Monday, September 23, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12
By Erik McKinney
On the field, it was another perfect weekend for the Pac-12 in nonconference play and Stanford made a statement with a big win over Arizona State. Five conference programs had home games, but it was Washington State who made the most noise on the recruiting trail, hosting several official visitors and making a big impression with a blowout win.
Biggest commitment: Arizona State added to its class on Sunday night as tight end Brendan Landman (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) announced his commitment to the Sun Devils via Twitter. Arizona State recruiting coordinator and tight ends coach Chip Long visited Landman's practice this past Friday, and Landman camped at ASU this past summer. The 6-foot-4, 200-pound Landman is the first tight end commit for Arizona State's 2014 class and the 15th player overall for a Sun Devils' class that ranks 35th in the nation.
Biggest offer: This goes back to late last week, as UCLA extended a scholarship offer to 2015 offensive lineman Zach Robertson (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) on Friday. That makes two offers for the 6-foot-4, 313-pound tackle, as USC and UCLA have both offered. That's big news for a local lineman, as the hometown programs often take their time with recruits in their backyard while other Pac-12 programs -- Arizona, Arizona State and Washington, most notably -- are quick to offer Los Angeles prospects. Grabbing offers from the Bruins and Trojans at this stage -- before Robertson has even taken a snap as a junior, as he sits out the first month of the season after a transfer from Lakewood (Calif.) Mayfair -- is significant. In all likelihood, Robertson will slide into the starting lineup when he is eligible and make an imposing offensive line that much better. This recruitment could also make a statement as to where the two Los Angeles programs stand next year, as they'll go toe-to-toe for Robertson.
Best performance by a commit/target: Sticking with the 2015 theme, quarterback Blake Barnett (Corona, Calif./Santiago) has had a big start to the season, but he stepped things up again this past Friday. In a 56-7 victory, the 6-foot-4, 185-pound quarterback threw for 132 yards and a touchdown and added 246 yards and five scores on the ground. Barnett is starting to pick up interest from Pac-12 programs, and a few more performances such as the one this past Friday could quickly lead to his first offer.
Most important visitor: Close your eyes and pick any of the official visitors for Washington State this weekend. ESPN 300 prospects Ainuu Taua (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc) and Virginia commit Jeff Farrar (Upland, Calif./Upland) took the trip to Pullman, Wash., and either would be huge additions for the Cougars. Taua also has official visits set up to Mississippi and Oklahoma, and Farrar seems as though he will be a difficult pull away from Virginia. That could make Washington State commit Zaire Andre (Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood) the most important visitor of the past weekend, as he put his recruiting hat on and went to work on three big-time targets in linebacker Chandler Leniu (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), offensive tackle Sean Krepsz (Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King) and running back Josh Boyd (Norcross, Ga./Norcross).
Biggest question: Are you ready for some Pac-12 football?
After a smattering of conference games, the Pac-12 slate begins in earnest next week, as there are five contests pitting teams against each other. UCLA and Utah have bye weeks, but Oregon will host Cal, as well as ESPN 300 running back Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville). Arizona State hosts USC in a game that will likely have several Arizona prospects in attendance and could give the Sun Devils a huge recruiting boost. And Arizona travels to Washington in a game that will be watched by many West region recruits, as the Wildcats and Huskies are after several of the same prospects.