I keep saying "look out for UCLA." The Bruins are coming!
If not this year, then next. The Bruins top this recruiting list (for gains) again this month.
UCLA will be No. 2 in recruiting in the Pac-12 by February 2013.
USC is still untouchable in Pac-12 recruiting, but UCLA is definitely closing in on No. 2.
Washington holds that No. 2 spot now, but by year end, the Huskies may be No. 3 if UCLA continues on their roll.
Arizona is fourth; however, Oregon just might grab that spot from the Wildcats by February.
It is interesting to note that there continues to be a drop-off in Oregon recruiting. Yes, I know the Ducks historically wait until February to bring in their class. But this was definitely not the year to wait. This year, and the next two, will be the era of committing early.
The top prospects in the country all committed early for the most part. So far, 240 of the top 300 are committed in the nation.
But the Pac-12 mostly recruits from states that are west of the Rockies. There are only about 20 top prospects left in the western states.
Of the 20 good ones left in the western states (see list below), most want to go to UCLA, not Oregon. Even in the last two months, UCLA has picked up three 4-star players; Oregon acquired none.
Here is a very recent B/R article on Kenny Lacy's Committing to UCLA over Nebraska and Arkansas.
In mid-July, there were 34 uncommitted 4-star prospects in all of the western states. Nearly one-third, or 10 of those, have signed in the last 60 days.
Prospects are committing much earlier for 2013 than they did in the last few years. In recent years, prospects played a waiting game, but not this year.
I wrote last month that Oregon and Stanford were both losing their grip on the North. I also said 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.
Since then, only UCLA and Boise State grabbed 4-star recruits.
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 and UCLA will probably lead the recruiting rankings.
Here is where the Pac-12 teams rank nationally:
No. 2 USC
USC continue to hold the top spot in most rankings and hold second place with Scout.com. The Trojans have 18 total commits now, and 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 twelve 3-star pledges.
No. 18 UCLA
UCLA is still hot! Coach Jim Mora's staff reeled another 4-star player. UCLA is the only choice today when considering playing big time college football in the Southern California market. The Bruins now have eight 4-star verbals and will probably finish with as many as 15 in the spring.
No. 19 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. 38 Oregon
Oregon is still down in the recruiting rankings. A sanctions threat, Kelly bolting, or location can be the answer that the Ducks are lagging. Time marches on, 4-star recruits are still going fast, and Oregon is not getting any of them. The Ducks only have one 5-star, four 4-star, and two 3-star commits.
No. 47 Arizona State
A big mover since August. No 5-star commits and only two 4-star pledges, but they have five 3-star verbals and four 2-star or less commits, for a total of 10.
No. 49 California
Cal has no 5-star commits and only one 4-star commit but they have eight 3-star pledges. Cal has been quiet on the recruiting front in August and September.
No. 50 Stanford
They are still 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 in a few years. Stanford has three 3-star commits for a small sum of seven total.
No. 52 Utah
Utah hasn't picked up anyone in the last month. No 5-stars. No 4-stars. Only eight 3-star commits and eight others that are lesser—16 total.
No. 53 Washington State
Wazzu is 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 13 total.
No. 54 Colorado
No stampede in recruiting. 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.
No. 75 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 are the two 4-star players from the west, who recently committed:
OT Kenny Lacy - UCLA
RB Aaron Baltazar - Boise State
Here is a list* of 4-star players from the west, who committed in July/August:
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 prospects that are left from the west:
MLB Isaac Savaiinaea - (HI): A very heavy lean towards Stanford
CB Priest Willis - (AZ): UCLA or Notre Dame
S Tahaan Goodman - (CA): USC or UCLA, Cal, Oklahoma
CB Johnny Johnson - (CA): It will be UCLA or Stanford
MLB Kevin Palma - (CA): Colorado or San Diego State
TE Tom Duarte - (CA): UCLA or Stanford, USC, Cal, Oregon
DE Joe Mathis - (CA): Washington or Michigan, Nebraska
WR Devon Allen - (AZ): Stanford or Notre Dame, Ohio State, Arizona St.
ATH Tyree Robinson - (CA): UCLA or USC, Notre Dame, Oregon
OG Reeve Koehler - (HI): Colorado, Utah, Washington or Arizona St.
CB Cole Luke - (AZ): Texas, Oklahoma or Notre Dame
CB Dashon Hunt - (CA): Cal or Boise State
C Scott Quessenberry - (CA): UCLA, Cal or Nebraska
CB L.J. Moore - (CA): UCLA, Notre Dame or Cal
RB Khalfani Muhammad - (CA): UCLA or Notre Dame
S Tyler Foreman - (CA): UCLA or Cal, Utah, Oklahoma, Minnesota
DE Austin Hooper - (CA): CAL or Washington, Oregon
WR John Ross - (CA): UCLA, Washington, or Oregon
RB D.J. Martin - (CA): Probably Arizona State
DE Vita Vea - (CA): Cal or UCLA, Washington
OT Aaron Cochran - (CA): Stanford or Cal, Oregon
RB Terrell Newby II - (CA): Oregon or Colorado, Nebraska, Utah
CB Cameron Walker - (CA): Boise St. or Cal
TE Beau Sandland (JC) - (CA): Cal or Nebraska, Oklahoma
Here is my mid-August report.
Here is my mid-July report.
Here are the September 14th Scout.com recruiting standings.
*Note - recruiting ratings from ESPN, Scout and Rivals.