The foundation for recruiting success during the December signing window often is laid in the spring, when visits are taken, evaluations made and short lists determined.
Beginning today, the Hotline will bring Pac-12 fans a weekly look at the process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting analyst for 247Sports.
Huffman will relay news and insight into the latest developments and cast an eye ahead to upcoming events that will shape the 2022-23 recruiting cycle.
The following report, in his own words, was provided to the Hotline on April 25 …
— The biggest recruiting news coming out of the weekend is that USC continues to hit the transfer portal hard, this time on defense: The Trojans got a commitment Sunday from Ohio State safety Bryson Shaw, who started for the Buckeyes.
Obviously, they are not slowing down in terms of getting players from the portal with the May 1 deadline looming.”
(Players who transfer after May 1 must sit out the 2022 season or receive a waiver from the NCAA.)
— Both USC and Oregon hosted big contingents of players this weekend for their spring games. That’s where all the eyes were. Both had high-profile games, good attendance, and new coaching staffx.
— From a high school recruiting standpoint, the biggest news was that Tacoma edge rusher Jayden Wayne, the No. 1 player in the Pacific Northwest, was at Oregon over the weekend for an unofficial visit.
It’s the third time the five-star prospect has been in Eugene since Dan Lanning’s staff was hired. He was there for an unofficial visit in March and also in January, and now this time for their spring game.
— The guest list in Eugene didn’t end with Wayne. The Ducks hosted a pretty big contingent of players for the game — not just from the West Coast but nationally, as well.
The group included five-star offensive tackle Samson Okunlola from Massachusetts and five-star defensive lineman David Hicks from Texas.
— For those who don’t know, Williams’ teammate at Pittsburg is quarterback Jaden Rashada, the fifth-ranked QB prospect in the country in the 247Sports composite and the highest-rated uncommitted passer on the West Coast.
Rashada was supposed to take an unofficial visit to Oregon over the weekend but actually took an official visit to Mississippi and a surprise unofficial visit to LSU on Monday after the Ole Miss trip. (He plans to take an official visit to Baton Rouge in June.)
Arkansas got a quarterback commitment on Monday, so the Razorbacks are out of the running for Rashada. But even with Ole Miss getting a quarterback commitment on Monday, they’re still in it.
Now, Oregon has to deal with LSU and Texas A&M as newcomers to Rashada’s recruitment, and that could throw a major wrench into things in keeping him in the West.
He’ll be in Eugene in two or three weeks — the date hasn’t been locked in.
— Next week, Oregon will host quarterback Dante Moore, who’s ranked just ahead of Rashada by 247. He’s from Detroit, and most people think he’s signed with a school in the Midwest.
But keep an eye on Moore. What he does will be a key to what Rashada’s going to do.
— USC hosted a number of players for their spring game, a slew of athletes. Obviously, it was a big day for them — they had elite players from the prep classes of ’23, ’24 and ’25.
The one player missing was Los Alamitos (CA) quarterback Malachi Nelson. He’s the No. 2 passer in the junior class behind Arch Manning and has already committed to Lincoln Riley.
He didn’t attend the Trojans’ spring game because he was playing in a 7-on-7 tournament in Arizona.
— The only other major news was Jackson Bowers, a four-star tight end from Mesa, Ariz., named his top-seven schools.
They are Alabama, Arizona, Auburn, BYU, Mississippi, Oregon and Washington. So the Pac-12 has three teams still in it.
— Also, Caleb Presley, the No. 1 cornerback in the West in the class of ’23 — he’s from Rainier Beach high in Seattle — named his top 12 schools.
“Oregon, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Utah and Washington made the cut, so that’s encouraging for the Pac-12 that it made up half the teams on his list.
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