Monday, October 14, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12
By Erik McKinney
A Pac-12 North showdown went decidedly to the Ducks, while two Pac-12 South programs added impressive commitments this weekend. There also seems to be some positive energy coming from USC, while a number of future Pac-12 signal-callers put together impressive performances this past Friday.
Biggest commitment: Utah capitalized on a big recruiting weekend by authoring the biggest win of any team in the country when it took down No. 5 Stanford. A number of official visitors were on hand, and the environment paid dividends immediately, as four-star running back Dacorius Law (Haines City, Fla./Haines City) reportedly made his commitment to the Utes on Sunday. It's a big-time get for Utah, which goes across the country and pulls in a dynamic playmaker who holds offers from programs such as Michigan State, Mississippi and Ohio State. Law is now the Utes' highest-rated commitment and the lone four-star commitment in the class.
Best performance by a commit/target: Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco has been on a completely different level this season. Playing against a very difficult schedule, the Braves have outscored their opponents 295-95 and were at it again on Friday night, as quarterback Josh Rosen rushed for four touchdowns, wide receiver Shay Fields caught 10 passes for 110 yards, while Jaleel Wadood scored a touchdown and recorded an interception.
Arizona quarterback commit Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian) has been terrific this season, and the four-star signal-caller put together another impressive performance on Friday, throwing for 386 yards and six touchdowns in another rout for the Lions. Dawkins has now thrown for 31 touchdowns in seven games.
Arizona quarterback commit Brandon Dawkins added to his stellar season this weekend.
Gardena (Calif.) Serra's defensive duo of Olajuwon Tucker and Dwight Williams combined for three fumble recoveries, and interception and a touchdown. Williams returned a fumble for the score, while Tucker deflected the pass that Williams caught for the interception. All the plays were part of a 63-7 route for the Cavaliers.
Quarterback and Oregon commit Morgan Mahalak (Kentfield, Calif./Marin Catholic) threw for 314 yards and five touchdowns in a 55-0 blowout. Mahalak hasn't seen the field much in second halves this season, and was only around for two plays in the third quarter of this one, as his Wildcats rolled to a 7-0 start this season.
Most important visit: This just missed out on making the "biggest commitment" section, but it's just as important, as UCLA scored some big news out of an official visit from wide receiver Alex Van Dyke (Elk Grove, Calif./Cosumnes Oaks). After watching the Bruins post a big win over California, Van Dyke decided he'd seen enough and, on Sunday afternoon, posted a message on his twitter account announcing his commitment to UCLA. A 6-foot-4, 200-pound receiver who shines on the field and in the classroom, Van Dyke was being chased by a number of Pac-12 programs, had already taken an official visit to Oregon State and was talking about setting up visits with Cal and Oregon. While it's a big commitment in terms of adding a very talented player to the Bruins' recruiting class, what makes it interesting is that Van Dyke is now the fifth wide receiver commitment in UCLA's 2014 class, and the Bruins are still chasing a number of pass catchers.
Biggest answer: USC rebounded in a big way under interim coach Ed Orgeron on Thursday night. There are still plenty of questions as to how the rest of the season will play out and what the coaching search will do to USC recruiting, but it was obvious to recruits watching the game that the Trojans had no problem getting fired up to play for Orgeron. While potential head coach candidates continue to be suggested, no coach seems to be looked at by Southern California recruits quite like Orgeron, who has developed strong relationships with a number of USC's high-profile targets.
Biggest question: Did Oregon do enough?
The Ducks had a national stage to perform on and they delivered. But more importantly for recruiting purposes, they were able to do it in front of some of the region's top recruits. Offensive tackle Kaleb McGary (Fife, Wash./Fife) and safety Bishard Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) were two of the bigger names in attendance being sought by both programs. While one game won't determine to which school those two prospects eventually commit, it was a strong showing by the Ducks, and one perhaps capable of planting a seed as Oregon looks to go in and pry a number of Washington's top recruits away from their home state.