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Monday, November 18, 2013
Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12

By Erik McKinney

A huge win at USC was witnessed by a number of big-time recruits, while Washington added a second commitment to its 2015 class and UCLA provided another statement to recruits, utilizing the talents of a two-way freshman. Also, a USC commit had a big day, and the top tailback in the West region went even bigger, in this week's Pac-12 weekend recruiting wrap.

Biggest commitment: Washington missed a big opportunity on the field this weekend when it dropped a 41-31 decision at UCLA, but the Huskies scored big on the recruiting trail, picking up a commitment from 2015 ESPN 300 defensive tackle Jacob Daniel (Fresno, Calif./Clovis North). The nation's No. 36 overall recruit and No. 9 defensive tackle is a big addition for the Huskies and defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi. While it wouldn't be surprising to see Daniel still proceed through the recruiting process over the next year, he gives Washington a foundation for its 2015 class, as Daniel joins fellow big man, offensive tackle Trey Adams (Wenatchee, Wash./Wenatchee), as early commitments for next year's haul.

Biggest offer: Oregon offered safety Glen Ihenacho (Gardena, Calif./Serra) shortly before bringing the three-star defender in on an official visit this past weekend. Ihenacho holds a number of Pac-12 offers, though he isn't a name often mentioned, due to the fact that he plays defense for a program loaded with high-profile recruits. Ihenacho was terrific during offseason events and has backed that up during his senior season, which keeps the Oregon offer from being a surprising one. With it, the Ducks could be tough to beat for him.

Best performance by a commit/target: USC commit Shay Fields Jr. (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) had a phenomenal showing during Friday night's opening-round playoff win. The wide receiver caught touchdown passes of 78, 72, 44 and 30 yards, giving him 224 receiving yards and a tie for the school's single-game record.

Farther north, ESPN 150 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) kept his team moving forward in the playoffs as well, as the nation's No. 72 prospect rushed for 281 yards and seven touchdowns. Mixon's night included an 80-yard touchdown run and 208 yards in the first half alone.

Most important visit: Oregon receiving the first official visit from ESPN 300 safety Budda Baker (Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue) was big, and could ultimately go a long way in the race for the two-way standout. Arizona State got an official visit from ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East) and now appears to be the clear leader for the big man. But no visit could prove more important than USC getting seven Gardena (Calif.) Serra standouts at the Coliseum for its huge win against Stanford. Trojans commit Olajuwon Tucker's presence was a given, but USC was also able to make an impression on UCLA commit Jordan Lasley, 2015 ESPN 300 prospect John Houston and Rasheem Green, and 2016 standouts Blake Walls and Brandon Burton. But most importantly, No. 7 overall prospect Adoree' Jackson was in attendance, and with options such as Florida, Florida State, LSU, Notre Dame, Oregon and Tennessee facing him, USC being able to put on a show like that in front of the region's top recruit was nothing short of huge.

Trojan Swag ! #FightOn

— SWEET PEA (@AdoreeKnows) November 17, 2013
Biggest answer: While USC posted the biggest win, UCLA head coach Jim Mora provided the biggest answer of the weekend, when he allowed freshman linebacker Myles Jack to carry the ball 13 times and score four touchdowns. If fans and recruits were wondering whether Jack's offensive success at Arizona was a one-week deal, Saturday provided a resounding answer. Allowing Jack to showcase his abilities on both sides, combined with the fact that UCLA continues to play a tremendous number of true freshmen, has stuck a chord with recruits who now see a clear path to early playing time at UCLA if they can earn it.

Biggest question: Yes, there is a theme developing here and no, this won't be the last time the USC coaching search dominates this category. After Saturday night's upset of Stanford, the question must be asked again -- the one that could significantly alter the recruiting landscape of the Pac-12 for the 2014 class: Will Ed Orgeron be the permanent head coach of the USC Trojans following the 2013 season?

At this point, Orgeron holds so much momentum with recruits that the Trojans could finish the 2014 class on a very high note if he is given the reins. Of course, that momentum could change with a games against Colorado and UCLA -- plus a bowl game -- still on the schedule. But for this week, Pac-12 coaches are likely casting at least one eye toward the Trojans, wondering what kind of recruiting run they could go on if Orgeron continues this pace.