Pac-12: Iman Marshall

ESPN 300: Top Pac-12 targets 

April, 16, 2014
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This recruiting cycle represents a huge year for talent in California, which means the Pac-12 should be able to put together some very healthy recruiting classes. In looking at the top five targets for the conference in the 2015 ESPN 300, it's no surprise that three come from Southern California. But if the Pac-12 wants to have a better overall finish in the recruiting rankings next year -- USC at No. 14 overall was the highest finish in 2014 -- the conference will need to reel in several out-of-area standouts, which is why the first two names on the list are here.

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While West region athletes such as Adoree' Jackson, John "Juju" Smith and Joe Mixon were lighting up offseason camps and 7-on-7 tournaments last spring, there was a fairly consistent buzz coming from media, coaches and parents in the know. That group was good, but the next might be even better.

Last Sunday's Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp raised the curtain on the 2015 class in the West, and it didn't take long to notice that what had been future promise is now very much a reality.

On the surface, the numbers back up the idea that the West region will take a step forward in 2015, as there are 52 ESPN Junior 300 prospects compared to the 43 that were in the 2014 ESPN 300. Though there is still plenty of time for the rankings to shuffle, there are only three positions -- athlete, running back and tight end -- where the 2014 group placed more West prospects on the list than this year. And the two spots toward which much of 2015's fanfare has been directed -- quarterback and wide receiver -- have nine prospects each in the ESPN Junior 300, compared to eight combined in the 2014 rankings.


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Top 2015 targets: Pac-12 

February, 6, 2014
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After several of the top 10 West region recruits from the Class of 2014 got away from Pac-12 teams, the conference will look to clean that up with the 2015 group. It's off to a strong start, as the only two committed prospects among the top 10 are headed to UCLA and USC. The 2015 class in the West region is loaded and there will be huge commitments from any of the 52 ESPN Junior 300 prospects in the West, but there's no surprise that the top five Pac-12 targets are the top five uncommitted prospects in the region.


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The West region still has a chance to greatly impact the Pac-12, as five of the top six recruits in the region remain uncommitted. And while a few Pac-12 classes still have a ways to go and others are looking for the finishing touches, there is still a most important commit for each program still out there. Here, we take a look at the one "must-have" recruit for each conference program.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

December, 16, 2013
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Pac-12 recruiting hit warp speed this past week, as recruits and coaches alike took advantage of the final week of in-home visits and final weekend of official visits before the winter dead period begins on Monday and the junior college mid-year signing day hits on Wednesday. Just about every conference program hosted official visitors this past weekend, and more than a few earned significant commitments.


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ESPN Junior 300 analysis: Pac-12 

November, 19, 2013
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Tuesday saw the release of the updated ESPN Junior 300 and Pac-12 targets are sprinkled heavily throughout the list. With a number of changes overall, we take a look at some of the movement up and down, as well as what the future holds for several of the West’s top 2015 ESPN 300 prospects.


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A number of Pac-12 programs will have a chance to make statements this weekend that could help them greatly on the recruiting trail. The biggest game will take place at the Coliseum, as USC hosts Stanford, but both Washington programs will have a chance to make statements, while Oregon will have two important visitors on campus.

USC's second chance


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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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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 4, 2013
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Oregon State reeled in two verbal commitments despite a Friday night loss to USC. UCLA hosted the nation's No. 21 overall recruit. An Arizona commitment authored a huge game in a blowout win. And all eyes will be on one colossal matchup in the Pac-12 this week.

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In a sport in which turnover is constant and there are very few sure things on the recruiting trail, college football has seen its share of rapid rises and falls -- programs or coaches going from the penthouse to the outhouse, or vice versa, in a short period of time.

Saturday night marked another low point in the precipitous fall of the USC football program. Trojans fans will likely debate whether the 10-7 loss to Washington State -- which featured 54 passing yards by two USC quarterbacks -- ranks above or below last season’s 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, when USC totaled 205 yards of offense.

What is no longer up for debate is where this program sits in comparison to 14 months ago.

Lane Kiffin
(AP Photo/Jae C. HongThe calls from USC fans to fire Lane Kiffin were discomforting to potential recruits.
As July 2012 came to a close, USC held the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class -- one of the more impressive collections of talent in recent memory, featuring 18 terrific high school athletes -- and was a few weeks away from being ranked No. 1 in the country in the preseason Associated Press poll. The disappointing 2012 football season took its toll on that recruiting class, as eight of the 18 verbal commitments wound up signing letters of intent with other programs.

While an offseason filled with coaching questions led to a slow start to the 2014 recruiting class, Saturday’s loss might have put the brakes on it completely. That is, if Saturday’s performance remains the status quo.

USC picked a bad night to have one of its worst offensive games in school history. Several 2014 and 2015 recruits in attendance for USC’s first home game of the season were witnesses to prolonged boos and a chant urging athletic director Pat Haden to fire head coach Lane Kiffin.


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Two secondary additions were the primary reason UCLA was the talk of Pac-12 recruiting this week, though several programs will have opportunities to make a recruiting impact with important home games this weekend. Several more might have to wait a few weeks before they get the same chance.
Bruins pick up big commitments

ESPN 300 cornerback Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) looked ticketed for USC when good friend and teammate D.J. Calhoun committed to the Trojans over the summer and head coach Lane Kiffin and staff seemed to make him a priority at cornerback. But Pickett made a surprise announcement on Tuesday, when he committed to UCLA. Pickett said a big reason was the fact that he felt at home with the Bruins -- additionally, USC wouldn’t let him take an in-season official visit, which was something Pickett felt he needed to do. Whatever the reasons, Pickett’s commitment to UCLA sends a message that the Bruins will again be a program of strength during this recruiting season. UCLA backed up Pickett’s commitment by landing fellow cornerback Denzel Fisher (Compton, Calif./Centennial) later that evening. Now, at a position where USC is in desperate need of bodies in this recruiting class, the Bruins have three solid options, including two from in-state standouts.

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WeAreSC links: B2G and ND

July, 2, 2012
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Blair Angulo writes Insider: Bellflower, Calif., offensive lineman Nico Falah outlines his decision timetable, while sophomores Iman Marshall and Trent Irwin impress at the B2G Elite Camp.

Greg Katz writes Insider: Greg Katz thought he was done with talking about the college football playoff. But Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick's comments got him going again.

Video: Nico Falah Video: WeAreSC caught up with Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) at the B2G Elite Camp in Thousand Oaks. Falah talks about his upcoming commitment and the recruiting battle between USC and UCLA, among other things.

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