Ed Orgeron Can Dethrone Tosh Lupoi, with Aziz Shittu and Kyle Murphy


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Tosh Lupoi has garnered much attention of late in the recruiting world. Lupoi, Rivals’ 2010 Recruiter of the Year and one of the newest members of Steve Sarkisian’s staff at Washington, has quickly taken the reins from Ed Orgeron as the Pac-12 Conference’s best recruiter. Before jumping from Berkeley to Seattle earlier this week, Lupoi was putting together arguably the most talented class in the history of Cal football, anchored by players like Shaq Thompson and Ellis McCarthy, along with a very probably signing of Arik Armstead. His move to Washington instantly turned everything upside down in the conference, as McCarthy then committed to UCLA, while Thompson and Armstead are currently in a state of flux. But in moving between inner division schools, Lupoi has created a very interesting recruiting war between not only his current and former employers, but between himself and USC’s Orgeron, as the Trojans look to capitalize on Cal’s misfortunes.

In this the third season of the Orgeron vs. Lupoi match-up in the recruiting war, the record between the two is surprisingly bleak. Taking only the Classes of 2010 and 2011 into account, according to Rivals, Lupoi and Orgeron have gone head-to-head on a recruit just twice, with Lupoi sealing the deal both times, signing both Todd Barr and Viliami Moala in 2011.

This year however, with Lupoi now at Washington, Orgeron and Lupoi have a full-on battle staked out and not necessarily between similar players. Had Lupoi stayed at Cal, he would have wiped the floor with Orgeron , but if Orgeron can pick up enough pieces of the Berkeley fallout, and sign players who are not currently linked to Lupoi, he can make a gain overall to put himself in a position to retake the position as the conference’s best recruiter. At the moment, Orgeron’s two biggest targets are Aziz Shittu and Kyle Murphy, who are both believed to be stuck in a stalemate between Stanford and USC, and presumably leaning towards Palo Alto.

Shittu, a 6’3″ 280-pound defensive end out of Atwater, California, is a strong candidate to remain in-state to play his college football. With Lupoi at Cal, it appeared as though Shittu was split between Stanford and Cal, but with Lupoi out of the equation, the Trojans have stepped up to fill the sudden void from Berkeley. According to MaxPreps on Wednesday, Shittu’s high coach confirmed that he’s torn between Stanford and USC, with Stanford being the favorite when he announces his decision on February 1st, which is Signing Day.

Murphy, along with Shittu will both have their official visits to USC this weekend, giving Orgeron, along with Lane Kiffin who visited Murphy in-home on Wednesday, a shot perfecting the recruiting class. Murphy is a 5-star offensive tackle from San Clemente, and is just one of a long list of lineman being pursued by Lane Kiffin’s Trojans. Orgeron has already received two commitments from highly rated offensive linemen, in the form of Jordan Simmons, a 5-star tackle out of Crespi, and Max Tuerk, a 4-star tackle out of Santa Margarita, so it’s not out of the question that he couldn’t wrangle in a third.

With Orgeron leading the charge, the significance of a Trojan signing combo of Shittu and Murphy would eclipse the importance of Lupoi reeling in Shaq Thompson at Washington, especially when you consider that Orgeron would be Shittu’s position coach at USC. Given the strong ties of Shittu and Murphy to Stanford, prying both from an arch-rival and Shittu from a school that Lupoi had a strong hand in, Orgeron’s case as the conference’s top man would have plenty of ammo. Orgeron will likely have to overcome a late run from the Oregon Ducks on Shittu according to SB Nation, but with Orgeron’s track record, it’s clear that both Shittu and Murphy will have everything but the kitchen sink thrown at them in hopes of steering the tandem away from Palo Alto.

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