Thursday, September 26, 2013
Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Sept. 26
By Erik McKinney
Two Arizona showdowns, two impressive visitors to the Pacific Northwest and recent recruiting attention for two standout juniors highlight this week's top storylines in the Pac-12 conference.
Duel in the desert
While USC traveling to Arizona State will receive plenty of attention, there are actually two high school games in that region worth watching this weekend, as Phoenix Mountain Pointe hosts Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton on Friday night. Pac-12 fans will want to keep an eye on Mountain Pointe's Jalen Brown and Natrell Curtis, as well as Hamilton's Casey Tucker and Qualen Cunningham. All four are uncommitted prospect with multiple Pac-12 offers. Hamilton offensive tackle Trent Moore is also a verbal commit to Oregon State. Then on Saturday, the Sun Devils and Trojans will have an opportunity to effectively bury one another, as the loser will fall to 0-2 in the conference, while the winner will likely see a recruiting boost.
A Quick trip
ESPN 300 athlete Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East) will take his official visit to Oregon this weekend, after a few stops and starts in his recruitment by the Ducks. Quick, the No. 43 overall recruit and No. 4 athlete in the country, would seem to fit in very well on either side of the ball at Oregon. This will be only the first of several trips for the 6-foot, 170-pound speedster, as Quick also has official visits scheduled to Alabama, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. He will also continue getting a big push from UCLA and USC, although Oregon will have an opportunity to make a statement this weekend.
Washington gets a big visitor
It doesn't appear that many Pac-12 programs are quite ready to open the floodgates on official and unofficial visitors -- the current talk seems to point to several weeks in October as big visit dates -- but that won't stop 2015 ESPN 300 offensive guard Zach Okun (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park) from making the trip to Washington this weekend. Okun, the No. 120 overall prospect in his class, already holds offers from the Arizona schools, California, Kansas State, Oregon State, UCLA and the Washington schools. The trip to Washington has been in the works for a while now, so the Huskies will have an opportunity to make a good first impression on the big lineman as they host Arizona this weekend.
2015 standout grabs his first offer
It was only a matter of time before 2015 athlete Ben Humphreys (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) grabbed his first scholarship offer. The 6-foot-2, 190-pound two-way threat was terrific in passing tournaments this summer and dominant in a season-opening win several weeks ago. But after early attention from Stanford and UCLA, it was Cal that went all in on Humphreys first, as the Golden Bears extended a scholarship on Wednesday. What makes this interesting is that Humphreys has significant ties to Stanford, as his mother (volleyball) and father (football) played sports there while his sister is currently a volleyball player for the Cardinal. This early offer from Cal likely does little to sway Humphreys' attention away from Stanford, but it's another sign that head coach Sonny Dykes is ready to go toe-to-toe with his Northern California rival.
Heading into the season, it was no secret that California was loaded at the quarterback position in the 2015 class. But after a few games, things have begun to shake out based on on-field performance. And one signal-caller who has more than backed up his No. 96 overall rankings in the 2015 ESPN 300 is Brady White (Newhall, Calif./Hart). All White has done through three games is lead his team to 56, 55, and 56 points, respectively, while completing 73 percent of his passes for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's added 33 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, all while having not thrown an interception this season. Arizona, Arizona State, USC and Utah have all expressed recent interest from the Pac-12, while national programs such as Alabama, Auburn, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame and Tennessee are sending mail and keeping in contact as well. White still holds just the one offer from San Jose State, but there is a feeling that the first BCS offer could lead to a serious run for the 6-foot-1, 179-pound quarterback.