West Recruiting Notebook

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

Quarterback Dominoes Again

Corona (Calif.) Santiago quarterback Blake Barnett committed to Alabama last week to continue the quarterback commitment cycle out West.

And this was truly a case of the domino effect, even if it was somewhat delayed.

When Ricky Town, the Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure five-star, decommitted from the Tide in January and committed to USC that day, it opened up the spot for Alabama.

Barnett was a commit to Notre Dame for months before opening it up and it appeared like he was headed to Oregon.

But a trip to Tuscaloosa swung momentum their way.

Now with Barnett going to Alabama, Oregon offered Sam Darnold from San Clemente (Calif.) and Travis Waller from Anaheim (Calif.) Servite. 

Waller had Alabama in his final four, along with Notre Dame, one spot closing with Barnett's commitment but the other spot opening because of Barnett's decommitment.  Then the Oregon offer, which looked earmarked for Barnett, gave Waller another option and he updated his top four to also include Northwestern and Ohio State along with the Ducks and Irish.

But it's also an option for Darnold, who threw at USC on Saturday and perhaps the Trojans become an option for Darnold as the second quarterback in the 2015 class.  In the meantime, Darnold will visit Duke and Northwestern this week.

Meanwhile, Bothell (Wash.) quarterback Ross Bowers is weighing a greyshirt option with Washington, the hometown school where his mother is the head gymnastics coach and a school that already has a commitment from Jake Browning from Folsom (Calif.).

Got all that?

Waller is set to announce next Tuesday, before he heads to the Elite 11 Finals.  Darnold, Barnett and Town will all be there too, the four tied together not just by their CIF-SS affiliation, but the true domino effect that every year affects quarterback recruiting.

The Opening Roster and Elite 11 Finals Set

The Opening is a five-day competition featuring the best football prospects in the nation, conducted at the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon.

It features 7-on-7 and lineman competition, as well as the Elite 11 quarterback competition going on in tandem. This year it takes place July 5th through July 10, and it includes 36 prospects from the West.

And of the 18 quarterbacks invited to the Elite 11 Finals, half of them come from the West, with nine quarterbacks earning invitations. Here are the West prospects that have been invited to The Opening.

Three schools, Newhall (Calif.) Hart, Gardena (Calif.) Serra and Anaheim (Calif.) Servite, have two players each headed to Beaverton.

Ducks Go Big

Oregon added three offensive line commits in the span of three days, two from Northern California and one from Washington.

Lafayette (Calif.) Acalenes offensive tackle Brady Aiello got things started with a verbal to the Ducks on Friday.

The next day, Bellevue (Wash.) Newport tackle Calvin Throckmorton spurned the in-state schools to head down south and committed to the Ducks.

Wrapping it up was Eureka (Calif.) offensive guard Jake Hanson, who made it a trifecta for the Ducks.

For good measure, the Ducks added an out-of-region skill prospect in four-star receiver Alex Ofodile from Missouri.

Arizona State's Big Monday

While the Ducks spread their big lineman haul over the weekend, Arizona State did it all on Monday, getting three offensive line commits to start the week.

They grabbed two from in-state and one from California.

Gilbert (Ariz.) Wiliams Field tackle Cade Cote got things going early on Monday, choosing the home-state Sun Devils over double-digit schools.

Then across town, Gilbert (Ariz.) tackle Steve Miller also spurned several out-of-state options to stay close to home.

Finally, Temecula (Calif.) Chaparral tackle Mason Walter put the capper on the day by picking the Sun Devils over 15 other schools.

They joined Malik Lawal, Walter's teammate at Chaparral, and a three-star linebacker, who committed to the Sun Devils on Thursday.

Lucier-South Names a Top 11

Orange (Calif.) Lutheran defensive end Keisean Lucier-South is one of the premier prospects in the West.

The five-star has over 30 offers from around the country.

But all of the options he has had him tightening up his list a bit.

Lucier-South named a top 11, which he said was in no order.

The schools that made his top 11 were Oregon, Notre Dame, Florida, USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Michigan, Texas, LSU, Oklahoma and Florida State.

The DL MVP at the Los Angeles NFTC, Lucier-South will be at The Opening next month.

  • After signing with Cal in February, Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco four-star linebacker Chandler Leniu came full circle. A one-time commit to Washington State, Leniu flipped to the Bears and signed with them in February, but being a class short for UC admission, Leniu was released from his NLI with Cal and signed scholarship papers with Washington State and will be eligible to play this fall.  Leniu was a Semper Fidelis All-American last year and helped the Braves go 16-0 and win the CIF State Open Division title, the first in school history.
  • Folsom (Calif.) offensive guard Cody Creason, one of the top linemen in Northern California, named his final four on Monday.  Creason named Arizona, Arizona State, Cal and Utah as the four finalists for his commitment.

    James Empey - OL - American Fork (Utah) - 2015
    Empey is one of the top linemen in Utah in what is a banner year for in-state talent and Mountain Recruiting Analyst Doug Kimmel has been on the Empey train for a while.  Empey shined at All-Poly last week and as a result, picked up offers from BYU, Oregon State, Nevada and Washington State.  Meanwhile, Wisconsin, Stanford and USC have upped their interest in Empey.

  • Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) receiver Ray Surry committed to San Jose State.
  • Long Beach (Calif.) City College receiver De'Quan Hampton comitted to USC.
  • Etiwanda (Calif.) tight end Mike Neal committed to Washington.
  • Sacramento (Calif.) safety Kyron Basped committed to San Jose State.
  • Chatsworth (Calif.) Sierra Canyon athlete Isaiah Renfro committed to Washington.
  • St. George (Utah) Pineview quarterback Kody Wilstead committed to BYU.
  • Bakersfield (Calif.) Liberty safety Anthony Mariscal committed to Arizona.
  • Encinitas (Calif.) Torrey Pines receiver Jack Bailey committed to San Diego State.
  • Silverdale (Wash.) Central Kitsap tight end Brion Anduze committed to Arizona.
  • Granite Hills (Calif.) quarterback Seth Collins committed to San Jose State.
  • Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde athlete Cedric Peterson committed to Arizona.
  • Solana Beach (Calif.) Santa Fe Christian kicker Jake Bailey committed to Stanford.
  • Payson (Utah) outside linebacker Dalton Baker committed to Utah State.
  • Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton safety Cody Barton committed to Utah.
  • Saddleback (Calif.) College offensive guard Tyler Wilemon committed to Utah State.
  • South Jordan (Utah) Bingham 2017 defensive end Langi Tuifua committed to Utah.

  • Westlake (Calif.) 2016 quarterback Malik Henry was offered by Michigan State and Texas A&M.
  • Newbury Park (Calif.) 2017 cornerback Darnay Holmes was offered by Miami.
  • Walnut Creek (Calif.) Las Lomas offensive lineman Noah Myers was offered by Washington State.
  • Pittsburg (Calif.) 2016 safety Shurod Thompson was offered by Arizona, Oregon State and San Jose State.
  • Berkeley (Calif.) St. Mary's safety Ron Smith was offered by Washington State.
  • Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis offensive lineman Fred Ulu-Perry was offered by UCLA.
  • Fontana (Calif.) Summit 2016 receiver Damian Alloway was offered by Washington.
  • Marysville (Wash.) Pilchuck cornerback Austin Joyner was offered by Washington.
  • Danville (Calif.) San Ramon Valley offensive lineman Dru Samia was offered by Colorado, Texas Tech and UCLA.
  • Lake Stevens (Wash.) 2016 quarterback Jacob Eason was offered by Washington.
  • New Westminster (B.C.) offensive lineman Harper Sherman was offered by Oregon State.
  • Paramount (Calif.) cornerback Donzale Roddie was offered by Boise State.
  • Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos 2016 linebacker Bryce Youngquist was offered by Nevada and Washington State.
  • Fresno (Calif.) Clovis North athlete Bransin Johnson was offered by Weber State.
  • Gardena (Calif.) Serra 2016 cornerback C.J. Pollard was offered by San Jose State.
  • Norco (Calif.) receiver Cameron Sutton was offered by Montana and Montana State.
  • San Diego (Calif.) Del Norte defensive back Quenton Meeks was offered by Oregon State and Washington.
  • Mission Viejo (Calif.) center Cole Smith was offered by UCLA.
  • Anaheim (Calif.) Servite offensive tackle Clayton Johnston was offered by USC.
  • Long Beach (Calif.) Poly 2016 receiver Jack Jones was offered by UCLA.
  • Etiwanda (Calif.) 2016 cornerback Treyjohn Butler was offered by Washington State.
  • Santa Margarita (Calif.) 2016 quarterback K.J. Costello was offered by Alabama and Florida.
  • Hurricane (Utah) linebacker Jeremiah Ieremia was offered by Hawaii and Washington.
  • Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei offensive lineman Olive Sagapolu was offered by Washington State and Wisconsin.
  • Spanish Fork (Utah) Maple Mountain 2016 quarterback Jaren Hall was offered by BYU.
  • Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton 2016 linebacker Jackson Kaufusi was offered by Virginia Union.
  • Kapolei (Utah) offensive tackle Pesi Savea was offered by Boise State.
  • Saratoga Springs (Utah) Westlake 2017 safety Chaz Ah You was offered by Oklahoma State.
  • Salt Lake City (Utah) East defensive lineman Hausia Sekona was offered by Idaho State and Nevada.
  • Ralston Valley (Colo.) running back Andrew Wingard was offered by Wyoming.
  • South Jordan (Utah) Bingham 2016 quarterback Kahi Neves was offered by Hawaii.
  • Cheyenne (Wyo.) East athlete Tevis Bartlett was offered by Utah.
  • Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton 2016 defensive tackle Garrett Rand was offered by Nebraska.
  • Phoenix (Ariz.) Pinnacle longsnapper Nick Maxey was offered by Air Force.
  • Phoenix (Ariz.) Mountain Pointe offensive tackle Nick Carman was offered by Wyoming.
  • Glendale (Ariz.) Deer Valley defensive end Brian Calhoun was offered by Arizona State.
  • Yuma (Ariz.) Catholic tight end Matt Pistone was offered by San Diego State.
  • Tustin (Calif.) receiver George Wilson was offered by San Jose State.
  • Anaheim (Calif.) Servite receiver Equanimeous St. Brown was offered by Miami.

    Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell and Mountain Recruiting Analyst Doug Kimmel contributed to this notebook

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