Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Pac-12 class rankings analysis
By Erik McKinney
It was a relatively quiet recruiting week in the Pac-12, which seemed to mirror the rest of the country. There was no movement in the newly released team recruiting rankings. The Pac-12 held steady with three teams listed, led by Arizona and Stanford -- at No. 23 and 24 respectively -- followed by Arizona State, at No. 35. The conference did land two commitments, as Arizona State and Washington State added recruits, while a desert showdown awaits Pac-12 fans on Friday night.
Trending up: Oregon
The Ducks haven't made much noise on the recruiting trail lately, as their most recent commitment came at the end of July. But it appears that Oregon could be poised to go on a big run, as it already has official visits set for at least five ESPN 300 prospects for games down the road. This weekend, the Ducks will have running back Tony James (Gainesville, Fla./Gainesville) and athlete Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East) in town for a home game against Cal. October will offer back-to-back weekends of visitors as well, as tight end Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./Saint Bonaventure) will come on Oct. 18, and the following weekend -- a highly anticipated game against UCLA -- will have John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), Montae Nicholson (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) and likely several others on hand.
Trending down: Pac-12 commitments
There were only two public commitments in the conference this week, as Arizona State landed tight end Brendan Landman (Danville, Calif./Monte Vista) and Washington State grabbed offensive tackle Sean Krepsz (Riverside, Calif./Martin Luther King). It's been a slow month for the conference overall and especially among its heavy hitters, as Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, USC and Washington have all failed to gain any commitments in the month of September. It's hardly time to sound the alarm, as none are in any real danger of not putting together solid classes. However, it gives another example of some of the bigger targets waiting until later in the game to make their commitments. We'll see if that leads to fewer decommitments in December and January.
One to watch: Mountain Pointe vs. Hamilton
It's not often that an Arizona high-school matchup can overshadow everything going on in California at the prep level, but that might be the case this week when Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton travels to Phoenix Mountain Pointe for a Friday night contest. Both teams sport undefeated records, though Mountain Pointe has rolled its in-state competition and gotten the best of a tough Las Vegas Bishop Gorman squad. Unfortunately, the Pride will be without linebacker/running back Wesley Payne, who was playing his way onto Pac-12 radars until an elbow injury sidelined him. Both teams will offer plenty for Pac-12 fans to watch, as Mountain Pointe's Jalen Brown and Natrell Curtis have offers from up and down the conference, while Hamilton's Casey Tucker and Qualen Cunningham are both ESPN 300 prospects with regional and national suitors.
Bold prediction: Washington's momentum starts now.
It's been a strange recruiting start for Washington, which has earned its place as a top-20 team, but hasn't yet capitalized on that in terms of verbal commitments. That could change starting this weekend. After getting off to a strong start with a big win over Boise State, the Huskies had to wait through a bye week, a trip to Chicago and a home game against Idaho State before the schedule allowed them to make another statement on the field. This weekend, they'll get a home game against Arizona, and a win will give head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff plenty of momentum on the recruiting trail heading into a game at Stanford and what could be a monumental home game against Oregon, complete with tons of recruits in attendance. If things play out that way, Washington's class could begin to fill up quickly over the coming month.