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Breaking down the Pac-12 North

11/11/2011

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.

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.