Pac-12 recruiting update: Oregon lands four-star WR, Washington hopes to keep Tacoma QB at home and UCLA changes its strategy

(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 2 …

*** The big news from the weekend was Dante Moore, a five-star quarterback from Detroit, took his official visit to Oregon.

It was his second official visit; he took one to LSU last month. There’s a lot of buzz pointing him to Michigan and Miami, but Oregon getting him for an official was significant because the Ducks were supposed to get another five-star quarterback, Jaden Rashada of the Bay Area, onto campus last weekend for an official. And that didn’t happen.

The Ducks are very much a candidate for Moore. Offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham is running point for them on his recruitment.

It’s a big one, especially with Rashada’s recent unofficial visit to LSU, which he took after an official to Mississippi. LSU is very much a factor for him, and the Tigers are in it for Moore, as well.

Then you have Texas A&M, which also offered Rashada. So there’s a lot of competition for these guys, but the Ducks are in play for Rashada and for Moore.

With Malachi Nelson committed to USC and Nico Iamaleava committed to Tennessee, the number of available elite West Coast quarterbacks is shrinking.

A lot of eyes are on Rashada and what he’s doing. But Oregon isn’t waiting. The Ducks are bringing in other quarterbacks, like Moore, for official visits.

*** Speaking of official visits, four-star quarterback Gabarri Johnson from Tacoma took an official visit to Missouri, and there’s a Pac-12 connection to that.

Bush Hamdan, who spent two years as Washington’s offensive coordinator and is now Mizzou’s quarterback coach, has been recruiting Johnson to Missouri and offered him a scholarship last month.

Why is that significant? Washington was in the mix for Johnson.

He was one of the first quarterbacks head coach Kalen DeBoer and offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb offered when they got to Seattle. They would obviously love to keep him home, but now Missouri has brought him in for the official.

At one point, it looked like Johnson was going to Utah, but they took a commitment from three-star Mack Howard instead. Now, Missouri is making a late push.

UW is still in the mix. The Huskies would like to bring him in for an official this spring, but the dates haven’t been set yet.

*** We had a significant development Monday night when four-star receiver Jurrion Dickey committed to Oregon. He chose the Ducks over Penn State and three other Pac-12 teams (UCLA, USC, and Washington).

He’s the second top-247 receiver to commit to the Ducks under position coach Junior Adams, who changed staffs, from Washington to Oregon, over the winter.

Dickey is the No. 2 player in Northern California, after Rashada.

*** The other big news involves Rashid Williams, a four-star receiver from Pittsburg, in the Bay Area. He’s teammates with Rashada and has set his first three official visits. It’s interesting — heavy Pac-12 recruitment. His three officials are Washington on May 13, Oregon State on June 4, and Cal on June 23.

Oregon, where he took an unofficial visit, and Stanford, where he is just starting the application process, are also hoping to get official visits from him this spring.

I don’t anticipate Williams and Rashada being a package deal even though they’re teammates. In fact, the only school in play for both is Oregon, but the Ducks seem like they are down the list for Williams. 

But those are big ones because they are official visits for top-247 guys and Pac-12 schools are trying to get them to happen sooner than later.

*** UCLA will host a number of recruits this weekend, including two offensive linemen from out-of-state, three-star tackle Elijah Paige from Arizona, and three-star tackle Heath Ozaeta from Washington, plus three-star tight end Spencer Shannon from powerhouse Mater Dei.

That’s a change for the Bruins.

They are one of the schools in the Pac-12 that has been against official visits in the spring. They usually bring guys to campus in the fall, so this is very much a change for Chip Kelly.

Not only were they one of the last schools to adapt to official visits in the spring, it now looks like they are trying to do a number of them in May. They have three this weekend, three the following weekend, and a number of guys the weekend before Memorial Day.

Even though UCLA continues to focus on the transfer portal, we’re seeing an adjustment to how Kelly is doing his recruiting.

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*** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline

*** Follow Huffman on Twitter: @BrandonHuffman

*** 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.