Tuesday, February 1, 2011
SoCal football recruiting primer
By Greg Biggins
Who's still on the board? With signing day rapidly approaching, here's a look at what top un-committed players from Southern California are still out there (or those from out of the area considering USC, UCLA or both) and who they're currently considering.
ATH Marqise Lee (Gardena, Calif./Serra) -- USC, Oregon, Miami, Cal, UCLA Lee has been a strong lean to USC for weeks now and that's where the smart money should be. Oregon and Miami are still pushing hard, Cal hasn't given up and Lee took an unofficial visit to UCLA on Sunday and reportedly clicked very well with new OC and WR coach Mike Johnson. Lee will announce at noon PT on Fox Sports West.
WR Devin Lucien (Encino, Calif./Crespi) -- Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA, Utah, Miami Lucien could go several different directions and the only surprise would be if he picked Utah, since he has never visited the campus. UCLA was thought to be the early favorite but ASU and Colorado are right there at the top as well. Lucien is looking to play early and the depth chart at Colorado is wide open. The coaches at ASU have been relentless and his visit to Miami might have been his favorite. Lucien will announce at 3 p.m. PT.
DB Ryan Henderson (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde) -- Utah, USC Henderson committed early to Utah but took an official visit to USC a few weeks ago and was blown away by the Trojans. USC was Henderson's dream school growing up, it's close to home and it's where his family wants him. The corner enjoyed his visit to Utah but look for him to sign with the Trojans.
TE Junior Pomee (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde) -- Utah, USC Pomee has been saying for weeks that he wants to leave the area to play his college ball. Early on in the process, he seemed like a sure bet to head to Florida. Once Henderson got offered by USC, that changed everything. Henderson and Pomee are very close and want to play together in college. Of the two, Henderson is the leader of the group and his desire to stay close to home will also pull in Pomee for the Trojans.
QB Michael Eubank (Corona, Calif./Centennial) -- ASU, Utah, Pittsburgh Eubank committed earlier in the season to Arizona State before deciding to take late official visits to Utah and Pitt. The signal caller enjoyed both visits, particularly the trip to Utah, but look for Eubank to stay loyal to his first love and sign with the Sun Devils.
OL Torian White (Lakewood, Calif.) -- UCLA, Oregon State, Arizona, USC White drew a lot of "Who's that" when he originally committed to UCLA in the summer. The tackle missed his whole junior season and was offered at the Bruins summer camp with no film to speak of. He then went out and had a big senior season and became a hot commodity. He took all his visits and has gone somewhat underground since his recent visit to USC this past weekend but it would be considered a pretty big surprise if the tackle signs anywhere other than with the Bruins.
DL Puka Lopa (Sacramento, Calif./Grant) -- Oregon State, UCLA, Cal The word is Lopa is down to Cal and UCLA but in reality, the second the Bears got involved, it was tough to imagine the rush end going anywhere other than Berkeley. Whether it's as a greyshirt or a regular scholarship offer (I'm hearing it's a real offer), Lopa has always loved the Cal program. Throw in the fact that he's best friends with Cal commit Viliami Moala and is being recruited by Bears DL coach Tosh Lupoi, who almost always gets his man, expect Lopa to sign with the Bears tomorrow.
OL/DL Troy Niklas (Anaheim, Calif./Servite) -- USC, Notre Dame Niklas also visited Stanford but is down to the Trojans and the Irish. This one is a very tough call and the Domers have done a great job recruiting Niklas all year long. The feeling early on in the process was USC was the team to beat and that is probably still the case. Saying that, Notre Dame made up a lot of ground on Niklas' recent official visit and there are some at Servite who feel he'll put on the Irish hat tomorrow. The athlete will announce his choice at noon PT on Fox Sports West.
DL Christian Heyward (San Diego, Calif./Point Loma) -- USC, Oregon, SDSU Heyward has been easily the most tight lipped player in the West region. The athlete just flat out refuses to do interviews and there's nothing wrong with that. It does make trying to figure out where he plans to sign very difficult and I've heard from different people close to the tackle say they don't even know what he's going to do. SDSU is the hometown school and they have rallied late. USC was his first official visit and the Trojans made a great impression. Oregon has been on Heyward for over a year and the Ducks are well position well. The tackle will announce on ESPNU.
WR Patrick Onwuasor (Inglewood, Calif.) -- Arizona, Arizona State, Miami Here's how crazy things are with Onwuasor. He visited Miami last weekend and couldn't stop talking about the Canes. Monday he wore all ASU gear to school and the latest talk has the receiver leaning big to Arizona and ready to sign with the Wildcats. Onwuasor will sign at his school and it sounds like the Cats are the likely destination at this time.
Of course we can't sign off without one last DeAnthony Thomas (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw) note. The update as of 3 p.m. PT is that Thomas will sign with Oregon. USC coaches are still fighting the fight but Thomas has told both staffs what he plans to do and right now, it appears the Ducks will pull off one of the biggest recruiting shockers in the last few years.
To visit Greg Biggins' recruiting blog, click this link.