West Recruiting Notebook

A look at the latest news and notes from out West in this week's notebook, including UCLA's big weekend...

Bruins' Big Weekend

UCLA's win over USC at the Rose Bowl wasn't just a big deal in the Pac-12 South, but it also resonated with a number of recruits that were in attendance for the Crosstown Rivalry.

The Bruins' first win over USC since 2006 not only won the Pac-12 South, it also gave the Bruins' first-year coaching staff something to hang their hat on when recruiting against the Trojans in the Southland.

"It was the best game I've ever been to. I was happy to see UCLA beat USC," four-star defensive end Joe Mathis said.  "All the commits there were trying to get me to commit and all that, like Kenneth Clark, Sean Dowling, and Craig Lee."

Los Angeles (Calif.) Crenshaw athlete Mossi Johnson grew up in the middle of the two schools, and the Bruin commit was confident before the game that UCLA would win.

"I was there at the Rose Bowl and I enjoyed it," said Johnson. "I already knew UCLA was going to win.  The blue and gold is getting ready to take over the city."

Rialto (Calif.) Carter defensive tackle Kenneth Clark, another Bruin pledge, said the win confirmed that UCLA was the spot for him.

"The UCLA-USC game was a great experience," said Clark. "I can finally see that I'm coming in at a great time."

Gardena (Calif.) Serra is the alma mater of the vaunted USC receiving corps of Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.  But a couple of junior prospects that UCLA has offered, cornerback Adoree Jackson and linebacker Dwight Williams, were impressed with the Bruins.

"The game was electrifying because it was local and both teams are basically the home team, so everything was in favor of the crowd," said Williams. "Man, UCLA came out explosive from the first turnover and it just carried on throughout the rest of the game and its crazy how a coaching staff can make that big of a difference in one year from 50-0 to a win."

Jackson also liked what he saw.

"That was my first time ever going to a UCLA game but it definitely won't be my last," Jackson said. "I'll be honest, I was shocked UCLA won, I didn't think they had a chance. USC came out flat and UCLA was fired up and ready to play, you could tell that right a way.  It was crazy there.  The fans were all hyped the whole game and the players were getting everyone involved. They had the 12th man going right there, it was a lot of fun to be a part of. UCLA was one of my first offers and I've always liked them but that win definitely moved them up my list a lot."

Breakup in Berkeley

After 11 years as the head coach at California, Jeff Tedford was fired on Tuesday, coming off a 3-9 season in Berkeley, his worst season ever with the Bears.

Cal had 13 known commitments in the class of 2013, ten of them coming from the Golden State.

Several of the commits reacted to the news, including quarterback commit Jared Goff from Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic.

"I'm still 100% committed to Cal," said Goff.  "I love Coach Tedford as a person and coach.  But I'm looking forward to the future and what great coach they're going to bring in next."

Corona (Calif.) Centennial four-star offensive lineman Cameron Hunt, a Bear verbal since July, also weighed in.

"Cal has a lot of young talent and had to battle a ton of injuries this year. People don't know that but the whole defensive line was hurt at different times. I think Tedford could have turned things around next year but won't get that chance now. Hopefully the new coach will get things rolling and I'm just going to be patient and let things play out," said Hunt.

Receiver A.J. Richardson, who committed during the summer, said he's trying not to focus too much on the situation in Berkeley, with Harbor City (Calif.) Narbonne unbeaten and in the midst of a run to the state title, but he was disappointed to hear Tedford was fired.

"Coach Tedford was a great coach and I'm sorry to hear what happened," said Richardson.  "But my main focus is to win a city championship and maybe more."

Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill tight end Ray Hudson grew up not far from Berkeley, and long favored the hometown Bears, and when he was offered by Cal, he committed soon after.  Hudson is in somewhat of a wait-and-see mode.

"I'm disappointed to see Coach Tedford leave, but I also love Cal," said Hudson.  "I want to see who is brought in and what system will be run before I make future decisions.  I am close with Jared Goff and the 2013 recruits and hope we all stick together."

Commitment Flips

A couple of West Coast prospects flipped their commitments from one school to another this week.

La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat receiver Darren Andrews had been a long time commit to Duke, but then UCLA offered earlier this month.  Andrews ended up switching his commitment to UCLA over the weekend.

Shelton (Wash.) tight end David Ajamu committed to Oregon State during the summer, but like Andrews, when the local school offered, in Ajamu's case, Washington, it was just a matter of time, and Ajamu switched to the Huskies.

Scout 300 Commitment

Encino (Calif.) Crespi safety Tyler Foreman was the only Scout 300 prospect from the West to make his decision this week, the four-star committing to Wisconsin.

 "I picked Wisconsin because of the camaraderie, the football coaches and the brotherhood of the players," said Foreman. "I know it's a long way from home, but its a good place to call home."

Foreman picked the Badgers from a final four that included Oklahoma, UCLA and Utah.

  • Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza cornerback Priest Willis, the lone uncommitted five-star in the West, narrowed his list down to seven schools: Nebraska, LSU, Florida State, Arizona State, Virginia, UCLA and Notre Dame.  Willis will announce his decision on January 4th at the UnderArmour All-America Game.

    Steven Nelson- CB - College of Sequoias (Calif.) 
    A longtime commit to Georgia, Nelson decommitted last week, and appeared to be on the brink of committing to Oregon State. But on Monday, USC and Ole Miss offered Nelson, and he'll now take an official visit to both schools, including USC this weekend.

  • Sacramento (Calif.) American River linebacker Samson Faifili committed to Kansas.
  • Elk Grove (Calif.) Pleasant Grove defensive tackle Nick Terry verballed to Boise State.
  • Los Altos Hills (Calif.) Foothill safety Kent London committed to Houston.

  • El Cerrito (Calif.) 2014 cornerback Adarius Pickett was offered by Arizona State.
  • La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat athlete Dionza Blue was offered by New Mexico State and Hawaii.
  • Gardena (Calif.) Serra 2014 linebacker Dwight Williams was offered by Boise State.
  • Los Angeles (Calif.) Salesian safety Khyahva Tezino, a 2015 prospect was offered by SMU.

    Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for Scout.com/FOXSportsNext.
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    Brandon is in his eighth year with Scout.com, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the Scout.com Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the Scout.com network since 2003.
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