The Dead Period is almost a thing of the past. Schools and prospects will spend the next 20 days scrambling to find the right fits leading up to Febuary, 4th, National Signing Day.
Here's how Scout would handicap the best uncommitted prospects in the Mountain Region.
Osa Masina | LB | Salt Lake City (Utah) Brighton |
Smart Money Says: There have been multiple leaders, but since the official visit to USC in late November, the consensus has been Masina is a Trojan lean. There's no arguments here, but to leave UCLA out of the mix would be a mistake. Coach Mora and the Bruins have been high on Masina's list since last winter. It's nearly a coin flip, but USC has the slight edge.
The Dark Horse: There really isn't a dark horse here. A few of his best friends and teammates think he could surprise everyone and stay home to play for Utah. The odds of that happening are similar to the Oakland Raiders winning the 2015-2016 Super Bowl. Bank on Osa going somewhere in LA and do not bank on the Raiders winning more than 5 games next season.
Porter Gustin | DE | Salem Hills (Utah) |
Smart Money Says: Fight on. USC is the best bet for landing the versatile DE/OLB. Yet, Arizona State is very much alive in Gustin's recruitment. In late Novemeber, somebody close to the situation told me it was 51:49 USC, when comparing the two Pac-12 foe. Coach Long (Chip) has done a tremendous job for the Sun Devils, but at the end of the day, the draw of USC's history will be too much for Gustin to pass up. He is well aware of the talented class Sark brought in last year and is following the 2015 recruiting very closely.
The Dark Horse: It feels funny to call Ohio State a dark horse after they recently stomped Oregon for the National Championship just a few days ago. Gustin's ideal school has an illustrious history, is in the running for the NC year in and year out, and sends a lot of players to the NFL. Ohio State certainly fits that profile. He is hoping to get out to Columbus in a few weeks. If he makes that trip, Urban could steal the coveted prospect from SC and ASU.
Cordell Broadus | WR | Las Vegas (Nevada) Bishop Gorman |
Smart Money Says: Arizona State has as good a shot as anyone to land the four-star wide receiver. Broadus has done a good job planning things close to the vest, but was adamant that his visit to Tempe was a great one. Jaelen Strong hosted Broadus and left a big impact on him. Even Snoop has been showing Strong and ASU some love in the past few months.
The Dark Horse: LSU has a chance to snatch Broadus. In the past, the talented WR has expressed interest in the Tigers and now that Coach Orgeron is in Baton Rouge, that interest may grow. He was planning to take an official visit sometime this month. If he does, LSU may emerge as one of the leaders for Broadus.
Christian Folau | MLB | Salt Lake City (Utah) East |
Smart Money Says: Folau ends up at Oregon. The four-star backer is still trying to work out the details of his visit to Eugene. If and when he makes the trip up to Oregon, he is likely to commit on that visit.
The Dark Horse: Folau nearly committed to Wisconsin, primarily due to his strong relationship with Coach Andersen. After he bolted to Oregon State, Folau was planning to stay home and commit to Utah. He then learned that his two primary recruiters Coach Sitake and Tuiaki also went up to Oregon State. If something falls through with the Ducks, look for Oregon State to capitalize. He has a high comfort level with the coaching staff in Corvallis and would fit in well up there after his mission.
Semisi Uluave | OG | Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou |
Smart Money Says: 8clap. UCLA has been in the driver's seat for the versatile Hawaiian linemen since late in the summer. Oregon has made things interesting, but Uluave is still the Bruins to lose. If it was up to him, he would have committed to UCLA months ago, but his parents have insisted he go on a few visits first. That has left the door open, but Coach Mora and Klemm have to feel good about landing the four-star hog.
The Dark Horse: With an upcoming trip to Texas Tech, it's easy to call the Red Raiders a dark horse. Five-star defensive tackle, Breiden Fehoko, has enrolled early at Lubbock, and will likely be hosting Uluave. The two Hawaiians have been friends for a long time and competed on the gridiron since they were in elementary school. Landing Uluave would further prove that Texas Tech is building a solid Polynesian Pipeline.
Gabe Reid | DE/OLB | Provo (Utah) Timpview |
Smart Money Says: Reid will be heading to Stanford after his mission. Coach Anderson (Lance) passing up the Michigan job most likely solidified the explosive rush-end will be going to Palo Alto. The education and tough defense have had the Cardinal program on top for Reid for a long time now.
The Dark Horse: It's hard to count out BYU, with Reid's family history and growing up a few blocks from the campus. His long time teammate and friend, Devin Kaufusi has been committed to the Cougars for over a year. This is a long shot, but if he doesn't go to Stanford, BYU is a likely landing spot.
James Empey | OG | American Fork (Utah) |
Smart Money Says: Empey is going to end up about 20 miles north of home, and play for Coach Whittingham and the Utah Utes. Coach Harding and Roderick have done a great job recruiting the road grading guard/center. He will be tripping to Utah next weekend and it wouldn't be surprising if he committed during the visit.
The Dark Horse: Oregon State has a coaching staff that appeals to Empey and his family. There is a chance that he makes a trip to Corvallis the last weekend in January, with his best friend Lopini Katoa. The Beavers could steal one of Utah's best right before Signing Day.
Mufi Hunt | DE | Taylorsville (Utah) |
Smart Money Says: Washington State lands the long and talented rush end. Coach Salave'a is family and the buzz around the Cougar program has Hunt fired up. He has taken his official to Pullman and came back very high on Coach Leach and Washington State. It's not going to be easy to land Hunt, as he is planning to take three more visits, but it looks like he is WAZZU's to lose.
The Dark Horse: Michigan State came out of nowhere and has emerged as a legitimate contender for Hunt. The Spartans are his newest offer and will be receiving a visit next week from the 6-6 215 pound end.
Scout will keep you posted on all the Mountain/Island Region recruiting action down the stretch. Stay tuned...