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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

May 29, 2012 at 2:12 PM

Pros from the Pac-12 and the folly of recruiting hype

A website called PacificTakes.com took on the interesting task of coming up with NFL all-star teams composed only of Pac-12 alumni. Herewith:

Obviously, it’s a subjective exercise, and you can dispute the site’s conclusions.

A couple of thoughts: It’s not hard to see why Cal coach Jeff Tedford gets heat from Bear alumni. PacificTakes has five Cal guys on both its first and second teams, almost all recruited and coached in the Tedford era.

The Huskies and Cougars aren’t well represented (duh), reflecting the deep struggles each school had during most of the first decade of the 2000s. No Husky was named first team, while Niners safety Dashon Goldson and Raiders offensive lineman Khalif Barnes were named to the second team.

Jason Hanson, the ageless Detroit Lions kicker, was WSU’s only choice on either of the first two teams.

The choices of the UW and WSU players once again illustrate the risk of making too much of recruiting rankings, over which some people seem to obsess more than they do the games in the fall.

When Barnes committed to the Huskies back in 2000, I wrote that his other visits consisted of Nevada and Navy. But he was an athletic player, long and with good feet. His signature didn’t move the needle in the recruiting analyses.

Here’s the paragraph I wrote in the Times when Goldson decided on Rick Neuheisel’s program at Washington back in 2002: “Choosing the Huskies most recently is 6-2, 180-pound Dashon Goldson of Narbonne High in Harbor City, Calif. Goldson, a safety prospect, didn’t take other visits and hasn’t yet qualified academically.”

Pretty titillating recruit, huh?

Then there was Hanson, whom I remember as a preferred walk-on to Dennis Erickson’s program back in 1988 at WSU. He’s become the Jamie Moyer of the NFL. After becoming the best long-distance kicker in NCAA history, he’s now played more games with one team than any player in NFL history.

You’d have to say he’s outkicked his coverage — along with Barnes, Goldson and a lot of other guys on the PacificTakes list. That starts at the very top with quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who was recruited by Cal only because the Bears went to see tight end Garrett Cross at Butte College.

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