One Commitment Every Pac-12 Team Wishes It Could Get This Summer
Earlier in this way-too-long offseason we wrote about every Pac-12 team's dream recruit, a piece which took realistic options out of the equation and went warp speed into fantasyland.
This time, we're tweaking the subject matter a bit and taking a look at one player from whom every team wishes it could secure a commitment over the summer. We're still a month away from the start of fall camp, so prime time for recruiting is happening as you read this sentence.
The following players don't necessarily have to be considered "locks" to the school, but we're focusing strictly on guys who actually have an interest in the program. So while Utah would love to get a commitment from 5-star cornerback Iman Marshall, the chances of that happening are nonexistent.
The quarterback dominoes have begun to fall, but there is still plenty of top talent available. Which players are Pac-12 schools hoping to get a commitment from in the next couple months?
All recruiting info via 247sports.com
Top recruit on summer wish list: LB Kyahva Tezino
Our choice for one recruit Arizona would love to land this summer is an easy one: Lineback Kyahva Tezino out of Los Angeles. Tezino likely isn't a name you've seen around various recruiting circles, but the 4-star recruit is exactly the kind of athlete Rich Rodriguez would love to have in his system.
At 6'0", 192 pounds, he may be better off at safety barring a sudden growth spurt. Rated as the 184th player in the 2015 class, Tezino has offers from Wisconsin, Washington, Miami and UCLA among several other schools.
Of course, that would make his ditching of Los Angeles for Tuscon all the sweeter for Wildcats fans. You expect Rodriguez to pluck at least a few promising prospects for his offense, but Tezino would be a major get for the defense. And it's the defense that will ultimately mean the difference between Arizona being an eight- or nine-win team and one that competes for Rose Bowls.
Arizona State Sun Devils
Top recruit on summer wish list: WR Trent Irwin
The Arizona State offense could look a lot different in 2015, so finding guys to contribute right away on that side of the ball has to be emphasized in the Sun Devils' recruiting efforts.
Wide receiver Trent Irwin would be a huge addition for coach Todd Graham, and he's the one recruit the program wishes it could land over the summer.
It appears to be a two-horse race between Stanford and Arizona State for Irwin's services. A top 200 player in his class, Irwin has intriguing size at 6'2", 190 pounds. His height could allow him to become a major target in the red zone, but his 4.6 40-time also makes you wonder how many different ways Graham could use him in the offense.
In any case, the Sun Devils may be without both Taylor Kelly and Jaelen Strong a year from now, and a guy like Irwin could help the offense stay sharp after their departures.
California Golden Bears
Top recruit on summer wish list: WR/CB Isaiah Langley
Things haven't been going very well for Cal on the gridiron, but one way to change that is to win the recruiting battles. An important one revolves around wide receiver Isaiah Langley, a 4-star wideout who also has the skills to play corner.
The only issue here is that the team Cal may have to beat is USC, and if you took an objective look at the two programs, only one is clearly on the rise. However, Cal might be able to provide Langley immediate playing time, and it wasn't that long ago that the Bears were routinely in the thick of the conference title race.
Langley is the type of athlete that USC picks up with ease in recruiting. Will the versatile, top-120 recruit from Pleasanton, Ca., stay close to home and be the gem of Sonny Dykes' recruiting class, or will USC steal another elite athlete from its home state?
Top recruit on summer wish list: WR Jeremy Kelly
Colorado already made headlines this offseason when it landed offensive lineman Tim Lynott, a 4-star player coveted by the likes of Miami, UCLA and Arizona State. Can it continue to plug away in recruiting and land the services of wide receiver Jeremy Kelly?
Three-star players don't often garner much attention from recruiting gurus who only have eyes for four and 5-star prospects, but the 6'1" 170-pound Kelly may be just the kind of player the Buffaloes need. Currently seen by 247sports.com as a lean toward Washington, landing Kelly would be a mini-statement by coach Mike MacIntyre.
If there's one surefire way to turn around the fortunes of a program, it's by getting better recruits. Kelly would be a step in the right direction for Colorado, and somehow securing his commitment would be an excellent way to head into the 2014 season.
Top Recruit on summer wish list: DE Byron Cowart
As far as immediate-impact recruits go, they don't come more impressive than defensive end Byron Cowart. The 5-star standout from Florida has NFL written all over him, but his next stop will be the college ranks. Rivals has Cowart rated as the No. 1 overall player in the class of 2015.
And the Oregon Ducks have a shot.
Whether Cowart will make his decision before the 2014 season remains to be seen, but he's said as recently as April that Oregon is his top choice. Of course, with Cowart hailing from Florida you have to figure that the Gators, Seminoles and several other teams in the Southeast will make a run at him.
Still, we've seen elite defensive recruits like Arik Armstead opt for the green and yellow (and black, white, chrome, pink etc.,) in recent years, so it would be silly to rule out the chances of Mark Helfrich landing the big-time talent.
It may not happen over the summer, but Cowart has to be at the top of the Ducks' wish list.
Oregon State Beavers
Top recruit on summer wish list: LB Ben Humphreys
The Oregon State Beavers rarely move the needle in the recruiting world, and both the coaching staff and fans of the program don't care all that much. Why should they? Even without a bevy of 4-star guys, the Beavers have still remained competitive, even challenging for a spot in the Rose Bowl on several occasions.
But that doesn't mean Riley wouldn't love to land a standout linebacker like Ben Humphreys. The 6'3", 210-pound 4-star from Mater Dei has sub-4.6 speed, so there isn't a whole lot not to like. The 247sports.com crystal ball has him going to Palo Alto and playing for Stanford, but Mike Riley can be a heck of a salesman.
The Beavers routinely churn out NFL talent on the defensive side of the ball, and while that still doesn't stack up with what the Cardinal have done in recent years, Humphreys would be an impact guy from day one in Corvallis.
Top recruit on summer wish list: DE Canton Kaumatule
Has a brother on the team? Check. Plays a position at which Stanford has had players succeed in recently? Check. Top 10 recruit in the country? Check.
In short, defensive end Canton Kaumatule may already be wearing a Cardinal cape under his everyday attire.
But with Kaumatule's college destination seemingly a foregone conclusion, Stanford coach David Shaw must make sure he locks up the 5-star talent before other programs slowly weave their way into his decision-making process.
Even though all signs point toward Palo Alto, it's not always an easy choice when you could play for any team in the country. Thus, while many Stanford fans will already be counting on Kaumatule to be a member of the 2015 class, he's the one guy that Shaw would love to get a commitment from this summer.
Top recruit on summer wish list: DE Keisean Lucier-South
UCLA is officially on the rise despite not reaching the Pac-12 title game for the first time in three seasons, and it's due in large part to Jim Mora's ability to recruit top talent around the country.
He doesn't have to look far to find the one recruit who would make the program's summer, however. Defensive end Keisean Lucier-South is from Orange County.
At first glance Lucier-South may remind you a bit of Anthony Barr. He's 6'5", 225 pounds and runs a 4.7 40-yard dash. The difference is that Barr went through a position change, while Lucier-South should arrive on campus ready to put in work in one spot and one spot only: the defense.
His measurables will allow him to line up on the line of scrimmage or drift back near the linebackers and into coverage when the play begins. And if envisioning how he'll be used in college isn't your thing, just know this: he's a 5-star recruit. UCLA and Michigan are in battle for his services, and the Bruins would love nothing more than to lock up another defensive talent over the summer.
Top recruit on summer wish list: CB Iman Marshall
If there's one area where USC football has struggled a bit in recent years, it's in the secondary. The Trojans have had issues elsewhere of course, but aside from the occasional Taylor Mays or T.J. McDonald, there hasn't been anyone who teams are scared to go up against.
That's begun to change with guys like Su'a Cravens and Leon McQuay III, and the 2014 class contained A-listers John Smith and Adoree' Jackson. Iman Marshall may be the next in line to join USC as one of the top secondary prospects in the country.
The 5-star cornerback has it all: size (6'1"), speed (4.5 40-yard-dash) and reputation, as he comes with the billing as the top high school corner in the country, per 247sports.com. But as we've said before, the best players will hear the best pitches from everyone, so USC would love to get Marshall's commitment sooner rather than later.
Top recruit on summer wish list: ATH Osa Masina
When a program like Utah sees one of the most coveted high school athletes in the country in its own state, he becomes a top priority. Which is exactly why Osa Masina is the one recruit Kyle Whittingham and his staff would love to get a commitment from this summer.
At the moment, the Utes are devoid of flashy playmakers. And while style over substance isn't a recipe Utah likes to use, the program desperately needs an infusion of explosiveness and excitement. It's not often that the best athletes in the country see Utah as a realistic option for where play college ball, but Masina is different.
He's 6'4", 230 pounds and being from the state, he knows what Utes' football is all about. He would be an instant star, but other programs like UCLA and BYU may not let him go without a fight. If Masina commits to Utah over the summer, it will be a major victory for Whittingham before the season even begins.
Top recruit on summer wish list: OT Henry Roberts
Recruiting the offensive line prospects can mean the difference between having a program on the rise and seeing the team head into a free fall. Washington is only just beginning to recover from what was a horrid period of offensive line play, and tackle Henry Roberts would be the next answer in helping things get better.
The 4-star from Bellevue, Wa., has a number of offers from Pac-12 schools, but seeing him leave his hometown would be brutal for new Huskies head coach Chris Petersen. Washington already let Max Browne and Myles Jack leave Seattle in recent years, and the new man in charge will do what he can to stop that from becoming a trend.
Roberts isn't flashy in the same way a 5-star athlete might be, but he could be a crucial building block for Petersen. Locking up his commitment as soon as possible should be a top priority for the Huskies.
Washington State Cougars
Top recruit on summer wish list: S Marvell Tell
Safety Marvell Tell is on just about everyone's wish list these days, but seeing him opt for the crimson and gray would make Cougars fans ecstatic.
The 4-star out of Encino, Ca., may end up with the same conundrum that so many other recruits from the area find themselves in: USC or UCLA? But he attended Washington State's junior day back in February, and Mike Leach almost certainly gave his pitch of Tell becoming Deone Bucannon's heir apparent in the secondary.
He's 6'2", 175 pounds and runs a 4.5 40-yard dash. Washington State already got a commitment from an elite talent in running back Austin Joyner. Can the Cougs crash the party in Southern California and get an early verbal from Tell as well?
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