Monday, January 13, 2014
Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12
By Erik McKinney
Stanford put its best foot forward with its Big Visit Weekend, while a number of other Pac-12 programs positioned themselves for big recruiting weekends throughout the month of January. California was able to lock in a familiar face on the recruiting trail, while Oregon was able to the same on the coaching staff, in this week's recruiting wrap.
Biggest commitment: It won't technically count as a commitment coming over the weekend, but Cal got some good news when running back Vic Enwere (Sugar Land, Texas/Fort Bend Austin) reaffirmed his commitment to the Golden Bears. The three-star big back was looking around at Michigan and Missouri, among other programs, but took to Twitter on Saturday night to announce that he'd solidified his verbal commitment to Cal.
Best performance by a commit/target: Without any games or practices, it's impossible to give this to anybody for on-field performance, so instead it goes to three-star defensive end Uriah-Dillon Leiataua (Compton, Calif./Dominguez). Leiataua tweeted over the weekend that he'd made it through Stanford's admission process. The 6-foot-3, 232-pound defender holds offers from UCLA and USC, and has already taken official visits to Wisconsin and Washington State, but clearing this hurdle could lead to an eventual commitment to the Cardinal.
Most important visit: Stanford was the only Pac-12 school able to host visitors this weekend, as the Cardinal received a waiver from the NCAA enabling them to go forward with their Big Visit Weekend that had been scheduled before the dead period was extended into mid-January. All 16 Stanford verbal commitments were on official visits, along with five Cardinal targets: ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Texas/Coppell), ESPN 300 offensive tackle Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), ESPN 300 tight end Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham), cornerback Terrence Alexander (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian) and offensive guard Jesse Burkett (Jacksonville, Fla./Bartram Trail). Stanford has had plenty of success with its Big Visit Weekends in the past, and just about all the eggs were in this basket, as Thomas, Tucker and Schultz are easily the top three names left on the board for Stanford.
Biggest answer: Oregon was in need of a defensive coordinator after Nick Aliotti announced his retirement and it looks as though the beat goes on in Eugene. According to The Oregonian, Oregon will promote Don Pellum to the position. Pellum has spent 23 years as an assistant with the Ducks, and recruits will certainly be pleased that Oregon again hired from within. Recruits have consistently mentioned how much they like the continuity within the Ducks' coaching staff, as so many of them have been with Oregon for so long. While this might not be a splashy national hire, it's perfectly in keeping with Oregon and will go over well on the recruiting trail.
Biggest question: Can Bo Davis affect USC's recruiting class? It hurt the Trojans when they were unable to retain former interim head coach Ed Orgeron, but Steve Sarkisian seemingly took a positive step forward with the hiring of defensive line coach Bo Davis, who spent the last few years at Texas, and Alabama before that. The shakeup with the Texas staff led to several decommitments, and USC could have a chance to capitalize. Defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Earl Warren) and Courtney Garnett (New Orleans/St. Augustine) immediately pulled away from their commitments to Texas and seem to be casting at least one eye toward Davis and USC. It won't be easy for the Trojans -- especially with scholarship restrictions making finishing this class tricky for Sarkisian -- but things could get interesting if Davis can help them make quick inroads to Texas.