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.