Five things to watch this weekend


Stanford could have some surprise visitors

Stanford is hosting Washington this weekend in the marquee Pac 12 game of the week. Both teams are nationally ranked with the Cardinal still having a chance, if they run the table, to play for a national championship.

Elite linebacker Noor Davis (Leesburg, Fla.) and defensive end Luke Kaumatule (Honolulu, Hawaii./Punahou) will be on official visits as will un-committed defensive end Trace Clark (Wichita, Kan./Wichita Collegiate Prep).

We don’t want to jinx it but there could be a couple of other official visitors, currently committed to other schools, visiting the campus as well. Right now, Stanford has more recruiting pull than at any other time I can remember and don’t look for their run as one of the top programs in the Pac 12 to end any time soon.

All eyes will be on Notre Dame

We’ll have a more complete breakdown of Notre Dame’s huge recruiting weekend in the West Notebook on Friday but needless to say, the nation will be closely watching what is going down in South Bend. The amount of talent the Fighting Irish are bringing in is incredible and if the Domers land even half the players they’re tripping in, you’re looking at a top-five class.

The majority of the players the Irish are bringing in for official visits are from the West Coast, sprinkled in with a handful of their committed prospects as well. This is always a good strategy as many times, a recruit will listen more to one of his peers than to a college coach.

Will any players pull the trigger this weekend and commit to the Irish? You never know, the majority of the players tripping in are saying they want to take the rest of their visits, but this weekend is still huge in potentially leaving a lasting impression and could pay off come signing day.

Who will de-commit this week?

It was a wild last weekend when two of the state’s top players de-committed from schools they had been previously committed for some time. Two-way lineman Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) committed to USC almost two years ago and defensive back Marcus Rios (Elk Grove, Calif./Cosumnes Oaks) committed last spring to Boise State but both athletes decided to open things up.

Players being committed and still taking visits to other schools is nothing new. A player de-committing is always attention grabbing because the simple fact is you don’t often see a player de-commit from one school and eventually re-commit back to that same school. Will there be a run of de-commitments any time soon.

It could happen. Jeremy Castro (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) switched from Washington to Oregon and it’s definitely worth watching all the players committed to Arizona. So far, the majority have said they’re open but still committed to the Cats but as time passes, you have to wonder if a few players could flip to another school.

Tanner Mangum could have huge game

A year ago, Eagle (Idaho) quarterback Tanner Mangum saw his season come to an end when he broke his right clavicle in a game with Meridian (Idaho.) Rocky Mountain. This weekend, Mangum and his Eagle teammates take on Rocky Mountain in a game that could get ugly quick.

Eagle is undefeated and the top team in the state and as expected, Mangum is having a huge year. The BYU commit has been torching opponents every week, showing why he was named the MVP at the Elite 11 QB Camp over the summer.

Rocky Mountain on the other hand is just 2-6 and has given up 37 points or more in six of their eight games. Now Mangum is the vengeful type, but don’t be surprised to see the signal caller put up video game like numbers against the Grizzlies this weekend.

Can Mater Dei do it again?

It seems like every week here, we spotlight a game from the Trinity League but when you four or five of the best teams in the state, all from one league, there is going to be a great matchup every week. Last week, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the year when they knocked off nationally ranked Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita.

This week the Monarchs will take on a much different opponent in Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco. Whereas Santa Margarita is a run-dominated team that likes to try to play smash mouth football for four quarters, the Braves have some of the most explosive athletes in the state.

We’ve said before that football games can be like boxing, it’s all about matchups and this one has so many contrasting styles to make it intriguing. Mater Dei’s defense is a physical, stay at home, play the run type defense but lacks a lot of overall athleticism. The Braves go four wide’s and have one of the best junior running backs in the state in Davonte Young. It should be a great game.