The foundation for recruiting success during the December signing window often is laid in the spring, when on-campus visits are taken, shortlists 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 information, in his words, was provided to the Hotline on May 23 …
To start the column, let’s say this:
Yes, the other Pac-12 schools are recruiting.
And yes, the other Pac-12 schools are being active.
But nobody seems to be doing nearly as much, in either the transfer portal or regular recruiting, as USC and Oregon.
Obviously, it has been a constant theme with those schools this spring, and last week was no different.
*** One week after getting Braxton Myers, the four-star safety out of Texas, the Trojans were able to land the second-biggest fish on the transfer market when they received a commitment from Pitt receiver and Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison.
That whole situation was very polarizing across college football. But it shows the power of Lincoln Riley’s offense and the power of Lincoln Riley’s ability to get the most out of his receivers and why players want to play in his system.
*** At the high school level, Oregon was able to flip four-star receiver Ashton Cozart, who is originally from Washington and moved to Texas prior to the 2020 pandemic season.
He committed to Oklahoma in January but took an official visit to Oregon over the weekend and committed to the Ducks on the visit.
Cozart becomes Oregon’s second commitment from a top-247 receiver in the class of 2023, joining four-star Jurrion Dickey from East Palo Alto.
*** UCLA hosted eight official visits over the weekend. By our count, that’s the largest group the Bruins have had in a single weekend under Chip Kelly since he took over in late 2017.
The group included four offensive linemen and four-star cornerback Maliki Crawford, who’s from Oxnard and last summer became UCLA’s first commitment in the class of 2023.
He re-opened his recruitment in January but, at the time, maintained that UCLA would be in it until the end. And indeed, the Bruins got the first official visit.
Crawford is a top-247 prospect, so it’s significant that UCLA was able to get him to come and follow through on that visit.
But those were overshadowed a bit by what went down at UCLA over the weekend and also by Oregon.
*** In addition to landing a commitment from Cozart, the Ducks had an official visit from Spencer Fano, the No. 2 player in the state of Utah.
He’s the top offensive tackle prospect in the West in the class of 2023, and he’s from Provo, so Oregon getting him on campus was a big deal.
*** The other big news in the Pac-12 was the announcement of four-star receiver Rashid Williams committing to Washington.
Williams originally set his visit list to Washington, Oregon State and Cal, and he wa
He’s the first four-star to commit to UW coach Kalen DeBoer from the junior class.
We’ll see if it gives the Huskies some momentum.
*** Williams’ teammate at Pittsburg High School, five-star quarterback Jaden Rashada, narrowed down his group to seven schools.
It leans heavily to programs outside the Pac-12, but two did make the cut: Cal, his hometown school, and Oregon. The others are Florida, LSU, Texas A&M, Mississippi and Miami.
Rashada said he would announce his decision on June 18, his father’s birthday.
So far, he has only visited Ole Miss for an official. He did see Oregon last weekend, plans to see Florida this week, and Cal has continued to maintain a presence in the process, being the hometown school.
Interestingly enough, the Bears were not in his top 10, but they did make his top seven.
We still feel he’s likely to head out of the Pac-12 footprint. But Cal and Oregon are hanging on for dear life in that recruitment.
Rashada is the top uncommitted quarterback on the West Coast in the junior class.
*** That’s it for the Pac-12 this week. Visits will be a little slow because of the Memorial Day holiday, but June will really ramp it up with coaches hitting the road for the camp circuit.
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