Fast Start to August Out West

Aug. 9 -- The first week in August turned out to be a busy one out West, with a number of Scout 300 commits in the 2017 class coming off the board, others narrowing their lists and UCLA landing a trio of commitments...

Twitter was all abuzz on Monday, the first day of the new rule allowing college coaches to retweet and like the tweets of recruits.

That it happened on the first day (August 1st) that official offers could go out to members of the 2017 class just made the trending topics in the sports world heavy on recruiting, offers and, of course, the word #blessed.

It served as a nice tease to what turned out to be a busy week in the West with a number of prospects in the Scout 300 making commitments, other top 300 prospects narrow their lists, recruits outside the Scout 300 making their college choices and even seeing a Scout 100 prospect from the West in the 2018 class make his choice.

Both USC and UCLA landed a trio of commits, Washington State grabbed two in-state verbals (plus two more from Florida) and Stanford also added a Scout 300 commit.

But it was Duke and Oklahoma that got the biggest verbals this week from West, each landing a four-star quarterback from Southern California

And two of the top defensive prospects in the West narrowed lists and one set his five official visits.

UCLA got some serious momentum during the week, in fact, going three straight days landing a commitment.

They went out of state to get their week started, picking up a commitment from Chris Wilson from Hitchcock (Texas), a three-star safety from the Lone Star State.

A day later, one of the hottest prospects this spring and summer in the West, Corona (Calif.) Centennial cornerback Jaylan Shaw, gave the Bruins a verbal.

Shaw backed up four FBS signees a year ago, three who inked with Pac-12 schools and one now at Boise State, but shined in the spring in workouts, camps and 7on7 and ended up with double-digit offers.

USC and UCLA offered him on consecutive weekends in June after their respective camps but it was the Bruins who landed the fast-rising Shaw.

Then on Thursday, UCLA got their biggest offensive verbal in the 2017 class at a major position of need.

The Bruins picked up a commitment from Roseville (Calif.) four-star tight end Jimmy Jaggers.

Jaggers had visited Alabama and Tennessee, who had both offered, in recent weeks and it looked like USC might be able to snag him but Jaggers ultimately picked the Bruins, UCLA's lone four-star to date on offense.

While it was the 2017 class that got most of the attention during the week with their new found social media buzz, it was a verbal from the No. 5 quarterback nationally in the 2018 class, Cameron Rising from Newbury Park (Calif.), that was the highest rated one.

Rising committed to Oklahoma, choosing the Sooners over a host of offers, including from Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska and Penn State but said that North Carolina, TCU and UCLA made the biggest impression before he ultimately chose Oklahoma.

"I have a great relationship with the coaches, especially Coach (Lincoln) Riley and Coach (Bob) Stoops," Rising told national recruiting analyst Greg Biggins.  "Coach Riley was my primary recruiter and we have a great relationship. I love the offense there and everything about OU just screams opportunity. I love Coach Stoops as well, he's a great coach and a great leader and I can't wait to play for him."

Rising is the No. 48 overall prospect nationally on Scout in the 2018 class and the No. 3 quarterback in the West in what is a stellar 2018 crop.

On Monday morning, San Clemente (Calif.) four-star quarterback Jack Sears became the last Scout 300 quarterback to make his college decision.

Duke landed a coup in picking up a verbal from Sears, who spurned both local schools, UCLA and USC to head to Durham to play for Cutcliffe.

The Bruins had offered Sears early in the evaluation period back in April and the Trojans, which landed Sears' predecessor at quarterback, Sam Darnold, offered him soon after.

For a while, it looked like one of the two Los Angeles schools would end up with Sears, but at The Opening, Sears named a top four of Duke, UCLA, USC and Utah.

Then it was down to Duke, UCLA and USC.

On Monday, Sears ended his recruitment and will play in the ACC.

USC had a huge week, both far and near, landing three commitments, all from four-stars, two from California and one from Florida, since Monday.

Getting it started was Juwan Burgess, a four-star athlete from Tampa (Fla.) Plant.

Burgess chose USC from a top five that included Florida, Miami, Kentucky and North Carolina.

But it was Friday that was very, very good to the Trojans.

It started getting a commitment from the top tackle prospect in California, Alijah Vera-Tucker from Oakland (Calif.) Bishop O'Dowd early in the evening.

Vera-Tucker, the No. 4 tackle in the West and No. 19 nationally, chose USC from a final group that included Washington, Oregon, Nebraska and Texas A&M.

It ended the evening picking up a commitment from Hunter Echols from Los Angeles (Calif.) Cathedral.

Echols had committed to UCLA the day after Signing Day, calling the Bruins his dream school. But after naming a top ten despite being a Bruin pledge then decommitting from UCLA in late July, the Bruins didn't send him an official offer on August 1.

A few days later, Echols committed to their crosstown rivals, choosing the Trojans and citing his relationship with new defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze and head coach Clay Helton.

Washington State had made a concerted effort in-state this year and it paid off in a matter of three days, with the Cougs getting commitments from a pair of Western Washington prospects.

Everett (Wash.) Archbishop Murphy offensive tackle Abraham Lucas got it started from the Evergreen State, picking the Cougs on Wednesday.

Two days later, Joe Tryon from Renton (Wash.) Hazen, a three-star defensive end, followed suit and committed to the Cougs.

They joined fellow in-state prospect Dontae Powell from Richland (Wash.) as Coug verbals from Washington.

But it wasn't just Washington that provided pledges to the Cougs.

Washington State picked up a pair of commitments from Florida earlier in the week.

Miami (Fla.) Central athlete Anthony White Jr. committed to Washington State on Monday and that same day, Neptune Beach (Fla.) Fletcher cornerback Zaire Webb also chose the Cougs.

Stanford already is putting together a stellar class in 2017, with commitments from the nation's No. 1 quarterback in Davis Mills and the nation's top tight end in Colby Parkinson.

Mills will have another big play receiver to throw the ball to, thanks to the commitment on Friday from Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei four-star receiver Osiris St. Brown.

St. Brown chose the Cardinal over Notre Dame, where his older brother, Equanimeous plays.

He'll instead follow former Monarch teammate and Stanford freshman Curtis Robinson on The Farm.

And with the youngest St. Brown, Amon-Ra St. Brown, a 2018 four-star receiver, the Cardinal and Irish could battle head-to-head once again.

Arizona has the top class in the Pac-12 on Scout in August, with 25 commitments and the No. 14 class.

The Wildcats landed a big in-state prospect on Thursday when Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Ridge athlete Jalen Harris, the No. 1 athlete in Arizona, committed to them.

Harris' father, Sean, played for the Wildcats in the 1990's and the younger Harris was turning in to a highly coveted prospect.

He chose the Wildcats over Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon, Oregon State and Washington State.

Colorado also pulled in a commitment this week, going down to Florida to get a verbal from Carson Wells, a defensive end from Bushnell (Fla.) South Sumter.

Fresno State picked up three commitments from the state of California as well, Burbank (Calif.) Burroughs offensive guard Jesse Chamberlain, Irvine (Calif.) University cornerback Darrius Outland and Contra Costa (Calif.) College quarterback Cameron Burston.

Nevada got a steal in Lamin Touray from Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany, one of the Southland's top inside linebackers and also got a commitment from Malik Welch, a cornerback from Torrance (Calif.) North.

It wasn't just about commitments this week, though that was the dominant theme.

But a couple of the West's top defensive prospects announced new updated lists,

Provo (Utah) Timpview safety Chaz Ah You, the top defensive back in Utah, named 12 schools still under consideration for him.

The four-star named a top 12 that included BYU, Iowa, Cal, Vanderbilt, Utah State, UCLA, Notre Dame, Oregon, Utah, Stanford, Oklahoma State and Washington.

Ah You is planning to serve his LDS mission right out of high school and each of the 12 finalists have given him their blessing to him to serve.

Meanwhile, the No. 5 defensive tackle in the country, Las Vegas (Nev.) Arbor View four-star Greg Rogers named his top five on Saturday.

Rogers also locked in official visits to all five of his finalists and announced which day he'll make his decision.

Oklahoma will get the first official visit from Rogers, hosting him on September 17th when the Sooners welcome Ohio State to Norman.

Two weeks later, he'll visit Colorado officially (October 1) when they host Oregon State, and the following weekend (October 8), he'll visit Arizona State when the Sun Devils host UCLA.

Then the end of November will have him in Los Angeles on consecutive weekends, officially visiting UCLA on November 19 when the Bruins play their crosstown rivals USC and then he'll visit USC on November 26 when Notre Dame comes to town.

Rogers, an Under Armour All-American, will announce his decision on December 10.

It flew a bit under the radar, until it happened, but perhaps the biggest news out West was Antioch (Calif.) running back Najee Harris visiting Michigan on Saturday for the Wolverines' BBQ in the Big House.

Harris committed to Alabama in April of 2015 and seems to be more solid in his commitment to the Tide than he's been in a while.

But Michigan had a satellite camp at Antioch HS in June and the Wolverines have been recruiting Harris hard for some time, for good reason.

The No. 1 overall prospect in the 2017 class, Harris had visited Ohio State, BYU, UCLA, USC and Washington this spring, but this was his first time in Ann Arbor and this time, he brought his mother with him to Ann Arbor.

A Nick Saban-Urban Meyer-Jim Harbaugh plus the L.A. schools recruiting drama? 

Yes please.

National recruiting analyst Greg Biggins and Mountain region analyst Blair Angulo contributed to this notebook.

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