HUFFMAN – Recruiting roundup: Cal bounces back as WSU lands three prospects and Utah gets in-state pledge

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The Hotline is delighted to provide college football fans with a regular dive into the recruiting process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting editor for 247Sports. 

Bears roll on (again)

After losing a commitment from quarterback Robert McDaniel in late May, Cal appeared to be reeling on the recruiting trail. But enthusiasm has returned to Berkeley.

The big commitment following last weekend’s official visits came from cornerback Ja’eon Young, a four-star, two-way standout who’s one of the more dynamic players in Southern California.

In fact, Young was one of three defensive commitments. Mesa (Arizona) linebacker Beckham Barney pledged to the Bears as well. And in a significant win, they also snagged Kahuku (Hawaii) edge rusher LeBron Williams on his official visit.

The three-star prospect canceled an upcoming trip to Washington State and, more importantly, gave Cal a win over in-state rival UCLA, which hosted Williams earlier this month and had a lot of buzz in its favor.

Cougs gaining momentum

Lost amidst the musical chairs of realignment, Washington State and head coach Jake Dickert keep plugging away.

The Cougars hosted a slew of visitors last weekend, with three committing shortly thereafter: safety Aidan Knapke from Colorado, receiver Sean Embree from Southern California and edge Lucan Amituanai from Northern California.

WSU is positioned for another big weekend, with two in-state commitments, Luke Webb and Malijah Tucker, joined by a pair of in-state targets, cornerbacks D’Aryhian Clemons and David Kuku.

The Cougars also will have Texas athlete Braylan McDonald, Southern California edge Kameron Brown and Northern California offensive tackle Michael Klisiewicz on campus for official visits.

Rising edge names final four

The Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC made the final four for one of the fastest rising edge rushers in the West.

Epi Sitanilei, a three-star prospect from St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, California, named his finalists on Wednesday and has an announcement scheduled for June 30th.

He will choose between Cal, Ohio State, UCLA and Utah.

The MVP of defensive linemen at March’s Under Armour Next Camp, Sitanilei has seen his stock skyrocket.

This race appears to be a battle of the Bruins and Bears in an old-fashioned Golden State showdown.

Utes land in-state standout

Utah has locked down the Beehive State in the last few years.

But the first four commitments of the 2024-25 recruiting cycle all came from outside the state.

That changed on Wednesday, when Salt Lake City defensive lineman Karson Kaufusi became the fifth recruit to pledge to Kyle Whittingham’s program..

With ties to the Utes as well as Brigham Young, Kaufusi actually chose Utah over Washington, where his uncle, Jason Kaufusi, is the defensive line coach for the Huskies.

This weekend, the Utes will have a chance to impress the No. 1 player in the state, receiver Jerome Myles from Corner Canyon High School in Draper.

Myles is fresh off being named MVP of his position group at the Under Armour Next Camp in Salt Lake City. A five-star prospect, he’s committed to Mississippi, where the starting quarterback, Jaxson Dart, is a Corner Canyon alum.

But Utah has a Corner Canyon commit of its own: four-star quarterback Isaac Wilson, who was Myles’ quarterback last fall.

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