247Sports Brandon Huffman: Pac-12 football recruiting news and notes

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The Hotline is delighted to provide Pac-12 fans with a weekly dive into the recruiting process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting analyst for 247Sports.

The following information, in his words, was provided to the Hotline on Oct. 6 …

The big news this week was the firing of Colorado coach Karl Dorrell, and it will be interesting to see how CU’s 2022-23 recruiting class shakes out with the change. The outcome depends partly on which coaches are retained.

The players who have already committed are pretty optimistic. Right now, the Buffaloes have the seventh-ranked class in the Pac-12 with 17 total commitments — all of them three-star prospects.

*** But there are a few players the Buffaloes have to hold onto tightly.

One of them is Brady Nassar, a three-star edge from Pleasanton, California. He has committed to play for the Buffs, but Oregon State was one of his finalists, and Cal is trying to convince him to stay in the Bay Area.

Nassar can play defensive end and tight end. 247Sports has him rated as an edge rusher. Cal offered him a scholarship as a tight end. Oregon State is recruiting him as an edge.

*** The Buffaloes have a number of committed players from the Big 12 and SEC country, including three-star linebacker CJ Turner from Arkansas and three-star safety Adrian Wilson from Texas.

And with so many of the program’s commitments from Texas — seven of the 17, to be exact — it will be interesting to see if the new head coach maintains those ties and continues to recruit the Lone Star State.

The Buffaloes actually have a decent class that’s just outside the top half of the Pac-12, even with all talk of Dorrell being on the hot seat before the season started.

*** This is a light week in terms of major recruits taking visits to Pac-12 campuses. Southern California high school powerhouses Mater Dei and St. John Bosco square off Friday night, so a lot of those key prospects won’t be hitting the road.

*** That said, UCLA will have its biggest recruiting weekend since the Oregon game last year, when ESPN GameDay was on campus.

The Bruins have three committed players coming in for the Utah showdown, including their quarterback in the 2023 class, Luke Duncan, a three-star prospect from Miramonte High School in the Bay Area.

Three-star safety Ty Lee from St. John Bosco will be in the Rose Bowl on Saturday afternoon. And so will Donavyn Pellot, a three-star athlete from Las Vegas who’s the Bruins’ most-recent commitment.

*** They also will host one of their top uncommitted 2023 targets, three-star athlete Ethan O’Connor from Los Alamitos (California) High School.

Of course, he’s overshadowed by teammates Malachi Nelson and Makai Lemon, the blue-chip prospects bound for USC. But O’Connor is a big target — Washington is also recruiting him.

He took an official visit to Colorado two weeks ago when, interestingly, the Buffaloes played UCLA. The Bruins are definitely making a push.

*** Chip Kelly’s program will also host prospects from the 2024 class, including four-star linebacker Dylan Williams, a Long Beach Poly playmaker who’s committed to USC.

Linebackers coach Ken Norton flipped UCLA commitments to USC when he was on the Trojans’ staff; now, he’s trying to flip USC commitments when he’s a Bruin. (And UCLA is, after all, his alma mater.)

Jordan Lockhart, a four-star linebacker from St. John Bosco who’s committed to Mississippi, also will attend the Utah game. And so will Khristian Dunbar-Hawkins, a four-star cornerback whose older brother, Chris, played at USC.

In fact, Dunbar-Hawkins is one of five Mater Dei High school players in the 2024 class with a scholarship offer from the Bruins.

*** USC’s big visitor this weekend for the Washington State game is Sam Greene, a three-star defensive lineman from Baltimore.

We aren’t certain whether it will be an official or unofficial visit, but Greene committed to the Trojans last month.

*** That’s about it for this week.

Colorado has a bye Saturday and will have coaches on the road recruiting. Cal also has a bye and will do the same.

I anticipate Oregon State’s coaches will be watching games in the Bay Area on Friday ahead of OSU’s matchup at Stanford. The Beavers have always recruited the Bay Area heavily.

*** And as I mentioned above, the biggest high school game of the year is Friday night when Mater Dei hosts St. John Bosco.

These are the top-two teams in the USA Today ‘Super 25’ high school rankings. Combined, they have 40 players with major college scholarship offers, including a number of Pac-12 targets.

All eyes will be on the game. You can bet that USC, UCLA, Utah and Washington State coaches will be in attendance.

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