Hey guys, sorry for the absence lately. But I'm back now and I wanted to give a nice look into the football recruiting. As you have seen, we got a couple good recruits to commit this past weekend, and with National Signing Day just around the corner, it looks like we are going to finish strong. At this point, we have 21 commits, mostly 3-start players, but we have filled in positions that we need badly. As always, must give credit where credit is due, and thanks to Beaver Blitz for providing the recruiting information.
Cody Vaz, Stockton, California. 6'1" 198 lbs. 4.8 40. Appears to be a diamond in the rough for us. Picked us over Cal, ASU, UCLA, Arizona, and Boise State. Just took his official visit this past weekend and it only solidified his committment. He completed 58% of his passes this past season for 3,908 yards and 32 touchdowns. His highlight video is solid. He throws a nice, tight spiral, and should be a good player a few years down the road. My guess is a redshirt next year with Moevao, Canfield, and Engstrom, and Ryan Katz all returning.
Jack Lomax, Lake Oswego, Oregon. 6'3", 164 lbs. Obviously the son of former Portland State and NFL QB Neil Lomax, Jack appears to have all the skills and the mindset necessary to become a Pac10 QB, but needs to add quite a few more pounds to his very wiry frame if he's going to get there. My guess is he also redshirt this year, and him and Vaz battle it out with the returning QBs next Spring for the starting spot in 2010.
GRADE: A-. With Moevao and Canfield graduating next year, we needed to fill in holes at QB, and it appears we may have gotten a couple good ones. The only reason it's an A- is that we lost the recruiting battle for Richard Brehaut (UCLA), who would have been the biggest recruit we have had in a few years.
Tramaine Thompson, Jenks, Oklahoma, 5'8" 159 lbs, 4.4 40. Another little guy in a position where we will need some help next year, especially if Francis leaves. The speedster from Oklahoma was regarded as one of the better running backs in the MidWest, but got overlooked due to his size. He probably needs to put on 30 pounds to feature as a back eventually for us, but you have to love his speed and we may be able to run him as another option in our fly-sweep offense.
Grade: B. Really needed another solid RB, and we may have gotten a good one. Ideally, he would have been a bit bigger, but we have done well with smaller, quicker RBs in the past, and he appears to fit the mold. It does help that we are getting a pipeline into Oklahoma, a state with a lot of high school talent.
Reggie Dunn, Compton, California, 5'11", 185 lbs. His 40 time isn't listed, but his video suggests that he is F-A-S-T. Has the size to come in and contribute right away next year, and with the graduations of Stroughter and Morales, this is definitely a guy we will see next Fall. May even field punts next year.
Micah Hatfield, Lake Oswego, Oregon, 6'0", 153 lbs, 4.5 40. A wiry guy, was Lomax's go-to guy at Lake O this year. Not sure if he has the ability to play just yet, but could be a project that turns out to be a stud down the road. Needs weight. Has good hands and could become a solid slot receiver like Mike Haas or Morales down the line. Don't expect to see his name for a while though.
Markus Wheaton, Chandler, Arizona, 6'0", 180 lbs, 4.5 40. Maybe one of the most surprising commits from this class, Wheaton (yes, the cousin of Kenny Wheaton) has the size and speed to be a top receiver in the conference. Could see playing time next year.
Grade: A. Graduated quite a few receivers, and 2 of our top 3. I would guess that we see Dunn a little bit next year, but probably not Hatfield. Getting Markus Wheaton gives us a downfield threat for years to come.
Joshua Andrews, Ontario, California, 6'2" 257 lbs. Offensive lineman are hard to judge just by videos alone, given that you don't really know the caliber of talent the player is going up against (I suppose that is true for every player, but with skill players you can measure speed, quickness, vision, etc), but Andrews appears to have the quick feet needed to run in our offense. Will probably need to put on a few more pounds, but looks like he could be a player down the line.
Michael Beaton, Dallas, Oregon, 6'2", 284 lbs. No video on him, but have heard from locals that he has been a prodigy in Dallas for quite some time, and that he may not have gotten the looks that he deserved because he plays for a bad high school team in a smaller division in a not-so-great high school football state.
John Braun, Albany, Oregon, 6'6", 240 lbs. Another local kid, will need to put on some weight to be an offensive lineman. By his size alone, he may be moved to TE, but not much is known about him at this point.
Grant Enger, Seattle, Washington, 6'6", 250 lbs. Maybe it's just me, but I feel like signed a lot of undersized linemen in this class. That all being said, I have a feeling that Enger is going to be a solid player in a couple years. He played in a good football conference in Seattle and did well by most observations. Needs to bulk up.
Michael Phillip, San Bernadino, California, 6'3", 320 lbs. Might well be the prize recruit in this years class, Phillip may very well start this year and fill the void left by Speer or Levitre. He has the size already, and was listed as one of the top guards and tackles in the country, making him one of the most coveted lineman in the West. But we've been here before with star OLineman (Jeremy Perry) so keeping this kid healthy should be priority one.
Tyler Thomas, Kalispell, Montana, 6'4", 285 lbs. With some good ol' fashioned Coach Cavanaugh coaching, could be a good prospect down the road. For now, appears unpolished, but has good size. A project, maybe, but we'll check in on him a few years from now.
Grade: A+. We needed linemen, and we got them in droves. This was already a solid OLine class without Phillip, but securing his services improved this class from a B+ to an A+. Many of these guys will need to bulk up, but a few years down the road, 5 of these guys could be leading the way towards a Pac10 championship.
Josh Kaiwi, Anchorage, Alaska, 6'2", 250 lbs, 4.6 40. Fast player on the end, he has the potential to be the next Victor Butler. A big question will be how he adapts to the speed and strength of Division 1 football as he comes from Alaska, but appears to have the size to do so. Might get some time this year as we have a depleted DLine.
Mana Rosa, Wailuku, Hawai'i, 6'3", 250 lbs, another fast and talented DEnd, he was one of the more sought after prospects from Hawai'i this year. Helps the line, but could be a few years guy.
Grade: C+. Two solid guys, but we were demolished by graduation this year and next year's DLine is looking thin. Maybe 1 or 2 more commits bumps this up to a B, but it is a weak class so far.
Michael Doctor, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 6'0", 195 lbs. Those of you who know, I have been high on Doctor the minute I saw his highlight video. I would be shocked if this kid doesn't succeed, and don't be surprised to see him getting some solid playing time as a true freshman. Watching his video reminds me of Derrick Doggett, and he definitely has All-Pac10 potential in a couple years. Will battle for playing time this year, then my guess is fill in for Kristick in 2010.
Reuben Robinson, Chandler, Arizona, 6'3", 215. Not sure what the coaching staff wants to do with him, but I think he will line up at Middle Linebacker. There's no video of him, but it sounds like he had a solid year in the top division in Arizona, which is one of the better states for high school football, maybe 2nd in the West only behind California.
Grade: B+. Didn't need many linebackers this year, graduating only Bryant Cornell, but Michael Doctor just screams potential and Robinson has some upside too. Could use maybe 1 more LB and to turn this into a solid A. Rumor has it that Al Afalava has a hard-hitting little brother that is looking at Oregon State to play LB. That would solidify this class.
Sean Martin, Corona, California, 6'0", 170 lbs. A solid looking guy. Has good hands and decent coverage skills but looks like he gets beat downfield in foot races, only to recover by poorly thrown balls. May be good, but probably not a starter anytime soon.
Jordan Poyer, Astoria, Oregon, 6'0", 172 lbs. Just a solid athlete all around, Poyer helped lead his high school team to the State Championship this year in Oregon 4A ball. He's fast and has good football knowledge, and like Michael Beaton, may have gotten more offers had he played at a bigger school.
Dax Dilbeck, Edmond, Oklahoma. 6'1", 171 lbs. The winner of the coolest name award (last year's went to Jaquizz), this guy is listed as a QB but my gut feeling tells me that he will be playing defensive back when he gets to camp. A fast guy, he has the look of a DB, and may very well be starting next season.
Kyrell Hudson, Vancouver, Washington, 6'0" 185, 4.5 40. Hudson is the biggest question mark of this year's class, as he could very well turn pro in baseball. His coach describes him as the best athlete he's ever coached, and that includes "4 or 5 guys in the NFL and 100s of scholarship winners" Hudson would come in and field punts right away, as well as battle for starting DB position.
Grade: A. We need defensive backs. A lot of them. Don't be surprised to see a couple of these kids starting next fall, especially Dilbeck, Hudson, and Poyer. Remember when Lewis, Afalava, and Hughes all started as freshmen? My gut tells me we're looking at a similar situation this year.
Zeke Sanders, Santa Cruz, California, 6'1" 181 lbs, 4.45 40. Not sure where to put him. We may run him at WR, we may run him at DB. All we know is that we will run him somewhere, and he will run up and down the field. Good size for his speed, my guess is we see him in the fly sweep mold, if he sees any playing time at all.
Overall Grade: B+. A solid recruiting class for us, we filled the holes that needed to be filled. It will probably rank somewhere in the lower 3rd of the Pac10 rankings because these guys are "star" powered, but as usual, Mike Riley will take these guys and turn many of them into solid players, and a couple of them into downright studs. We do need to get 1 or 2 more defensive linemen, but with only a couple weeks until signing day, we may be SOL.