Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Pac-12 class rankings analysis
By Erik McKinney
USC used a big win over Stanford to land an impact commitment earlier this week, which jumped the Trojans up to the No. 6 class in the Pac-12 in the updated class rankings. Arizona still sits atop the conference at No. 19 overall, while Stanford (No. 23) and Arizona State (No. 24) are just behind. Oregon rounds out the national rankings at No. 37 overall.
Trending up: Only one team made a move forward in the Pac-12 rankings this week, and it's the program that has received consistent buzz since late Saturday night: USC. The Trojans added a huge commitment from ESPN 300 offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) on Monday night, which pushed them into the No. 6 class in the conference, flipping positions with UCLA. Not only does the commitment give USC the No. 5 guard and No. 105 prospect in the country, it sends a loud message that the Trojans are again a force on the recruiting trail. Talamaivao is the fifth commitment to the Trojans since Ed Orgeron took over as interim coach, but he is easily the most noteworthy, as he is now the top-ranked prospect in USC's class. His connections with fellow recruits could pay dividends down the road.
Trending down: It's been a tough year on the field for Cal, and things continued in that direction this week, as the Golden Bears lost ESPN 300 athlete Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) from the class on Monday. Wadood committed to Cal this past summer, a few months after decommitting from Arizona State. Now, the nation's No. 297 prospect will likely choose between UCLA and USC. This is definitely a blow for Cal, as Wadood is the type of impact player who could perform at a number of positions and bring a playmaker on either side of the ball to Berkeley. Cal did add a commitment from offensive lineman Kamryn Bennett (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) earlier this month, but he is the only verbal commitment for the Golden Bears since late August.
One to watch: Just like USC had an opportunity to make a national statement against Stanford this past weekend, Arizona State and UCLA will have a chance this weekend, with their Pac-12 South title hopes on the line. The Sun Devils have a chance to continue their momentum with a recruiting class that ranks No. 3 in the conference and No. 24 overall. But the Bruins have the same chance USC had last week to fill the home stadium with fans and recruits and come up with a big win. The Bruins will host official visitors Chris Brown (Los Angeles/Loyola), Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Earl Warren) and Wadood along with a host of unofficial visitors, including 2015 ESPN 300 tight end Alize Jones (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman). There is already some momentum, as UCLA grabbed a commitment from three-star safety John Plattenburg (Houston/Lamar) on Tuesday night.
Bold prediction: This weekend will be busy with commitments. With seasons winding down or ending, it seems as though prospects are getting comfortable enough to make commitments, and is feels as if the several early this week could spur a run of them into next week. Washington added its third 2015 prospect, as No. 161 overall recruit Austin Joyner (Marysville, Wash./Marysville-Pilchuck) committed to the Huskies on Tuesday. UCLA landed a commitment from Plattenburg, USC reeled in Talamaivao and Washington State has a number of official visitors coming in this weekend. After only one team shifted position in this week's rankings, next week could see more of a shake up.