Wednesday, November 20, 2013
A wild recruiting week out West
By Erik McKinney
It's only a Wednesday in late November, but this week has seen enough recruiting action out West to make you think signing day is just around the corner.
A flurry of commitments and decommitments began Monday night and affected six Pac-12 programs in less than three days. It began with USC's big victory on Monday, when it received a commitment from former Alabama commit Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial), the nation's No. 5 offensive guard.
UCLA, never wanting to be upstaged by its crosstown rival, struck back Tuesday night, grabbing a commitment from three-star safety John Plattenburg (Houston/Lamar), who played the two seasons previous to this as Talamaivao's teammate at Centennial. Plattenburg, one of the more sought-after prospects in the West before moving back to Texas for his senior season, will likely play cornerback for the Bruins.
But that was just the start of the action on Tuesday, as later in the evening, 2015 ESPN 300 running back Austin Joyner (Marysville, Wash./Marysville Pilchuck) announced via Twitter that he committed to Washington.
His commitment continued a big run for the Huskies in the 2015 class, as Washington received a commitment from fellow ESPN Junior 300 prospect Jacob Daniel (Fresno, Calif./Clovis North) this past weekend. Daniel is the No. 61 overall prospect in the country and No. 10 defensive tackle. He joins Joyner, who checks in at No. 161 overall and the No. 11 tailback.
But the past 24 hours hasn't brought all good news for the Huskies, as Washington lost a commitment from ESPN 300 wide receiver Erik Brown (Fontana, Calif./Summit), who made the decision to flip to Cal. For Brown, it was a combination of assistant coach Rob Likens, the academic opportunity at Cal and the fact that he could be part of a wide-open offense that relies heavily on its wide receivers. The commitment likely somewhat lessens the sting of losing ESPN 300 athlete Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), who announced his decommitment from the Golden Bears on Monday. Wadood, No. 297, is now down to UCLA and USC. The Bruins could have an opportunity to close the deal this weekend when he takes his official visit to UCLA.
Tuesday night also brought news that three-star offensive tackle Braden Eggert (Napa, Calif./Napa) flipped his commitment from Washington State to Oregon.
Eggert's commitment gives the Ducks another big body on the offensive line to go with Tyrell Crosby (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) and bumps Oregon's 12-man class up three spots in the national rankings, from No. 40 to No. 37 overall.
There has also been some chatter about Cal running back commit Tre Watson (Corona, Calif./Centennial), who is heavily pursued by UCLA. Though the three-star back remains committed to the Golden Bears, he'll take a long look at the Bruins, and it wouldn't be a surprise if UCLA head coach Jim Mora and staff come out on top in that battle.