NCF On The Trail: Naijiel Hale

Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

December, 18, 2013
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There's a new No. 1 team in the Pac-12, according to the updated team rankings released on Wednesday.

Arizona State made the biggest jump of any team in the rankings, leaping from No. 22 to No. 17 overall, and in the process, bypassing Arizona, which moved from No. 18 to No. 19.

Six Pac-12 teams are now in the rankings, with the addition of USC at No. 39. Stanford fell back one spot to No. 26, due to Penn State's rise, while Oregon remains at No. 29, and UCLA rounds out the rankings at No. 40.

Trending up: Red and gold in the Pac-12 South.

Sure, it's not really red for either program, but whether it's the maroon of Arizona State or the cardinal of USC, those two programs shined on the recruiting trail this past week. Few teams anywhere are as hot as Arizona State, which added six commitments --including two four-stars -- in past week. The haul featured three defensive linemen, two running backs and an offensive tackle. But if any Pac-12 program can challenge the Sun Devils over that same period, it's USC, which added three four-star commitments and a three-star cornerback since last Wednesday. The Trojans are the newest Pac-12 program to appear in the updated class rankings, as USC checks in at No. 39.

Even though those two programs have been hot over the past week, it seems slightly unfair to leave this category without mentioning the fact that a case could be made for virtually every Pac-12 program. Arizona, California, Colorado, Utah, Washington and Washington State all received verbal commitments from important recruits over the past week, in what was an incredibly successful seven days for Pac-12 coaches on the recruiting trail and hosting official visitors.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

December, 9, 2013
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The Pac-12 conference has seen a flurry of action recently, with coaching news and rumors keeping recruits on their toes. Following a week where Steve Sarkisian took over at USC and Chris Petersen moved from Boise State to Washington, this past weekend was tame by comparison. But UCLA made some significant noise with a big commitment, while Oregon extended two intriguing offers. CIF championship games provided backdrops for huge performances from Pac-12 recruits, while the conference title tilt was only the appetizer in the battle between Arizona State and Stanford.


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The Pac-12 conference was all but officially shut out of the national championship discussion this weekend, but that won't dampen the spirits of the program that caused the dismissal -- Arizona -- or the one that will benefit most from it -- Arizona State.


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A Pacific Northwest showdown, big home games for Washington State, Utah and UCLA, and an important commitment for USC round out the top Pac-12 recruiting storylines this week.


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Pac-12 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
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This week's list offers a look through the Pac-12 at the potential best-case and worst-case scenarios that the 2014 recruiting cycle could bring for various programs. While a few of the best-case scenarios might be close to within reach for some programs, many of the worst-case scenarios would take a special brand of bad luck.

Arizona
Best-case scenario: Arizona doesn't hold onto all of its 24 verbal commits, but keeps all of its priority recruits in the fold. In exchange for some of the decommitments, the Wildcats are rewarded with a big splash from either ESPN 300 prospect John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) or Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). A strong finish to the season also helps Arizona clean up in its home state, landing commitments from offensive linemen Natrell Curtis (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe), Andrew Mike (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino), Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and junior college defensive lineman Claudeson Pelon (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa College).

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WeAreSC recruiting mailbag 

October, 4, 2013
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WeAreSC recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every week. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it via Twitter @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

@godsoldier2k3: Hey, guys. How are we looking at picking up defensive backs that cover. Seems that other than defensive tackles, we need some long, athletic corners.


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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

October, 2, 2013
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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

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If the collective reaction from prospects who woke up Sunday to news of USC firing coach Lane Kiffin is any indication, the school’s recruiting efforts will likely benefit from the midseason dismissal.

In fact, ESPN 300 defensive end Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), who committed to the Trojans in late August, believes the firing might be exactly what USC needs.


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2015 WR Broadus off to good start 

September, 23, 2013
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BREA, Calif. -- With every touchdown catch, ESPN Junior 300 wide receiver Cordell Broadus (Diamond Bar, Calif./Diamond Bar) inches closer toward establishing his own identity.

Complete disassociation is not the objective for Broadus, who in the recruiting world is often referred to as the son of world-famous rapper Snoop Dogg, but the 6-foot-2, 185-pound prospect would rather gain recognition for his on-field achievements.

This fall, he is doing just that.


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The USC recruiting class fell out of the ESPN top-40 rankings last week with the decommitment of four-star defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central).

While verbal commitments from offensive linemen Jordan Austin (Claremont, Calif./Claremont), Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) and Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School) are as solid as they come, the Trojans will likely have to be successful on the field for the rest of this season to regain some recruiting momentum.


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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Several recruits in Los Angeles took to Twitter on Wednesday to criticize Lane Kiffin, sparking a heated debate with Trojan fans; how Florida losing a four-star offensive line commitment is a good thing, and Oklahoma sends out offers to two of the nation’s top juniors.

With many of the area’s top recruits on hand at the Coliseum, USC wasted an opportunity make a statement on Saturday night against Washington State.

The Trojans were out to show the local audience improvement by erasing any semblance of the disappointing 2012 season. Instead, the highly coveted prospects were treated to another ugly loss.

It certainly wasn't the result defensive end commit Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St John Bosco) expected to see at his first USC game.


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2015 OL Robertson picks up USC offer 

September, 5, 2013
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USC landed four-star offensive lineman Nico Falah from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco in February, has his former teammate and Class of 2014 ESPN 300 guard Damien Mama atop its wish list at the position and, on Thursday looked again to the local powerhouse in sending out another scholarship offer.

Class of 2015 offensive tackle Zach Robertson (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) shined at the Trojans' linemen camp in early June, but didn't know how interested the coaches were since he had to leave campus early. On Thursday, he received good news from USC assistant coach Tee Martin.


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Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

August, 26, 2013
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The Pac-12 added two commitments on Friday, then another over the weekend. But it was on the field where one future conference star showed why he is the top player in his state and considered one of the premier athletes in the country.

Pac-12 Conference

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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Defensive back Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), son of late rapper Nate Dogg, verbally committed to Arizona on Tuesday at The Opening.

The three-star prospect chose the Wildcats over Arizona State and Cal.

The 5-foot-11, 171-pound cornerback, who also holds offers from Boise State, Nebraska, Utah and Washington State, said Arizona has been persistent with its recruitment.

"Arizona has been recruiting me the toughest," Hale said. "They said I was one of the top cornerbacks on their recruiting board."

As a junior, Hale accounted for 53 tackles and four interceptions.

Arizona now has 11 2014 commits, including two in the ESPN 300. Hale is the third cornerback commitment for the Wildcats, joining Devon Brewer (Fresno, Calif./Central) and junior college DB Patrick Glover (Gilbert, Ariz./Scottsdale Community).

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