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Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Pac-12 class rankings analysis

By erikmckinney



There was no movement again from Pac-12 programs in the updated team recruiting rankings, as Arizona held firm with the top spot in the conference and the No. 23 class in the country. Stanford checks in right behind the Wildcats, at No. 24 overall, while Arizona State checks in at No. 35.

Trending up: Oregon

Not only did the Ducks add a commitment from ESPN 300 running back Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) over the weekend, but they put themselves in a good spot for tight end Henry Mondeaux (Portland, Ore./Jesuit). Although four-star athlete Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East) wasn't able to take his official visit, it looks as though he will reschedule it for Oct. 25, which could be even better for the Ducks. Not only might the weather be better than the consistent downpour that welcomed recruits this past weekend, Quick would take that visit alongside fellow California standout John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly). With Oregon rolling on the field, it feels as though they could begin doing the same on the recruiting trail.

Trending down: Cal

The schedule was ominous from the beginning, but all that matters is the 1-3 record. Things don't get much easier going forward, as Cal travels to UCLA and Washington for two of its next four games. Much of the optimism from recruits surrounding Cal's open offense and freshman quarterback has subsided, though it won't disappear completely, and the Golden Bears have an opportunity to get back on track this weekend against Washington State. The class hasn't suffered a string of decommitments or a lack of enthusiasm from its commitments, but if the losses continues to pile up, coach Sonny Dykes and his staff will have their work cut out for them in hanging onto commitments from recruits being sought out by winning programs.

One to watch: USC

It was noticeable that offers went out to a trio of Arizona teammates -- Tyler Whiley, Trevor Wood and Keenan Walker -- on Tuesday, although Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral coach Dave Huffine said he doesn't believe coach Lane Kiffin's firing had anything to do with the decision by interim head coach Ed Orgeron to offer his players. Regardless of why the decision was made to offer them now, it's also been noticeable that USC coaches are on the recruiting trail this week, after staying largely silent through the first five weeks of the season. Wide receivers coach Tee Martin, who has become one of USC's best recruiters of the local talent, will be at Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco for Friday's game, and the Braves have a trio of 2014 standouts -- Damien Mama, Jaleel Wadood and Naijiel Hale, in addition to USC commit Malik Dorton -- who could give the Trojans a much longer listen after the transition from former head coach Lane Kiffin.

Bold prediction: Pac-12 fans and coaches might be casting a nervous look toward Oklahoma this weekend, as a number of top targets of the conference take official visits to Norman. Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Quick, Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East) and Ainuu Taua (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc) will all be on official visits. But while Oklahoma will put on a terrific show, none of these West region standouts will return from the trip as an Oklahoma commit. Pac-12 programs will still get their opportunities to make a run at each of them -- though admittedly, this visit might make things a bit tougher.