NCF On The Trail: Devante Downs

Midyear signings: California

December, 18, 2013
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According to CalBears.com, the following players have signed with California:

Devante Downs ATH Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace
HT: 6-2 WT: 225
Positional Rank: No. 26 ATH
Stars: 4
ESPN 300 (No. 212)

Jonathon Johnson DE Woodland Hills, Calif./Pierce College
HT: 6-4 WT: 260
Positional Rank: No. 8 DE Juco
Stars: 3

Sam Atoe S Santa Rosa, Calif./College of San Mateo
HT: 6-0 WT: 205
Positional Rank: No. 10 S Juco
Stars: 3

David Davis DT Palos Verdes Estates, Calif./Long Beach City College
HT: 6-2 WT: 295
Positional Rank: N/A Juco
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Trevor Kelly South San Francisco, Calif./College of San Mateo
HT: 6-3 WT: 305
Positional Rank: N/A Juco
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12 signing day storylines 

December, 17, 2013
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With 50 days until national signing day, there is still plenty left undecided in the Pac-12. Five of the top six West region prospects -- as well as seven more ESPN 300 prospects -- remain uncommitted and have significant Pac-12 interest. There also figures to be a battle for the top class in the conference, as at least six schools will jostle for position.

Here are 10 Pac-12 storylines that could help shape signing day for the conference.

1. Who are USC's assistant coaches?

At this point, very few questions about USC's coaching staff are answered. Steve Sarkisian is in place as the head coach and has retained wide receivers coach and ace recruiter Tee Martin. Making the trip down from Washington with Sarkisian are linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Peter Sirmon, defensive backs coach Keith Heyward and assistant coach Johnny Nansen, whose position hasn't been determined. USC assistants Clancy Pendergast, Clay Helton, Mike Summers and John Baxter are among the candidates to stay at the school, but nothing is likely to be announced until after USC's bowl game. Who winds up filling out that staff will be on the minds of a number of top prospects, especially if the coaches come from other Pac-12 programs.

Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Dec. 12 

December, 12, 2013
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Last week saw a coaching shakeup in the Pac-12, as USC hired Steve Sarkisian away from Washington and the Huskies countered by luring Chris Petersen away from Boise State after making a run at UCLA's Jim Mora. This week, nearly every Pac-12 staff has been busy hitting the recruiting trail and setting up important visit weekends as a number of ESPN 300 prospects will be on conference campuses.

[+] EnlargeSolomon Thomas
Tom Hauck for Student SportsSolomon Thomas is still considering UCLA and Stanford, among others.
UCLA's big visitor

For the second weekend in a row, UCLA will have an ESPN 300 prospect on campus. Last week, the Bruins hosted Alabama linebacker commit Zach Whitley Jr (Houston/North Shore). This weekend, ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell) will make the trip. Thomas, the No. 31 overall prospect and No. 5 defensive end, would be a huge addition for UCLA, which has done very well in Texas recently, led by assistant coach Adrian Klemm. Thomas still has a number of suitors, but UCLA has maintained a consistent presence in his recruitment -- along with Pac-12 rival Stanford -- and has a chance to make a statement this weekend.

USC's weekend intrigue


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Recruits watching: Stanford at ASU 

December, 6, 2013
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Saturday offers the final game of the Pac-12 season, as Stanford visits Arizona State in the conference title game. The Sun Devils and Cardinal sit at Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, in the Pac-12 class recruiting rankings, and this weekend will give both a chance to impress recruits on a national platform.

Many recruits from the 2014 and 2015 classes will have their attention focused on the Pac-12 title game, but here are 10 seniors who likely will be paying especially close attention.

OG Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch): The three-star offensive lineman is a priority target for a number of Pac-12 programs, with Arizona State among them. Delp has taken official visits to Arizona State and Washington State, while UCLA remains the likely leader. A conference championship for Arizona State would send a strong message to recruits -- Delp included -- and there is plenty of room for the big lineman in ASU's class, as the Sun Devils hold commits from just two offensive linemen so far.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 25, 2013
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The weekend didn't offer as much recruiting action in the Pac-12 as the hectic days of early last week, but there were still several commitments in the conference and a number of big performance's from Pac-12 programs and recruits. Despite Arizona State grabbing the most important win and sending a message to recruits across the region, UCLA was a big winner on the recruiting trail, getting a number of top prospects to the Rose Bowl and reeling in a commitment from a 2015 standout that ranks No. 1 at his position.


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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Nov. 21 

November, 21, 2013
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It has been a wild week of recruiting in the Pac-12, with ups and downs for over half the programs in the conference. There have been six commitments and four decommitments since Monday afternoon, with one prospect decommitting and committing to the same school. And with this kind of momentum generated early in the week, there's a good chance it could continue through Sunday, with several programs hosting big recruiting weekends.

Washington and Cal post up and down weeks

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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

November, 13, 2013
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Three wasn't much movement overall in the updated class rankings and even less in the Pac-12 this week, as recruits head into playoffs and continue taking their official visits. Two huge Pac-12 showdowns this weekend have a chance to shake up the recruiting scene, as plenty of momentum could be gained or lost when Washington visits UCLA on Friday and USC hosts Stanford, as well as College GameDay, on Saturday.


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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
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Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the Pac-12, check out our conference rankings:

1. Arizona, 24 commits: The Wildcats check in at No. 23 in the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that includes four ESPN300 commitments, including No. 120 overall Marquis Ware and No. 185 Jamardre Cobb of Salesian High in Los Angeles. Arizona will take its shot with No. 17 overall Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy), and teammate Dae'Juan Funderburk (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) in December.


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Pac-12 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
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This week's list offers a look through the Pac-12 at the potential best-case and worst-case scenarios that the 2014 recruiting cycle could bring for various programs. While a few of the best-case scenarios might be close to within reach for some programs, many of the worst-case scenarios would take a special brand of bad luck.

Arizona
Best-case scenario: Arizona doesn't hold onto all of its 24 verbal commits, but keeps all of its priority recruits in the fold. In exchange for some of the decommitments, the Wildcats are rewarded with a big splash from either ESPN 300 prospect John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) or Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). A strong finish to the season also helps Arizona clean up in its home state, landing commitments from offensive linemen Natrell Curtis (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe), Andrew Mike (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino), Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and junior college defensive lineman Claudeson Pelon (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa College).

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Top Pac-12 recruiting rivalries 

October, 1, 2013
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The Pac-12 is the only conference in the country with so many natural rivalries, as Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington are split in half -- or quarters in California's case -- when home state teams take the field. It's only natural those rivalries would spill over onto the recruiting trail, although there are some interstate battles as well that make this list of top recruiting rivalries in the Pac-12.


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The Early Offer: Cal's chance to impress 

September, 11, 2013
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The Early Offer gives you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: California is going to roll out the red carpet for more than 150 recruits this weekend; fans will get a chance to see the nation’s top junior live on national television on Friday; and Ohio State continues to address concerns about team speed by adding another burner to its commitment list on Monday.


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Best Pac-12 classes by position 

September, 10, 2013
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Arizona’s haul of 24 verbal commitments is nine more than any other Pac-12 team, while only one BCS program has fewer than USC’s seven -- Minnesota, with six. Oregon, UCLA, Utah and Washington have all yet to reach double digits. But this week, we take a look at which program has put together the best class at each position at this point in the recruiting process.

Quarterback
Strongest class: Stanford

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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Aug. 22 

August, 22, 2013
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The Pac-12 saw an ESPN 300 running back alter an official visit and could be adding an ESPN 300 defensive end on Friday. Also, several recruiting battles could be on tap once official visits get underway, and Oregon State has its sights set on hopefully landing a two-towers addition at receiver.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: reasons for LSU fans to be patient, Ohio State's start, and Sonny Dykes reloading.


Patience is a virtue for LSU

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ESPN 300 ATH Downs makes call for Cal 

August, 15, 2013
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After tearing his ACL during a camp this summer, it was certain that ESPN 300 athlete Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace) wouldn't be making any noise on the field this season. But on Thursday, the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder made plenty of noise off of it, when he announced his commitment to Cal.

Downs, the nation's No. 209 prospect, took an unofficial visit to Cal in mid-May and said ever since then, he's been thinking hard about the Golden Bears.


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