an official visit to USC during one of these final two weeks and Lane Kiffin and staff will hope their stability pushes them over the top for his commitment.
1dMark Schlabach and Brett McMurphy
1dKevin Gemmell and Erik McKinney