Commentary

Breaking down the Pac-12 North

Several northern teams competing against USC for recruits down the stretch

Updated: November 11, 2011, 3:37 PM ET
By Erik McKinney | We Are SC
As the high school season heads toward the playoffs, the recruiting season will pick up as well. This week, WeAreSC takes a look at the Pac-12 landscape and offers a glimpse at each recruiting class, as well as the committed players still being pursued by the Trojans. For the Pac-12 South breakdown, click here.

Pac-12 North
California Golden Bears
Not listed in ESPNU Recruiting Rankings
8 commitments
Top five commits in the class
• QB Zach Kline (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) ESPNU Grade -- 81
• WR Bryce Treggs (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) ESPNU Grade -- 80
• LB Michael Barton (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) ESPNU Grade -- 79
• ATH Cedric Dozier (Lakewood, Calif./Lakes) ESPNU Grade -- 78
• ATH Kenneth Walker (Richmond, Calif./John F. Kennedy) ESPNU Grade -- 76
Commits on USC's radar: None of the California commitments hold a USC offer, although Treggs is certainly talented enough to earn one. Linebacker Hardy Nickerson Jr. (Oakland/Bishop O'Dowd) was high on the Trojans, but USC appears all but set at that position in this class. This topic certainly merits a look the other way however, as the Bears will put a significant effort into prying away USC commitments -- such as Jaydon Mickens (Los Angeles/Dorsey) and Pio Vatuvei (Patterson, Calif./Patterson).
Looking ahead: California remains in play for several of the state's top prospects, including Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif./Monrovia), Byron Marshall (San Jose/Valley Christian) and Ishmael Adams (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian). The Golden Bears will host a big recruiting weekend on Dec. 9, which will likely result in a big boost to their class.

[+] EnlargeJalen Cope-Fitzpatrick
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comJalen Cope-Fitzpatrick is a USC commit, but his high school teammate, Oregon commit Jake Rodrigues, is trying to turn him.
Oregon Ducks
Not listed in ESPNU Recruiting Rankings
12 total commitments
Top five commits in the class
• QB Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif./Whitney) ESPNU Grade -- 80
• TE Evan Baylis (Aurora, Colo./Grandview) ESPNU Grade -- 79
• LB Brett Bafaro (Hillsboro, Ore./Liberty) ESPNU Grade -- 79
• DE Alex Balducci (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) ESPNU Grade -- 79
• S Eric Amoako (Arlington, Tex./ Martin) ESPNU Grade -- 78
Commits on USC's radar: Oregon is battling with USC and other schools for several big-time recruits, including McCarthy, cornerback Kevon Seymour (Pasadena, Calif./Muir) and offensive tackle Kyle Murphy (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente). But the Trojans aren't looking to flip many Ducks commits. Rodrigues holds a USC offer, but has said he is firmly committed to Oregon and is actually trying to sway teammate and Trojans commit Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick to join him up North.
Looking ahead: Oregon is making some noise on the recruiting trail, and on-the-field victories over Stanford and USC in the next two weeks would make a huge statement nationally. No matter what happens this weekend, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Ducks turn the visit from the Trojans into a big recruiting weekend.

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