24/7 Brandon Huffman’s Pac-12 Recruiting Notebook . UW and Cougars get QB’s, more

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Pac-12 football recruiting notes by 24/7 national recruiting analyst Brandon Huffman

*** I don’t know that the recent news of USC and UCLA leaving for the Big Ten will have a major effect on recruits in the high school class of 2023. But it’s going to be fluid enough that it impacts the ’24 class and beyond.

Some recruits have already pushed back decisions to see what the situation ends up being with a couple schools in the current Pac-12 that didn’t get invited into the Big Ten.

And I’ve had two Pac-12 coaches say prospects who were considering USC and UCLA now aren’t sure what they want to do. So I think it’s fluid.

But the news didn’t stop a lot of guys from announcing their decisions over the weekend.

*** The Pac-12 secured a big victory on Tuesday night, as four-star cornerback Caleb Presley of Rainier Beach High School in Seattle committed to Oregon.

That’s two years in a row the Ducks have gone into Washington and landed the No. 1 player in the state. And it’s the second time in a row he has played for Rainier Beach.

The move will reunite Presley with offensive tackle Josh Conerly Jr., the Rainier product who’s beginning his freshman year in Eugene.

Obviously, it’s a big victory for Oregon.

*** Nobody in the Pac-12 has had a better two weeks than Washington from a recruiting standpoint. Even with the uncertainty created by USC and UCLA leaving and even with Presley committing to Oregon, the Huskies still had a good week.

The biggest news was landing the highest-rated offensive lineman in the state, three-star recruit Landen Hatchett, whose older brother, Geirean, is a lineman with the Huskies.

Landen chose UW over a final group that included Michigan, Texas A&M, USC and Oregon — a big win for Washington.

They also grabbed three-star Northern California cornerback Leroy Bryant, who chose UW over a number of offers, including one from Oregon. And they secured a commitment from three-star Bay Area offensive tackle Soane Faasolo, who chose the Huskies over Oregon State.

And crucially, the Huskies got their quarterback for this class in the form of three-star Lincoln Kienholz out of South Dakota, who chose Washington over Wisconsin and North Dakota State.

*** On the other side of the state, Washington State was able to pull in a number of players.

Atop that list is three-star quarterback Sam Leavitt, the No. 3 prospect in the state of Oregon. He trains with former Cougars quarterback Alex Brink on the 7-on-7 circuit.

They also grabbed three-star El Cerrito cornerback Warren Smith, who had offers from Washington, UCLA and Colorado.

Outside the conference footprint, the Cougars went down to Florida and got a commitment from three-star linebacker Jailen Ruth and, in continuing with their national haul, landed unrated Texas running back Deago Benson.

*** Speaking of Texas, three-star linebacker Johnathan Hall committed to Utah over the weekend. He’s a top-50 linebacker nationally.

*** Stanford also fell into the uncertainty mode with regard to the future of the Pac-12, but the Cardinal nonetheless got commitments from players with a four-star rating from 247Sports.

In addition, Stanford landed four-star running back Sedrick Irvin Jr., who was originally committed to Notre Dame for quite some time but parted ways with the Irish this spring.

*** Oregon State had reason to celebrate despite the grim news about the conference’s future. The Beavers landed four-star defensive lineman Kelze Howard from Spring Valley High School in Las Vegas.

He’s the eighth highest-rated player to ever commit to OSU and the highest rated in at least a decade.

That was incredibly significant, a huge win for Jonathan Smith there.