Probable April 2013 Pac-12 Recruiting Headlines:
1. UCLA's recruiting surprises the Pac-12.
2. What happened to Oregon's recruiting?
3. USC's recruiting is unbelievable!
4. Washington out-recruits Oregon.
5. Utah is recruiting like they are still playing in the Mountain West.
Why those recruiting headlines? Because USC is kicking butt. Because UCLA is closing in. Because Washington is too. Because Oregon and Stanford are dropping off. And Utah is nowhere to be found.
Here are the August 17th Scout.com recruiting standings.
USC is still on top of the Pac-12. The Trojans are the top team in the nation too!
USC climbed even higher since mid-July by adding seven outstanding players. The Trojans will remain the best in the west through signing day in February 2013.
Washington, Arizona and UCLA kept pace in the last month at spots 14, 18, and 22 respectively.
Surprising? Yes. Why?
Because in July, there were only 34 uncommitted 4-star prospects in all of the western states. Eight have signed in the last 30 days, and half of those went to UCLA, Arizona and Washington. Oregon took none.
Prospects are committing much earlier for 2013 than they did in the last few years. In recent years, prospects played a waiting game. Not this year, which is inexplicable.
I wrote last month that Oregon and Stanford were both losing their grip on the North. Look for UCLA and Washington to grab the lion's share of the remaining 4-star prospects. Washington is on the rise in the North. UCLA is gaining a lot of ground in the South.
It is interesting to note that last year, Stanford and UCLA had a better recruiting class than Oregon, with USC and Washington nearly tied with the Ducks in 2012 recruiting.
This year USC, Washington and UCLA will probably lead the recruiting rankings.
Now, instead of 34 best-in-the-west, there are only 26 remaining. And again, the prediction remains that most of those will go to UCLA or Washington. Sprinkle in a little Cal and Stanford for good measure.
Oregon and Utah are flat on it. Some say they recruit late. Well the 26 remaining prospects aren't waiting long this year. The Ducks and Utes just might get left out in the cold.
Here is where the Pac-12 teams rank nationally.
No. 2 USC
USC climbed to the top in most rankings and hold second place with Scout.com.
The Trojans added a 5-star pledge and six other 4-star verbals in the last month. That is more than the rest of the Pac-12 combined for adding 4- or 5-star talent. Only one of USC's seven commits was from the west.
USC has 18 total commits now. The most allowed under sanctions, but their 18 really are better than any other team's in college football. USC has six 5-star pledges and 12 4-star commits.
The Trojans also have an outrageous 4.33 average star ranking, the highest in the nation and possibly the highest ever.
No. 14 Washington
Washington stays hot and stays at No. 14.
The Huskies still do not have any 5-star commits, but they do have six 4-star verbals and eleven 3-star pledges. They also have a couple of commits ranked a little bit lower to give them 18 commits total.
Washington might give up the No. 2 spot to UCLA before February.
No. 18 Arizona
The Wildcats stay in the top twenty, for now.
They are ranked highly—primarily because they have the most 3-star verbals in the Pac-12. There are 15 3-star commits for the Wildcats. Nine more, who are 2-star or lower, pledged to Arizona.
The Wildcats only have one 4-star verbal and are just about done recruiting with 25 commits total. Arizona should drop four spots or so by February because their talent is a low 2.56-star average.
No. 22 UCLA
UCLA is staying hot like Washington. Coach Jim Mora's staff reeled in a couple of 4-star players and have been the second best in 'team recruiting' of the Pac-12 in the last 30 days.
Since USC has given out the maximum 2013 scholarships, UCLA is the only choice when considering playing big time college football in the Southern California market. The Bruins now have seven 4-star verbals and will probably finish with as many as 15 in the spring.
The 2015 USC/UCLA rivalry game tickets may be selling for five times the face value.
No. 38 Oregon
What is going on with Oregon? They dropped a dozen recruiting spots nationally since July.
What happened is that (1) Chip Kelly took some interest in the NFL recently. Now recruits may have questions in the back of their minds.
(2) The Ducks also have the threat of sanctions looming. That also turns away recruits.
Plus, (3) Oregon is not in a location with tons of stuff going on like Los Angeles or San Francisco. (4) The Ducks are not deep in football tradition either. (5) The Ducks don't play a pro-style offense. All of this combined is resulting in a slightly lesser recruiting season for 2013.
The Ducks only have one 5-star, four 4-star, and two 3-star commits. Only eight total commits.
No. 45 Stanford
They are sleeping somewhere in the middle of it all. No 5-star players? Only three 4-star players?
There could be a change in the Pac-12 North with Washington on top of Stanford and Oregon - but don't count out the Cardinal. They can recruit well from out of state. Stanford has four 3-star commits and another lesser pledge for a small sum of seven total
No. 48 California
Sleeping somewhere in the middle of it all with Stanford.
What's going on with Cal? They are not relevant in the Pac-12 today, and that is a switch from years gone by. They are ranked less than Colorado with no 5-star players, only one 4-star commit and eight 3-star pledges. There is also a 2-star or less commits for a total of ten.
No. 50 Utah
They climbed up 25 spots but are still huffing and puffing.
I thought moving to the Pac-12 would help Utah's recruiting. I guess I was wrong. No 5-stars. No 4-stars. Only eight 3-star commits and six others that are lesser—14 total.
Utah does well developing 3-star recruits, but they need to keep up with USC and UCLA.
No. 51 Washington State
Wazzu are up 10 spots but they're still in the logjam of Pac-12 teams near 50th in the nation. The Cougars have no 5-star, one 4-star and five 3-star commits. That means half of their commits are 2-stars or less for 12 total.
No. 52 Colorado
What happened to the stampede?. The Buffs do not have any 5-star or 4-star commits. They do have seven 3-star pledges and six other lesser commits for a total of 13. Colorado's campus is nice but the team is still a project in work.
No. 57 Arizona State
Not much happening here. They're sitting slightly lower than in July.
The Sun is setting on the Devils without Burfict and Osweiler. No 5-star commits and only one 4-star pledge like Cal. They only have five 3-star verbals and four 2-star or less commits, for a total of 10.
No. 75 Oregon State
No love for Oregon State. The Beavers continue to pull up the rear in recruiting with the likes of other irrelevant teams. Oregon State does not claim any 5-star or 4-star commits, and only five 3-stars.
Here is a list of 4-star players from the west, who committed in the last month or so (ratings from ESPN, Scout and Rivals)
OT John Lopez - UCLA
RB Craig Lee - UCLA
S Max Redfield - USC
S Hatari Byrd - Oklahoma
DT Scott Pagano - Clemson
CB Sean Barton - Stanford
DE Marcus Farria - Washington
RB Pierre Cormier - Arizona
Here is a list of 4-star uncommitted prospects from the west
MLB Isaac Savaiinaea - Hawaii: a very heavy lean towards Stanford
CB Priest Willis - Tempe, Arizona: LSU or USC
S Tahaan Goodman - Rancho Cucamonga, California: USC or UCLA, Cal, Oklahoma
CB Johnny Johnson - Fresno, California: CAL or Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford
MLB Kevin Palma - Tulare, California: a very heavy lean towards UCLA
TE Tom Duarte - Santa Ana, California: UCLA or Stanford, USC, Cal, Oregon
DE Joe Mathis - Upland, California: WASHINGTON or Michigan, Nebraska
WR Devon Allen - Phoenix, Arizona: STANFORD or Notre Dame, Ohio State, Arizona St.
OT Kenny Lacy - Phoenix, Arizona: CAL or Nebraska, Arizona State, Arizona
ATH Tyree Robinson - San Diego, California: UCLA or USC, Notre Dame, Oregon
OG Reeve Koehler - Honolulu, Hawaii: OREGON or Tennessee, Georgia
CB Cole Luke - Chandler, Arizona: OKLAHOMA or Notre Dame, Texas, Oregon, USC
CB Dashon Hunt - Westlake, California: UCLA or Cal, Arizona, Boise State
C Scott Quessenberry - Calsbad, California: CAL or Nebraska, Washington
CB L.J. Moore - Fresno, California: CAL or UCLA, Georgia, Houston, Notre Dame
RB Khalfani Muhammad - Sherman Oaks, California: UCLA or Notre Dame
S Tyler Foreman - Encino, California: UCLA or Cal, Utah, Oklahoma, Minnesota
DE Austin Hooper - Concord, California: CAL or Washington, Oregon
WR John Ross - Long Beach, California: UCLA or Washington
RB D.J. Martin - a very heavy lean towards CAL
DE Vita Vea - Milpitas, California: CAL or UCLA, Washington
OT Aaron Cochran - Atwater, California: STANFORD or Cal, Oregon
RB Aaron Baltazar - Chula Vista, California: WASHINGTON or UCLA
RB Terrell Newby II - West Hills, California: OREGON or Colorado, Nebraska, Utah
CB Cameron Walker - Los Angeles, California: BOISE ST. or Cal
TE Beau Sandland (JC) - Los Angeles, California: CAL or Nebraska, Oklahoma