Brandon Huffman – Pac-12 impact of Dylan Raiola commitment to Ohio State

(AP Photo/Ralph Freso, File)

The foundation for recruiting success during the December signing window often is laid in the spring, when on-campus visits are taken, short lists created and verbal commitments made.

The Hotline is delighted to provide Pac-12 fans with a dive into 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 May 9 …

With the commitment Monday night of five-star quarterback Dylan Raiola to Ohio State, the Buckeyes have now come out to the West Coast and landed four top-rated QBs in a five-year stretch.

They got Jack Miller (Scottsdale) and C.J. Stroud (Rancho Cucamonga) in the class of 2020, Devin Brown (Draper Canyon, Utah) in ’22 and now Raiola in the class of ‘24.

*** Raiola, who’s from Chandler, Arizona, is the top-rated sophomore in the country in the 247Sports ratings.

Why is the commitment significant? Because there were a lot of eyes pointing to USC to land him. At one point, he was the only quarterback they were recruiting — that they were even communicating with.

Now, he leaves the Pac-12 footprint.

*** USC has no reason to fret. The Trojans have five-star quarterback Malachi Nelson from the class of ’23.

Traditionally, what we saw with Lincoln Riley at Oklahoma was that every other year, he went for an elite quarterback. If the Trojans decide to stay out West for a quarterback in the class of ’24, there are plenty of options. They will probably take a long look at five-star Julian Sayin from Carlsbad and four-star Elijah Brown from Mater Dei.

But Raiola is another West Coast player leaving the Pac-12.

*** Speaking of that …

Four-star quarterback Gabarri Johnson of Tacoma announced his commitment to Missouri over the weekend. Washington hoped to get him but instead lost him to an SEC school — and to Bush Hamdan, the former UW offensive coordinator who’s on the Missouri staff.

It will be interesting to see where the Huskies pivot.

*** UCLA landed a commitment Sunday from Ty Lee, a three-star safety from St. John Bosco. He’s a cousin of Bru McCoy, and his first offer was from USC. But with the coaching change and with McCoy’s time at USC coming to an end — he’s transferring to Tennessee — Lee decided to stay out West but commit to UCLA.

That gives the Bruins two commitments out of the class of ’23, along with Grant Gray, the receiver from Norco.

*** The Huskies have a big weekend coming up with visits from four West Coast prospects.

Two are from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas: three-star cornerback Jeremiah Hughes and four-star safety Kodi Decambra.

The other two are from the Bay Area: four-star receiver Rashid Williams and three-star cornerback Sailasa Vadrawale.

Williams is a top-247 player. His first official visit will go to the Huskies, and his 7-on-7 teammate is Vadrawale.

That situation will be interesting to watch because Cal covets both of them. They’re in the Bears’ backyard, and they were the first school to offer Vadrawale and one of the first to offer Williams.

It will be significant for Washington to host those four, especially getting Williams to take his first official — before he visits Oregon State and Cal in June.

*** Three-star athlete Kade Eldridge will also be taking his official visit to Washington.

That’s significant because he’s an in-state recruit who is drawing national interest — Michigan is making a big push — and he has an official visit set to USC on June 16th.

So the Huskies getting an in-state official visit is big for first-year coach Kalen DeBoer.

*** Expanding across the West, we find Stanford defensive coordinator Lance Anderson, who has strong ties to Idaho, went in and offered the state’s top prospect in the class of 2023: four-star athlete Kenyon Sadiq.

Then Stanford offered three-star receiver Gatlin Bair, the No. 1 player in Idaho in the class of ’24. He has five Pac-12 offers but has SEC bloodlines: His brother is a decathlete at Mississippi State.

Bair has already run sub-11 seconds for the 100 meters; he’s one of the fastest sophomores in the country who plays football.

While it recruits nationally, Stanford has gone to Idaho and made offers to players in two consecutive classes.

*** That’s about it for news — because it was Mother’s Day, there weren’t a lot of official visits last weekend.

But this coming weekend, with the ESPN Elite Underclassmen Camp in Oakland, I anticipate a lot of news.

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*** Send suggestions, comments and tips (confidentiality guaranteed) to or call 408-920-5716

*** Follow Huffman on Twitter: @BrandonHuffman

*** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

*** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.