Thursday, October 17, 2013
Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 17
By Erik McKinney
Several Pac-12 programs have an opportunity to make statements on the recruiting trail this weekend, headlined by Arizona State hosting Washington, and including USC's trip to Notre Dame and the biggest clash in the conference -- UCLA visiting Stanford. The following day, the B2G West Coast Bowl will draw plenty of interest, as Pac-12 commits and targets are separated into two teams for the late January all-star game.
Manny being Manny
Arizona State QB commit Manny Wilkins will be on hand when ASU hosts Washington working to get the visiting prospects to commit to the Sun Devils.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a quarterback commit doing more recruiting work for his future program than what Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin). He has been working Twitter and the phones ever since he committed to the Sun Devils, trying to put together the strongest 2014 recruiting class possible. He'll have a chance to work overtime this weekend, as Arizona State hosts Washington and a number of visitors. USC linebacker commit D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) and Cal wide receiver commit Jalen Harvey (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) will be at the game on official visits. Wilkins worked to get Harvey down there, and he did the same with four-star running back Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale), who plans to be there on an unofficial visit. Wilkins will likely get plenty of help from fellow Sun Devils commit Tyler Whiley (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral), who is present at most Arizona State activities, and Wilkins believes this could be a very good recruiting weekend for his future team.
West Coast Bowl takes center stage
There are a number of postseason all-star football games popping up across the country, but the B2G West Coast Bowl -- in its second year -- has something special planned. Rather than split the squads into a North vs. South or East vs. West arrangement, the two head coaches for this year's game -- David Dunn of San Diego Lincoln and Manuel Douglass of Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne -- will draft their teams. The draft can be seen live at www.B2G.tv or http://www.ustream.tv/channel/b2g-sports-live beginning at 8 a.m. PT. While the West region will be largely represented, several standouts from across the country with Pac-12 offers are likely to be selected for the game, including ESPN 300 prospects Adly Anoicy (Delray Beach, Fla./Atlantic Community), Bo Scarbrough (Bradenton, Fla./IMG Academy) and Edward Paris Jr. (Arlington, Tex./Timberview). Pac-12 fans will also want to check in on the draft, as a number of recruits will be interviewed between the drafting action, including Brad Kaaya (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade), Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch), Jordan Lasley (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Denzel Fisher (Compton, Calif./Centennial), Fred Warner (San Marcos, Calif./Mission Hills), Shay Fields (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) and Tre Watson (Corona, Calif./Centennial).
USC with second chance to make a first impression
USC will have an opportunity to make a positive impression on some of its top targets this week, but it will have to fly more than halfway across the country to do it. Notre Dame hasn't been shy about going after some of California's top talent in recent years, and the Fighting Irish will have at least four ESPN 300 prospects from the West on hand for official visits this weekend, including Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East), Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East), John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco). Smallwood is a former member of USC's 2014 recruiting class, but the trio of Quick, Smith and Mama rank right at the top of the board for the Trojans. A big win in South Bend could put USC among the frontrunners for their commitments.
Interest picking up quickly for Brown
Perhaps no recruit in the West region generated more momentum in the last week or so than offensive tackle Chris Brown (Los Angeles/Loyola). Brown picked up an offer from Washington State earlier this fall, but things ramped up in a big way when USC entered the picture with an offer earlier this week. Since then, Brown has added offers from Boise State, Nebraska, Texas A&M and UCLA. It's likely that things will heat up even more for the big offensive tackle, although USC could find itself in good position after getting in early and with a number of former USC coaches on the staff at Loyola.
Ducks, Beavers grab wide receivers
Oregon received a huge commitment earlier this week when four-star wide receiver Jalen Brown (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe) announced his intentions to sign with the Ducks. Not to be outdone, Oregon State went into the state of Arizona a short time later to get a commitment from junior college receiver Javon Williams (Yuma, Ariz./Arizona Western). Williams originally committed to UCLA out of Chandler (Ariz.) High School as part of the 2012 class, but returned home to Arizona Western to shore up his academics. Both the Ducks and Beavers have found success in the state of Arizona with this class.
Stanford has Georgia on its mind
UCLA visiting Stanford is easily the biggest game in the Pac-12 this weekend, though there won't be the usual number of recruits on hand for a game of this magnitude. The Cardinal have yet to host an official visitor this season, and that streak will continue through this weekend. Although, Stanford will have an opportunity to make a statement in front of three committed unofficial visitors, as Georgia standouts Kirk Tucker (Tucker, Ga./Tucker), Denzel Franklin (Atlanta/Pace Academy) and Arrington Farrar (College Park, Ga./Woodward Academy) will be on hand. But no matter how few recruits are in the stadium, the result of this game will absolutely resonate nationwide, as the winner becomes the clear No. 2 team in the conference and will be able to use a big win over a nationally-ranked opponent when the coaches hit the recruiting trail next week.