Pac-10's top recruiters (cont.)
Posted: Monday February 19, 2007 3:40PM; Updated: Tuesday February 20, 2007 9:47AM
Steve Greatwood, Oregon: Greatwood, who coaches the Ducks' offensive line, landed eight players to help spur Oregon's resurgence onto the national recruiting scene. He pulled in Rivals250 four-star prospects Anthony Gildon, Darrion Weems and Malachi Lewis. Greatwood also was able to land quality in-state sleepers John Laidet and Aaron Pfulgrad. The players he signed averaged 3.12 stars. Greatwood's efforts helped the Ducks finish with the nation's No. 11 recruiting class, good for second place in the conference behind USC.
Todd McNair, USC: McNair signed only three players, but it was an impressive list. McNair landed the nation's No. 2 player, Joe McKnight, on Signing Day. That occurred after the USC running backs coach had already wrapped up commitments from five-star RB Marc Tyler and Rivals100 running back Broderick Green. When one considers that USC played three freshman running backs last season, McNair's ability to land three of the nation's best this year was amazing. McNair's signings averaged an incredible 4.67 stars. Thanks in large part to his his efforts, the Trojans landed the nation's No. 2 recruiting class.
Pat Ruel, USC: Long considered one of the best football coaches in the game, Ruel made his mark this season on the USC recruiting class. Ruel, the Trojans' offensive line coach, pulled in five players with an average star rating of 3.8. The headliner in the group was five-star offensive lineman Kristofer O'Dowd from Arizona. Ruel also landed high-profile commitments from four-star receiver Brandon Carswell and four-star offensive lineman Martin Coleman. In addition, Ruel pulled off one of the biggest late recruiting surprises by getting tight end Rhett Ellison to switch from Virginia Tech to USC.
Greg Smith, Arizona State: Smith, who arrived late in the process with new ASU coach Dennis Erickson, was able to pull off two of the bigger surprises down the stretch in the Pac-10. Smith, ASU's special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach, was able to land offensive linemen Garth Gerhart and Adam Tello. The Norco, Calif., duo had committed to Colorado. If Smith's efforts were any indication, don't be surprised if ASU becomes a major player in the coming years.
Grady Stretz, Arizona State: The Devils' class stayed afloat during the coaching transition thanks largely to the efforts of Stretz, ASU's defensive line coach. He was credited with signing six players with an average star rating of 3.17. The headliner was four-star defensive end Luis Vasquez, who was ranked as the No. 22 junior college player in the nation. Stretz also did quite well with other in-state players, landing three-star defensive end James Brooks, three-star linebacker Colin Parker, three-star receiver T.J. Simpson and three-star defensive end Eric Tanner.
Chris Tormey, Washington: Tormey logged some major frequent flier miles in trips to Hawaii and California and helped the Huskies finish with their best class in quite some time. UW finished No. 35 nationally, and Tormey was a big reason why. The recruiting coordinator and linebackers coach managed to pull in three-star defensive end Kalani Aldrich from Hilo, Hawaii. Also, as the main recruiter for Seattle, he was able to land Rivals250 offensive tackle Emeka Iweka.
Mike Tuiasosopo, Arizona: The Wildcats made a major impact in Hawaii this past recruiting season, and Tuiasosopo was a big reason why. Arizona's defensive line coach pulled in two high quality players from the islands. The Wildcats signed the top player in the state, four-star defensive tackle Kaniela Tuipulotu. Tuiasosopo also pulled in four-star linebackers Apaiata Tuihalamaka and Vuna Tuihalamaka. Vuna Tuihalamaka is ranked as the No. 26 junior college player in the nation. Tuiasosopo signed five players this year with a star average of 3.6.