Several Pac-10 schools are still in the running for some of the top high school football prospects on the West Coast. Could USC be in for even more competition down the road?
Over the past five seasons, the Trojans have recruited better than any program in the nation. That trend is holding firm this year. USC has the nation's No. 8 class despite having commitments from just 14 prospects.
Several other Pac-10 programs still have a lot of work to do in this recruiting class. Cal and Oregon have just 11 commitments so far, while only nine prospects have committed to Stanford and Oregon State. That means there's some West Coast talent that is uncommitted. In fact, California has several elite prospects still on the table.
The state's top player, running back Darrell Scott, hasn't tipped his hand. He's looking at USC and UCLA, but is also interested in a bevy of programs outside the state. Many expect Scott to suit up for a team outside the Pac-10 next season.
On the other hand, several of California's top linemen are considering Pac-10 schools. Four-star guard Max Tuioti-Mariner of Corona has taken official visits to Cal and Oregon, among others. He's also looking at Oregon State. He's a strong, agile lineman who will give someone's class star power. Fellow guard Allen Carroll of Oakland McClymonds appears to be choosing from among six league schools.
Hamani Stevens is one of the nation's top centers, and holds offers from just about everyone but USC. Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA are in a good position with him.
Fresno Edison cornerback Robert Golden has taken several visits and is down to Arizona, UCLA and Oregon State. He will make his decision Saturday. Tight end Ryan Deehan also may be nearing a decision. Deehan, a four-star prospect from Poway, has Oregon and Arizona State on his short list. He has taken official visits to both schools, and also to Colorado.
The bottom half of California's top-100 list contains plenty of uncommitted prospects who undoubtedly will help fill out the now-sparse classes of most Pac-10 schools.
In addition, most of the top prospects in Washington have not made their decisions. Tight end Kavario Middleton -- the No. 1 player in the state -- has taken official visits to Arizona State and Oregon, and he will take an official to Washington on Dec. 7. Defensive end Everette Thompson of Burien Kennedy has taken an official visit to Oregon, and also is looking at Oregon State and Washington.
Don't be surprised if guard Alameda Ta'amu of Seattle makes his decision before too long. He's planning on two more official visits before deciding from among Arizona, Oregon State, Washington and Hawaii.
Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson has done a great job recruiting in-state talent this year. The Sun Devils have commitments from six of Arizona's top 13 high school seniors, and they're positioned to land others. It may be tough to keep athlete Gerell Robinson in the state, though, as he appears torn between Oregon and Notre Dame.
Similarly, all-purpose back Covaughn DeBoskie from Chandler Hamilton is entertaining interest from several out-of-state programs. Arizona State, Cal and Stanford are in the running for DeBoskie.
What about USC? The Trojans should finish strong, as usual. They're in the running for several of the top uncommitted prospects in the nation. USC is a serious option for linebackers Arthur Brown (Kansas) and Jerrell Harris (Alabama), wide receiver Deion Walker (Virginia) and cornerback T.J. Bryant (Florida) -- all members of the Rivals100.
Several of UCLA's recruits have kept their commitments soft to date, including running backs Aundre Dean and Milton Knox, defensive backs Anthony Dye, Rahim Moore and Aaron Hester, defensive end Datone Jones, linebacker Uona Kavienga and wide receiver Antwon Moutra.
Dye took an official visit to Oregon in October and also is considering Oregon State. Hester still has interest from several other Pac-10 schools. It will be interesting to see if the Bruins are able to hold onto them, and that may be contingent on the future of UCLA's coaching staff. Saturday's big win over certainly Oregon didn't hurt.
Lexington (Ky.) Catholic safety Winston Guy committed to Kentucky over offers from Minnesota and Arkansas this past weekend. Guy, a 6-foot, 186-pounder, is one of the top players in the state.
Keep an eye on the committed recruits at Nebraska, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Texas A&M, as well as other programs that will have a coaching change. This is the time of year when numerous prospects who committed to a school mainly because of the coaching staff start looking around again.