Thursday, October 24, 2013
Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 24
By Erik McKinney
Several visitors will be on hand with Oregon hosts UCLA and Oregon State takes on Stanford this weekend, while the Arizona schools both took an opportunity this past weekend to add to impressive classes. Meanwhile, Utah has an opportunity to bounce back from a tough loss to Arizona with a big Pac-12 South contest in a pivotal location.
Oregon's official visitors
John "JuJu" Smith tops an impressive lists of recruits scheduled to visit Oregon.
With UCLA and ESPN's College GameDay in town this weekend, the atmosphere at Autzen Stadium is expected to be as amped as ever. The Ducks will be able to show that off to several recruits who are scheduled for official visits. The headliner is ESPN 300 athlete John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), but he'll be joined by fellow ESPN 300 athlete Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) and offensive tackle Braden Eggert (Napa, Calif./Napa), a Washington State commitment who recently picked up an offer from the Ducks. Oregon will also have verbal commitment Tyrell Crosby (Henderson, Nev./Green Valley) on hand, who will certainly help with recruiting. The Bruins, meanwhile, have a chance to make a national statement and prove that they have moved into the top tier of the conference with Oregon and Stanford.
Recruits to take in Oregon State-Stanford
UCLA at Oregon isn't the only battle between ranked teams in the Pac-12 this weekend, as Oregon State has an opportunity to make a loud statement when it hosts Stanford. The Beavers will get official visits from Duke commit Kameron Schroeder (Elk Grove, Calif./Cosumnes Oaks) and uncommitted tight end Jake Knight (Meridian, Idaho/Rocky Mountain).
Arizona State's run of recruits
The Sun Devils hit it big this past weekend, as they hosted three official visitors and made impacts on all of them. Not only was Arizona State able to flip ESPN 300 wide receiver Jalen Harvey (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) from his Cal commitment, it reeled in four-star offensive tackle Sam Jones (Highlands Ranch, Colo./ThunderRidge) and did enough to persuade ESPN 300 linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) to back away from his USC commitment. With those two commitments, the Sun Devils jumped seven places in the updated class rankings, and now sit at No. 27 in the country.
Wildcats add to Pac-12's top class
Not to be outdone, Arizona one-upped Arizona State's performance on the recruiting trail, as the Wildcats added three verbal commitments. Official visitors Levi Walton (Cape Coral, Fla./Ida Baker) and Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centenial) both committed to Arizona, as did wide receiver Kaelin Deboskie (Tucson, Ariz./Salpoint Catholic). The commitments give Arizona 27 recruits in its 2014 class, and bumped the Wildcats to the No. 20 class in the country -- still good for the top spot in the Pac-12.
Utah's chance at another big win
Utah added a recent commitment from junior college cornerback DeMarlon Morris (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa Community College) and will get an opportunity to make an impact in the Southern California area this weekend, as it visits USC. Quarterback Travis Wilson is certainly looking forward to the homecoming, and a win for the Utes would do plenty for their efforts in the area. Los Angeles is always an area of emphasis for the Utah staff, as the Utes would love to add recruits such as Darren Gardenhire (Long Beach, Calif./Cabrillo), Tre Watson (Centennial, Calif./Corona), Denzel Fisher (Compton, Calif./Centennial) and Shay Fields (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) to go along with commit Jeremy McNichols (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita). A huge win over Stanford gave the Utes momentum and a win over USC would keep it going in a big way. USC, on the other hand, has a chance to take another step forward under interim coach Ed Orgeron.