February 5, national signing day, inches ever closer. With just two weeks remaining, the pursuit of still uncommitted, elite talent intensifies. Pac-12 programs are on the trail for some of the premier prep recruits who, as of now, are still weighing their collegiate options.
Budda Baker; Athlete; 5'9", 174 pounds
A former verbal commitment of Oregon, Budda Baker decommitted last week and paid an official visit to Washington. A 4-star athlete from Bellevue (Wash.), the local prospect Baker would be the face of Chris Petersen's first Huskies recruiting class.
Baker discussed his visit with The Seattle Times and offered some praise for the job Petersen is doing in the initial phases.
I’ve already seen the facilities multiple times, so it was just a matter of talking to the new coaches and getting to know Coach [Jimmy] Lake, my DB coach, and Coach[Chris Petersen]. I got an impression that they care more about developing guys into a man instead of just football. He’s bringing more discipline onto the team.
Baker is scheduled to visit UCLA this week. His decision is expected on national signing day.
Kammy Delp; Offensive Lineman/Defensive Tackle; 6'2", 328 pounds
Originally committed to Arizona State, 3-star offensive and defensive line prospect Kammy Delp of Pomona (Calif.) Diamond Ranch tweeted that his recruitment has been reopened. Delp's interest appears to be exclusively focused within the Pac-12:
Hard to say, But I'd like to thank the coaches at Arizona State for everything. But, I've decided to decommit & open my recruitment back up.— Kammy Delp (@HateKammy) January 20, 2014
I'm still interested in ASU, along with UCLA & Washington. Just need more time to reevaluate everything. Wish nothing but the best for them.— Kammy Delp (@HateKammy) January 20, 2014
Rashaan Evans; Outside Linebacker; 6'3", 220 pounds
UCLA head coach Jim Mora and positions coach Jeff Ulbrich have had some great linebackers in their short time in the program: Jordan Zumwalt, Eric Kendricks, Myles Jack and soon-to-be NFL first-round draft pick Anthony Barr.
Auburn, Ala., 5-star prospect Rashaan Evans could be the next great UCLA linebacker if the Bruins coaches have their way. They visited Evans this week, and Evans' father, Alan, shared details with AL.com.
They really want to build their defense around Rashaan. They feel like he's a perfect fit for what they are trying to do defensively and that his athleticism is something that could really lead him to become a major playmaker in their defense.
Evans certainly has a skill set comparable to that of Barr and Jack, UCLA's two standout outside linebackers during Mora's tenure.
Adoree' Jackson; Cornerback; 5'9.5", 182 pounds
Two-sport standout and 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson could make one football program near his prep home of Gardena (Calif.) Serra very happy and leave the other disappointed.
Jackson cut his list of finalists this week, and both UCLA and USC remain in the mix.
In addition to one another, the Trojans and Bruins must also fend off Florida, which already nabbed one 5-star cornerback prospect, brief Arizona commit Jalen Tabor.
Damien Mama; Offensive Lineman; 6'4", 370 pounds
Damien Mama would be a big get for USC head coach Steve Sarkisian—figuratively and literally. At 6'4", 370 pounds, the 4-star offensive lineman from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco is the bulkiest elite prospect in the 2014 class.
Mama would also be the foundation of what is already a formidable offensive line class coming into USC. He visits this week. But his arrival at Heritage Hall is not a given. Mama is also considering UCLA.
Michiah Quick; Athlete; 6'0", 170 pounds
Several Pac-12 programs are pushing for Michiah Quick, a 4-star athlete from Fresno Central East who could play either wide receiver or defensive back, depending on team needs. The program that inserts Quick at wide receiver could be hoping for more plays like his game-winning touchdown reception against Fresno Edison in November:
Quick paid an official visit to USC on Jan. 17 and has a Jan. 31 visit to UCLA planned.
John "JuJu" Smith; Safety/Wide Receiver/Athlete; 6'1", 200 pounds
JuJu Smith, a 5-star athlete from Southern California prep powerhouse Long Beach Poly, has Pac-12 teams Oregon and USC in the six finalists he revealed earlier this week, but the Trojans look like a favorite according to 247Sports.com.
Sarkisian must also hold off USC rivals Notre Dame and UCLA, both of which made Smith's final cut.
Solomon Thomas; Defensive End; 6'2.5", 258 pounds
Stanford is already bringing in one of the Pac-12's most impressive recruiting classes, but David Shaw and Co. could score the coup of the recruiting period by landing 5-star defensive end Solomon Thomas out of Coppell (Texas).
My final 3 schools are Stanford, Arkansas, and UCLA. Blessed to have the opportunity with these amazing choices. God has truly blessed me— Solomon Thomas (@SollyThomas90) January 21, 2014
Thomas tweeted his final three considerations on Monday, and in addition to Stanford, he is also entertaining UCLA.
Kyle Kensing is the Pac-12 Lead Writer. Recruiting information obtained via 247Sports.com.