West Recruiting Notebook

A look at the latest news and notes from out West in this week's notebook...

2012 Season Kickoff

The college season kicked off this weekend, and while it's been a quiet couple of weeks in recruiting, not many commitments coming down the pike, expect things to pick up in the weeks ahead.

The evaluation period begins today, but with college games going on today, it will likely not be until next weekend that coaches will start getting out to see games.

Official visits are also beginning to get set for the season, and with Western schools hosting home games, plenty of unofficial visits are being taken, or at the least, players are taking in home games.

With the recent release of the West 150 for 2013, one of the most interesting things to look at was how many commits there are, especially at the top end, the elite prospects who used to be the ones to wait things out.

Of the top 30 prospects in the West, 24 have given verbal commitments, Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis the lone five-star to still be uncommitted.  The other five in the top 30 yet to decide include Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) safety Tahaan Goodman, Fresno (Calif.) Central cornerback Johnny Johnson, Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep receiver Devon Allen, Upland (Calif.) defensive end Joe Mathis and Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton cornerback Cole Luke.

But even of those committed prospects, a number have set official visits to other schools including USC verbal Nico Falah, the West's top offensive linemen, who just set an official visit to Oregon.

Another storyline to watch will be which prospect will emerge this fall as a player under-the-radar to a player that becomes a heavily pursued prospect.

Going back to 2007, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly defensive backs Vaughn Telemaque and Herman Davidson didn't even start as juniors, and Davidson didn't even have one offer after the spring or summer, but both ended up in the Scout 300, with double-digit offers, before signing with ACC schools Miami and North Carolina respectively. 

The intrigue in the college football season will play a big role with players out West too:  Can USC win the national championship?  Can Oregon?  Can Stanford continue its successful run with Andrew Luck in Indianapolis?  How will new coaches fare at Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA and Washington State?  Will the Big East move next year help Boise State and San Diego State?  Everyone of those questions can have answers drawn from recruiting.

And we have five months to see if they do.

  • Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei tight end Thomas Duarte was offered by California.
  • La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat athlete Dionza Blue was offered by San Diego State.
    Brandon is in his eighth year with FOX Sports NEXT, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the FOX Sports NEXT Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the FOX Sports NEXT network since 2003.
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