Thursday, December 14, 2006


We love recruiting season, but we love it in its proper place, which is the month of madness between bowl season and LOI day. Just don't have the energy right now to worry about 3-star linebackers from Crespi, but we will. Oh, very soon...we will.

As fellow blogs dissect their teams' early returns and the Cyberbears chat room mysteriously creeps toward 200 participants on "off days," we thought we'd put these stars in perspective. With a hat tip to reader Pete Morris, here's a perfectly acceptable Pac-10 all-star team that we'd put up against any other:

QB: Alex Brink, Washington State (2nd team All Pac 10)
RB: Yvenson Bernard, Oregon State (1st team)
FB: Byron Storer, California (all-academic)
WR: Jason Hill, Washington State (2nd team); Robert Jordan, California (HM)
TE: Dante Rosario, Oregon (HM)
OL: Max Unger, Oregon (2nd team); Alex Mack, California (1st team); Enoka Lucas, Oregon (1st team); Adam Koets, Oregon State (2nd team); Erik Robertson, California (HM)

DE: Mkristo Bruce, Washington State (1st team); Jeff Van Orsow, Oregon State (HM - the guy who knocked down Booty's pass)
DT: Yaniv Barnett, Arizona (HM); Ben Siegert, Oregon State (HM)
LB: Oscar Lua, USC (HM); Spencer Larson, Arizona (2nd team); Blair Phillips, Oregon (HM)
CB: Antoine Cason, Arizona (1st team); Brandon Harrison, Stanford (HM)
S: C.J. Wallace, Washington (1st team); Eric Frampton, Washington State (1st team)

P: Nick Folk, Arizona (1st team)
K: Mario Danelo, USC (HM)
ST: Wopamo Osaisai, Stanford (1st team)

Pretty good team, eh? These players have one thing in common - none of them received as many as 3 stars from coming out of high school.

The truth of recruiting is that, in most instances, four star guys are indeed better than two star guys. But the idea of ranking teams based on their average star rating is crap. If you're reading this and you're worried that Scout has Cal at only #23 in the nation, you're paying attention to the wrong things. If you care about what creepy Tom Lemming says about Cal, the Pac 10, or anything, you should seek professional help.

Knows nothing; made of plastic

The questions to ask are: did my team address immediate needs? How about depth? Is the class balanced? (ask UW how they feel about Neuheisel's classes filled with four-star receivers and no linemen) How big/fast are our commits? Do the linemen have large enough frames to add weight without sacrificing quickness? Did any of our recruits switch positions in HS, limiting their star appeal? And, most important, has the coaching staff been able to coax better performance from players through instruction? (in other words, is your coach not named Bob Toledo?) Answering those questions gives you a better idea about your team's future than reading whatever Tom Lemming scribbles down between chemical peels.


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Pete Morris said...

Thanks for the love. Not a bad all-(no)star team, indeed.

That said, I'm beginning to feel pretty excited about what looks to be shaping into another solid Tedford recruiting class. This certainly seems to be true on the offensive side of the ball, and the recent additions of Holt and Mixon offer some promise for the defense. A commit from Donovan Warren and another lineman or three would really round out the class.

Finally, for a random but not completely unrelated observation: I don't spend much time in malls, but I did have occasion tonight to waste an hour of my life in the Fox Hills mall on the westside of metro L.A. (Culver City, Inglewood -- that neck of the woods). And for what it's worth, I saw a lot of Cal gear walking around, at least as much as even USC and UCLA. For a second there, I thought I was back up in the East Bay. Go Bears!!

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