Friday, September 23, 2011
Three standing out to QB Max Browne
By Greg Biggins ESPN Recruiting
It's looking like a very good year for quarterbacks out West in the Class of 2013 and one player to watch in particular is Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline), who just picked up another Pac-12 offer.
Browne had the unenviable task of taking over at Skyline after former quarterback Jake Heaps moved on to BYU. Heaps led Skyline to three straight state titles and was regarded as one of the best quarterbacks the state has produced in the last decade.
Junior QB Max Browne already has offers from Washington, Cal, Utah, Clemson, Colorado and Wisconsin.
Although Browne hasn't been able to duplicate Heaps' success on the field just yet, he's performing at a very high level and could potentially be an even better college prospect than his predecessor. Browne has a better frame, more arm strength and is a better all-around athlete and just needs the seasoning and polish that Heaps had before his game jumps to another level.
Scholarship offers have already come in from Cal, Clemson, Washington, Wisconsin and Utah and expect many more to follow.
"Colorado is my most recent offer," Browne said. "I talked to them recently and it went real good. Right now, I'm really focusing on our season. We just lost back to back games for the first time in I don't even know how long. This week we play our big rival, Issaquah (Wash.), who's 3-0 and really good so hopefully we can turn this around."
Even in the losses, Browne has impressed. He broke a school record last weekend when he threw for 459 yards and on the season, Browne has completed 80-of-105 passes (76 percent) for 955 yards and eight touchdowns.
On the recruiting front, Browne said he would like to take some unofficial visits in the spring and summer before making his decision. However, said three schools are standing out,
"Right now, my top three schools would be Oklahoma, USC and Stanford," Browne said. "With Oklahoma, I really like their passing offense and they have had some great success at the quarterback position. Jason White won a Heisman, Sam Bradford was the top pick in the draft and now Landry Jones is really lighting it up.
"USC is a school I really liked growing up. I never had a childhood favorite school or anything and even though my family grew up here in Washington, my parents actually were Idaho fans. So I didn't have a team I rooted for but when I played video games, I always played with USC. Plus it doesn't look like they're taking a quarterback in this year's class and that's pretty big.
"With Stanford, I went to their junior day last year and really liked it a lot. Just like with SC, it doesn't look like they're going to take a quarterback in this year's class and you really can't beat the academics. I know everyone always says how important academics are to them but I really mean it so there's a lot to like there."
The hometown Huskies were the first to offer Browne and continue to recruit him heavily but it looks like they could have some ground to make up.
"They offered me when I was just a freshman," Browne said. "I like the coaches a lot and the program is obviously going in the right direction. Coach [Steve] Sarkisian has definitely changed the culture there and I'm still going to give them a look for sure. They took two quarterbacks in this year's class and I would be lying if I said that wasn't a factor for me.
"It doesn't scare me away but at the same time, it's something you have to look at. I also like Michigan and Notre Dame a lot and visited both last summer. Michigan has Shane Morris (Warren, Mich./De La Salle) already committed and he's a great player. I'm not sure what Notre Dame's situation is right now but I have a high interest in them and might go visit there again next fall."
Shittu the jokester
We've said many times that no one is having more fun with the recruiting process than defensive lineman Aziz Shittu (Atwater, Calif./Buhach Colony). Unfortunately, a practical joke on Facebook Wednesday caused a major headache for his friend and teammate Matthew Cochran.
Shittu posted on Facebook that Cochran had committed to Auburn and within minutes, the news spread like wild fire.
"I had no clue what happened but my phone was blowing up," Cochran said. "Everyone was saying I committed to Auburn and I had no clue where it came from. Then Aziz came out and told me what he did and how it was all a joke, I wanted to kill him. I actually felt kind of bad and embarrassed. It's all good now but it was definitely a crazy day for me."
Arik Armstead is the No. 14 overall prospect in the 2012 class.
Armstead postpones Alabama visit
Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) had a visit scheduled to Alabama for this weekend but that will now be re-scheduled.
"It would have been too hard to get out there," Armstead's father Gus said. "Alabama's compliance actually said we needed to send them some more paperwork and documentation and we didn't think we could get all that together in time.
"They're playing Arkansas and that's another school Arik likes a lot, so he was disappointed but we're going to go for the LSU game (Nov. 4) now. That's two top-five teams so that should be exciting. He's also going to Notre Dame (Oct. 21) when they play USC and he's visiting USC officially for the UCLA game (Nov. 25). Arkansas and Cal look good for his last two visits."
Armstead is still a rock solid commitment to USC and it would be the biggest recruiting shocker of the year if he signs anywhere else.
Oregon State trying to hold on
Two key pieces to Oregon State's recruiting class, quarterback Brent Vanderveen (Arroyo Grande, Calif.) and defensive back Cleveland Wallace III (San Jose, Calif./Oak Grove), will likely take some official visits before their commitments should be considered rock solid.
Vanderveen attended the UCLA-Texas game last weekend (probably a good thing for Oregon State) and said he may take a few other visits. The signal-caller attended the game with his teammate Seth Jacobs, a prime UCLA target and Bruin lean at the moment. Some have speculated that if Jacobs commits to the Bruins, Vanderveen could as well but the Beavers still look very solid for the signal-caller.
Wallace, who will officially visit Corvallis this weekend, will likely take a few more visits before his decision is final.
"I'm still hearing from Boise State, UCLA and Arizona State," Wallace said. "I've always wanted to take some visits just to see what else is out there but I really like Oregon State a lot. There's a reason why I committed there so early but committing that early also makes me want to see what else is out there. We'll see how things go after this weekend."
Greg Biggins covers recruiting in the West region. He can be reached at Greg.Biggins@espn.com..