While we cover Oregon State recruiting in-depth, it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the PAC 12 Conference to see how the competition is doing. It is early, but the spring is a great time to take a look at who has started off strong on the recruiting trail. For the 2018 class, we are seeing a lot of the usual programs jumping out early with top ranked recruits
Here is a look at the Conference of Champions, listed in order by Scout Ranking.
BeaverBlitz Take: USC currently ranks 7th in the nation based upon Scout rankings and they have the start of a strong class. They are led by 5-star outside linebacker Palale Gaoteote from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. They also just added a big commitment from 4-star defensive tackle Tuli Letuligasenoa for Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. Of their six commitments, five are on the defensive side of the ball.
BeaverBlitz Take: In true Chris Peterson fashion, the Huskies are doing well on the recruiting trail and are ranked #8 nationally, right behind USC. They've come into Oregon and snagged two Beaver targets in Draco Bynum and Trey Lowe and they've gained commitments from two quarterbacks that the Beavers had offered in Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff. Six of the eight commitments are rated as 4-stars. The chance of flipping any of these commits is slim as once a player commits to Peterson, they become solid pretty quickly. The Huskies already look like they are on their way to continuing to build a power in the PAC 12 North.
BeaverBlitz Take: Jim Mora's Bruins check in with a #14 ranking nationally, led by 4-star quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson from Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman. With eight commits already on the list, one would think the Bruins are well on their way, however we've seen from the past that Mora and Co. aren't afraid to jump in and gain commitments from players only to force them out when someone "better" comes along. UCLA also does less with more talent than probably anyone in the conference.
BeaverBlitz Take: Stanford ranks #31 and that is only with four commits. Quarterback Jack West is David Shaw's highest rated recruit (#20 for QB's). As usual, the Cardinal recruits nationally and currently has commitments from California, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. The chance of flipping these commits is tough unless they don't clear admissions. The Beavers weren't actively recruiting any of the Cardinal commitments except for Michael Wilson, wide receiver from West Hills, California.
BeaverBlitz Take: Utah checks in with three commitments and a #35 ranking. Quarterback Jack Tuttle is Kyle Whittingham's top recruit and the only one of the Ute's commitments that the Beavers were actively recruiting. The battle on the recruiting trail between Whittingham and Andersen is always fierce and expect that tensions to rise as we get deeper into the 2018 recruiting cycle.
BeaverBlitz Take: Interesting to see new Cal coach Justin Wilcox checking in with five commitments already and a #36 ranking. The Golden Bears have 4-star quarterback Adrian Martinez already in the fold, a player that Oregon State offered. While they have no commits currently in the Scout 300, they have two 4-star prospects in the mix.
BeaverBlitz Take: Coach MacIntyre is looking to build off the success of last year's campaign. He did a good job of recruiting players using his 'rebuilding' pitch, but now it gets tougher as the Buffs are now contenders. With six commits already including a quarterback commit in Blake Stenstrom and offensive line prospect Joshka Gustav, whom the Beavers offered recently. The Buffs and Beavs went head to head down the stretch on several prospects and we expect that to continue this season as well.
BeaverBlitz Take: The Wildcats are currently ranked 53, but lack any star power to date on their commitment list. They have secured a quarterback in Jamarye Joyner, but questions will undoubtedly swirl around Rich Rodriguez's future in Tucson unless the Wildcats can win this season, which does put pressure on the recruiting front.
BeaverBlitz Take: #55 in the Scout Rankings. Watching Mike Leach recruit is always somewhat entertaining. What is surprising is that he hasn't secured a quarterback commit, which is usually a top priority in his Air Raid system. The Cougars do have a commitment from 4-star linebacker Victor Terry, whom the Beavers were actively recruiting. Last year the Beavers were able to flip three players who were at one time committed to the Cougs including Isaiah Hodgins, Jeffrey Manning and Charles Moku Watson. Can they do it again this year?
BeaverBlitz Take: The Beavers currently rank #63, with two commitments from very solid three star prospects, both Northern California, Bay Area prospects. The Beavers need to secure a quarterback as they are some of the first athletes to commit.
BeaverBlitz Take: The Ducks check in at #69 with their one commit from 3-star running back Travis Dye. Undoubtedly they will rise in the rankings, but it will be interesting to see what Willie Taggert can do in a full year recruiting for the Ducks.
Arizona State currently is unranked as they have not received a verbal commitment for the 2018 class to date. Interesting as Todd Graham has typically done well on the recruiting trail, however, he appears to be on the hot seat and that is having an impact in Tempe.