NCF On The Trail: Kweishi Brown

Signing day wrap: Pac-12

February, 5, 2014
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While it was a terrific day for the Pac-12 overall, USC stole the signing day spotlight on Wednesday, hitting for the cycle in landing its top four targets.

The day began well for new coach Steve Sarkisian, as three-star cornerback Lamont Simmons (Jacksonville, Fla./Raines) faxed over his signature, but that was only an appetizer for the Trojans. With 19 scholarships available this year -- NCAA sanctions limited the Trojans to just 15 scholarships in this class and USC was able to roll four unused rides over from the 2013 class -- Simmons took the class to 16. Left on the board were a trio of Southern California ESPN 300 prospects in No. 9 overall prospect, cornerback Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), No. 24 overall prospect, athlete John "JuJu" Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and No. 67 overall prospect, offensive guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco).

[+] EnlargeJohn
Kelvin Kuo/USA TODAY SportsJohn "JuJu" Smith was part of a huge signing day for USC.
Sarkisian and the Trojans were able to land all three, giving USC one of the best signing days of any program in the country. The signings give USC 19 additions in the 2014 class, including nine ESPN 300 pledges, one ESPN JC 50 prospect and impact players on both sides of the ball. There is really no way to overstate how well Sarkisian and the Trojans closed on signing day, posting what amounted to a perfect day.

The Trojans wound up with the No. 1 class in the Pac-12, but the rankings in the conference were bunched at the top.

Stanford made a huge run late, landing commitments from all six recruits it targeted over the past two months. The Cardinal added signatures from ESPN 300 defensive end Solomon Thomas (Coppell, Tex./Coppell) -- at No. 25 overall, the highest rated Stanford addition since ESPN began its rankings in 2006 -- and three-star cornerback Terrence Alexander (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian). Though the Cardinal lost a late commitment from defensive end Uriah Leiataua (Compton, Calif./Dominguez), it was a very strong visit and a terrific class headed to the Farm.

Alexander wasn't the only recruit from John Curtis Christian to commit to the Pac-12, as Oregon and UCLA took their biggest commitments of the day from that program. The Ducks landed ESPN 300 safety Mattrell McGraw, while UCLA picked up its lone signing day commit in Kenny Young.

Oregon missed out on Smith and defensive tackle Trey Lealaimatafao (San Antonio/Earl Warren) but was able to land safety Khalil Oliver (Meridian, Id./Rocky Mountain) in a battle against Washington.

UCLA coaches will likely be disappointed with the day. Although the Bruins did reel in Young, UCLA missed on Thomas, No. 1 overall wide receiver Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian) and the Southern California trio, which made matters worse for Jim Mora & Co. by committing to the Trojans. UCLA brought a very good recruiting class into signing day and did a good job of holding onto everybody, but the Bruins took some big swings at some big prospects across the country and didn't get the results they were hoping for.

Arizona State slid a few spots in the national rankings, but the Sun Devils did everything they could on signing day. Todd Graham brought a relatively full class into the day and was able to add two huge signatures in ESPN JC 50 prospects defensive tackle Dalvon Stuckey (De Funiak Springs, Fla./Pearl River CC) and cornerback Kweishi Brown (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont). The Sun Devils were also able to hold onto another junior college standout in wide receiver Eric Lauderdale (Fayetteville, Ga./Saddleback College), who received a significant late push from Florida.

Arizona was relatively quiet. The Wildcats brought in a huge list of verbal commitments and didn't lose anybody off the top of the class, landing five ESPN 300 prospects. Defensive tackle Marcus Griffin (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) was the big addition, as the big lineman selected Arizona over Cal, Mississippi State and Washington State.

Oregon State grabbed a signature from offensive guard Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch), who will play defensive tackle for the Beavers. Utah announced defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham) as a part of this class after he attempted to sign with the Utes in 2013.

Washington's big addition came Tuesday night in the form of ESPN 300 safety Bishard "Budda" Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue), but Chris Petersen and the Huskies also received a signing day commitment from intriguing 6-foot-5 receiver Brayden Lenius (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade). The Washington State Cougars closed with their second four-star commitment in this class, safety Deion Singleton (Paco, Wash./Chiawana).

But the day in the West belonged to USC, which jumped from No. 4 in the conference to landing the Pac-12's top 2014 recruiting class. Nationally, the Trojans moved from No. 24 to No. 15 overall.

Stanford (15th), Arizona State (21st) and Arizona (23rd) all finished among the top 25 recruiting classes in the nation.

5 to watch: Pac-12 signing day preview 

January, 21, 2014
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Signing day could unfold in a number of ways where the Pac-12 is concerned, as six programs still have a legitimate chance to land the conference's No. 1 class and five of the top eight West region prospects are still uncommitted with legitimate interest in Pac-12 programs. Closing in on two weeks until the first Wednesday in February, here are five Pac-12 storylines to keep an eye on for signing day:

Key recruiting visits -- Pac-12 

January, 17, 2014
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The recruiting dead period is over, and it's full speed ahead for a number of Pac-12 programs as coaches look to load up on official visitors over the next three weekends. A list of important official visitors for Pac-12 programs this weekend could easily extend to two or even three dozen names, so limiting it to just the top 10 was challenging -- though likely not as difficult as the task facing conference coaches looking to wrap up their recruiting classes as national signing day approaches.

1. CB Kweishi Brown (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont College) visiting Arizona State. The ESPN Junior College 50 cornerback made an early commitment to Arkansas but pulled away from that as more Pac-12 programs expressed interest. Brown, the nation's No. 3 juco cornerback, will be at Arizona State as part of a huge group of official visitors and will be one of the main targets committed quarterback Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) sets his sights on this weekend.


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Big 12 signing day storylines 

December, 17, 2013
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Consider the countdown a go.

With 50 days from national signing day, a lot of questions about star players have been answered. Some questions, however, are still left to be answered.

Here are 10 signing day storylines that could affect recruiting classes throughout the Big 12:


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Bret Bielema and the Arkansas coaching staff probably wish they could have weekends like this more often.

After starting Sunday morning with only five commits, the Razorbacks are up to 12 after Saturday. Four players who were in attendance for the Razorbacks’ elite prospect camp -- all from the state of Louisiana -- gave their verbal pledges on Saturday. The Metairie (La.) Archbishop Rummel duo of safety/outside linebacker Dwayne Eugene and three-star cornerback Henre’ Toliver and the Geismar (La.) Dutchtown receiver duo of four-star Corey McBride and Torrance Mosley each committed to Arkansas.

“The Boot’s coming to Arkansas,” a proud Mosley said. “I guess the other guys felt the same way I felt. They fell in love with the campus and the coaches. It’s pretty cool; I’m not going to lie.”

Eugene is a 6-foot, 218-pound defender with 4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash, making him a target to be a hybrid safety/linebacker if the Razorbacks choose to utilize him in such a way. Toliver, a 6-1, 180-pound athlete, is a big, physical cornerback who might be the most intriguing recruit of the four. He has offers from Oklahoma, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Nebraska and others.

“We’re doing big things in Louisiana,” Toliver said. “For me, it was my choice. I liked it athletically, academically and socially. I liked the town and everything.”

Perhaps the biggest pickup of the four is McBride, a 6-1, 172-pound receiver who is ranked No. 43 in his position. McBride said he and Torrance, a 5-10, 162-pound receiver, went in together to speak with the Arkansas staff. McBride is expected to be more of an outside receiver, Mosley more of a slot receiver.

“I’m very happy and lucky to be in the SEC with the Razorbacks,” McBride said. “It’s beautiful out here, kind of like another world. Plus, I want to major and drafting and architecture, and they’re like No. 2 in the country.”

Added Mosley: “I liked the coaching staff and the new facilities they’ve built. I met some of the team [Friday] night and had a great time. The coaches are real. I don’t think it gets any better than this.”

In addition to the Louisiana commits, Arkansas also scored a 2015 pledge Saturday in 6-6, 291-pound offensive tackle Colton Jackson (Conway, Ark./Conway). Jackson, who also had a Central Arkansas offer, is the third 2015 commit for the Razorbacks and the second in-state pledge.

Along with the five Saturday pledges, Arkansas picked up three-star offensive tackle Jovan Pruitt (Dallas/Bishop Dunne) on Friday. On Thursday, junior college cornerback Kweishi Brown (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont College) became a part of the 2014 class. Three-star 2014 cornerback Christopher Murphy (Marietta, Ga./Lassiter) kicked the week off with a verbal commitment on July 14.

Razorbacks land California juco CB 

July, 18, 2013
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Junior college cornerback Kweishi Brown (El Cajon, Calif./Grossmont College) made his first trip to Fayetteville, Ark., for an official visit to the Arkansas campus. From the minute he stepped in the city, he knew where home in the future would be.

Brown arrived on campus early Wednesday evening. It didn’t take long afterward for the 6-foot, 190-pound cornerback to give the Razorbacks his verbal pledge. Brown became Arkansas’ seventh commitment of the 2014 class.

Brown chose Arkansas over a Kansas State offer and interest from several schools, including Baylor, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Tennessee and Kentucky. Arkansas also holds the honor of being Brown’s first offer.

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