How the Colorado Buffaloes signing day class compares to the rest of the Pac-12

Best in class: Offensive lineman Jacob Moretti and quarterback Tyler Lytle, who could challenge Steven Montez for the starting job.
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Former Colorado football coach Joe Tumpkin was charged with multiple counts of assault Tuesday. (Image via Flickr)

Here's how Pac-12 teams did on national signing day. 


Top 25 Class: No

Best in class: RB Nathan Tilford. A four-star running back from Ontario, California, is the highest-rated player in the class — 17th nationally at his position by the 247Sports composite — and is already enrolled at Arizona, giving him a head start for his freshman season.

Best of the rest: DT Sione Taufahema. Arizona needed some heft up front on defense and at 6-1, 310 pounds the junior college transfer will certainly give them that.

Late addition: My-King Johnson. The defensive end from Tempe committed to UCLA in early January, but flipped after an in-home visit by coach Rich Rodriguez last month. He gives the Wildcats a superb pass rusher and a nice in-state get for Rodriguez.

One that got away: Four-star quarterback Braxton Burmeister, who signed with Oregon.

How they'll fit in: Arizona has been one of the Pac-12's worst defensive teams under Rodriguez, but could start to move the needle a little with this class. The 23-player class includes 15 on defense, with six of those being linebackers.



Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: Alabama transfer QB Blake Barnett, who is counted as part of the recruiting class. He played in the Crimson Tide's first game against Southern California last season and decided to transfer after four games. He was originally expected to sit out the first four games of the 2017 season, but the NCAA cleared him to play in the opener.

Best of the rest: Four-star defensive end Tyler Johnson. The 6-4, 245-pounder who also plays tight end had numerous offers, including Alabama, USC and Michigan State, where his father played. He is rated as the No. 17 player at his position nationally.

Late addition: TE Mark Walton. The Sun Devils didn't start recruiting him until last week, but closed quickly.

One that got away: OL Austin Jackson. The Sun Devils were in the running for the state's top offensive lineman, but he committed to Southern California on Wednesday morning.

How they'll fit in: The Sun Devils gained immediate help and potentially a lot of competition at quarterback. Arizona State returns Manny Wilkins and Dillon Sterling-Cole, who both played last year. Barnett comes with all the accolades and signee Ryan Kelley is the highest-rated quarterback out of Arizona.



Top 25 Class: No

Best in class: Elijah Hicks, CB, Long Beach. Hicks originally committed to Notre Dame before switching to Cal last month, giving the Bears a key secondary piece needed to improve a struggling defense.

Best of the rest: Chase Garbers, QB, Newport Beach; Taariq Johnson, WR, Buena Park; Biaggio Ali-Walsh, RB, Las Vegas.

Late addition: G Poutasi Poutasi, Las Vegas.

One that got away: Paul Scott, LB, Oakland.

How they'll fit in: Coach Justin Wilcox will be counting on many of these recruits to contribute as freshmen as he looks for players who fit his system better than the one run under fired coach Sonny Dykes. He added a pair of tight ends in Ben Moos and Gavin Reinwald to a roster that didn't use any last year. With no experienced quarterback on the roster, Garbers could get a shot to compete in fall camp to be the starting quarterback.



Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: Offensive lineman Jacob Moretti and quarterback Tyler Lytle, who could challenge Steven Montez for the starting job.

Best of the rest: Chris Mulumba is a 280-pound defensive end from Helsinki, Finland, who didn't play football in high school but was a national judo champion. The Buffs saw enough of him at Diablo Valley College in California in 2015 to bring him into the fold as an early enrollee.

Late addition: Jared Poplawski, TE, Scottsdale, Arizona. He was looking at Arizona State.

One that got away: Tight end Josh Falo signed with Southern California. He's the brother of Colorado linebacker N.J. Falo

How they'll fit in: Lytle threw for 2,759 yards and 19 TDs his senior season at Servite High School in California. Lytle, who zeroed in on Colorado in June, also helped recruit other players to town. "I really think when Colorado started having success people really bought in, and I think that's why we carried so much momentum," Lytle said.



Top 25 Class: Yes.

Best in class: Braxton Burmeister, QB, La Jolla, California. Although Oregon has a young quarterback in Justin Herbert, who will be a sophomore next season, the Ducks demonstrated the need for developing talent at the position after bringing in graduate transfers for the past two seasons. Burmeister threw for 4,461 yards and 53 touchdowns while rushing for 1,470 yards with 27 touchdowns his senior year at La Jolla Country Day.

Best of the rest: College of San Mateo transfer George Moore, considered the top JC offensive lineman in the country. Among the team's four-star recruits were cornerbacks Thomas Graham and Jaylon Redd, and linebacker Isaac Slade-Matautia from Honolulu.

Late addition: Four-star athlete Deommodore Lenoir of Los Angeles waited until the afternoon to announce he had signed with Oregon, posting images of himself wearing Oregon uniforms on Twitter.

One that got away: Sacramento's Josh Falo, considered one of the top tight ends in the country, chose USC over Oregon on Tuesday night.

How they'll fit in: Oregon's biggest needs are on defense, and the Ducks looked like they addressed that side of the ball. Scott has already enrolled at Oregon, as has defensive tackle Rutger Reitmaier from Nashville, Tennessee. Two more defensive tackles from California, Popo Aumavae and Austin Faoliu, signed Wednesday.



Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: WR Isaiah Hodgins from Walnut Creek, California. Hodgins, who selected the Beavers over Oregon and Nebraska, is already enrolled. Hodgins originally committed to Washington State, but a visit to Corvallis changed his mind. His dad, James, played under Oregon State assistant Dave Baldwin at San Jose State.

Best of the rest: The Beavers were able to nab two running backs out of Texas, BJ Baylor out of Wharton and Calvin Tyler out of Beaumont. Recalling Oregon State history, the Beavers have had luck before with a running back from Texas: Jacquizz Rodgers. Oregon State also got three local in-state recruits: defensive tackle Josh Bowcut and safety David Morris from Sherwood, and outside linebacker Travis Mackay of Portland's Central Catholic.

Late addition: Three-star linebacker Kesi Ah-Hoy, who had previously committed to Hawaii. Coach Gary Andersen and his coaches got help landing Ah-Hoy from a fellow recruit from Hawaii, safety Charles Watson.

One that got away: Safety Juliano Falaniko of American Samoa signed with USC.

How they'll fit in: Andersen said there were two major targets in the class, defensive backs and wide receivers. The Beavers signed three cornerbacks and four safeties. In addition to Hodgins, Oregon State also brought in Tino Allen from Belle Glade, Florida, Champ Flemings from Altadena, California, and Kolby Taylor from Chandler, Arizona.



Top 25 Class: Yes

Best in class: RB Stephen Carr. One of the nation's best ball carriers committed early and stuck with the Trojans. He reminds coach Clay Helton of Ezekiel Elliott.

Best of the rest: OT Austin Jackson, DT Jay Tufele. The Trojans loaded up on the line to replace departing contributors.

Late addition: WR Joseph Lewis. An excellent class became outstanding with a commitment from one of the nation's best receiver prospects.

How they'll fit in: The Trojans are about to enter a hype machine with quarterback Sam Darnold returning, but they have seven months to figure out how to fill the lineup holes left by departing stars. He addressed every deficiency on signing day, and now Helton's staff must make them into a team capable of getting back to the Rose Bowl.



Top 25 Class: Yes.

Best in class: Coach David Shaw called Colby Parkinson, the top-rated tight end, "the best tight end in America. This guy is a mismatch."

Best of the rest: Davis Mills threw for over 5,000 yards and 51 touchdowns the past two seasons at Greater Atlanta Christian.

Late addition: Running back Connor Wedington and defensive end Ryan Johnson became firm commitments on Monday.

How they will fit in: DE Ryan Johnson will have a chance to fill the void left by All-American Solomon Thomas, who declared for the NFL draft. "There's room for guys at tight end and wide receiver," Shaw said. "They will be given ample opportunity to come in and contribute."



Top 25 Class: Yes.

Best in class: Jaelan Phillips, DE, Redlands, California. The top defensive prospect on the West Coast is already enrolled in classes, which bodes well for Phillips' chances of contributing next season as UCLA seeks a replacement for departing edge rusher Takkarist McKinley.

Best of the rest: Darnay Holmes, DB, Pasadena, California. The secondary has been an area of particular strength for UCLA under coach Jim Mora, and Holmes should get every opportunity to display his five-star billing early on. Mora said Holmes could even contribute on offense.

Late addition: Stephan Zabie, OL, Austin, Texas. Steady left tackle Conor McDermott is gone, and what returns on the offensive line produced the second-worst run game in the FBS last season.

One that got away: Stephen Carr, RB, Fontana, California. Despite hosting Carr on a January official visit, UCLA could not lure the five-star running back away from rival Southern California.

How they'll fit in: Phillips already looks like one of the Bruins' most imposing athletes. Put him in a college weight room for seven months and Phillips should be the overwhelming favorite for Pac-12 defensive freshman of the year. UCLA will definitely want someone to step up at tight end as it attempts to reboot as a power running team for the second consecutive year.



Top 25 Class: No

Best in class: Jaylon Johnson, DB, Fresno, California.

Best of the rest: Corrion Ballard, S, Humble, Texas

Late addition: Bryan Thompson, WR, Moreno Valley, California.

One that got away: Jay Tufele, DT, South Jordan, Utah

How they'll fit in: Coach Kyle Whittingham said they got a boost at receiver after Troy Taylor was announced as offensive coordinator. His pass-friendly system averaged a nation-high 401 passing yards per game at Eastern Washington last season. Utah signed three-star receivers Bryan Thompson (6-2, 181), Tyquez Hampton (6-2, 204) and Jaylen Dixon (5-9, 156).

"We got a lot more interest from receivers and offensive personnel with his background and what he's achieved and accomplished at other places," Whittingham said. "Particularly with receivers. Last year he had three guys at Eastern that went over 1,000 yards. That's a selling point. We feel, going forward, it's going to be an even bigger deal if he's able to do the same thing here. It's going to be a snowball effect."



Top 25 Class: Yes.

Best in class: Salvon Ahmed, RB, Kirkland, Washington. The arrival of Ahmed gives the Huskies another multifaceted athlete on the offensive side of the ball to help replace John Ross. Ahmed will get a look at running back to start.

Best of the rest: Hunter Bryant, TE, Issaquah, Washington; Elijah Molden, CB, West Linn, Oregon; Henry Bainivalu, OL, Sammamish, Washington; Ty Jones, WR, Provo, Utah.

Late addition: OL Jaxson Kirkland. The big offensive tackle from Portland, Oregon was a late signing after the Huskies lost out on Foster Sarell, who chose Stanford. Kirkland was always leaning toward the Huskies; he's the son of former Washington offensive lineman Dean Kirkland.

One that got away: DL Marlon Tuipulotu originally gave a verbal commitment to Washington last April and remained solid until a late push by USC caused the standout to flip and sign with the Trojans.

How they'll fit in: Washington took a relatively small class due to a thin senior class. The skill players the Huskies signed should have a chance to contribute right away, especially the likes of Ahmed, Molden, CB Keith Taylor and safety Brandon McKinney. Bryant also should play right away as he provides athleticism at tight end.



Top 25 Class: No.

Best in class: Quarterback Connor Neville, 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, threw for 2,756 yards with 35 touchdowns and 10 interceptions as a high school senior and was the top-rated QB in Oregon.

Best of the rest: The Cougars signed four-star offensive lineman Robert Valencia, 6-foot-6, 295 pounds, from City College of San Francisco. Receivers Travell Harris, Davontavean Martin, Anthony White Jr. and Easop Winston will try to break into the Air Raid.

Late addition: WR Jamire Calvin, who had committed to Nebraska. The four-star recruit from Los Angeles had entertained numerous offers from major programs.

One that got away: The Cougars signed few players from Washington, indicating many top recruits from the state went elsewhere.

How they'll fit in: Washington State lost record-setting receivers Gabe Marks and River Cracraft to graduation, but still has plenty of talent in the returning receivers. However, coach Mike Leach is not averse to throwing freshmen into the mix immediately. Small but speedy running back Caleb Perry, who is from Seattle, may have trouble getting snaps as the Cougars have three veteran running backs who split playing time. Neville will have to wait behind Falk and other quarterbacks on the roster.

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