In Pac-12 Football: Empty Seats, TV Woes and Recruiting Gaps

In Pac-12 Football: Empty Seats, TV Woes and Recruiting Gaps

For example, Alabama augments its coaching staff with 12 football analysts — three of whom are former head coaches, Major Applewhite, Butch Jones and Mike Stoops — along with four player development and four player personnel staffers. Oregon — even with Phil Knight, the Nike founder, as its longtime benefactor — is no match. It has six football analysts, one player development staffer and one player personnel staffer.

Georgia spent $2.6 million on recruiting last year, easily doubling the spending of each Pac-12 school.

“All those things take resources,” the Oregon athletic director, Rob Mullens, said.

Not surprisingly, the resource gap and the decline in performance have begun to bleed into recruiting.

Though it is not uncommon for under-recruited prospects to develop into stars — Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert, likely to be the top quarterback in the N.F.L. draft, is an example — the top programs across the country are poaching the West’s most coveted talent.

The top-rated quarterback in the country, D.J. Uiagalelei, from St. John Bosco High in Bellflower, Calif., is headed to Clemson, where he appears likely to be followed by Justin Flowe from Upland, Calif., the top inside linebacker.

Sav’ell Smalls, the top outside linebacker, from Kennedy Catholic in Burien, Wash., is said to be leaning toward Alabama, while Darnell Washington, the top-rated tight end, from Desert Pines High in Las Vegas, will probably head to Georgia, and Bijan Robinson, a top running back from Salpointe Catholic in Tucson, Ariz., has committed to Texas.

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