Where Will They Go Out West?

With Signing Day less than four weeks away, Scout.com's Northwest, Southwest and West analysts make their predictions on where the top uncommitted players in the region will end up come Signing Day...

Devon Kennard- Scout's #1 DE narrowed it down to ASU, Texas, Ohio State, Cal and USC a long time ago. Since then it seems to be a three team race with USC and Cal being the front-runners. Everyone thinks SC is a lock but I would not be shocked at all if he picks the Bears. The hybrid DE/LB position they want to play him at has him intrigued. Expect his decision to come in the next few weeks.

Corey Adams- It has been USC, Ohio State and ASU for a long time for the five-star DT and Adams has visited all three plus Nebraska. My guess is he wants to stay close to home but liked what he saw on his visits and he is unsure of what to do. In the end, I believe he ends up a Sun Devil.

Adam Hall- Hall hinted at favoring Arizona at the US Army game and my thoughts have been just that for months. He pushed aside Alabama and USC and says that Oregon, Cal and UofA are the leaders. I have confirmed though that Hall will visit Oregon State. I think this ends up being a signing day decision but he will end up a Wildcat and be their marquee prospect.

Markus Wheaton- Wheaton has never publically named a leader. He has visited Colorado, Oregon, Cal and Oregon State. He still has to visit UCLA and he has always stated he will not commit until after he takes all five visits. I would expect the decision shortly after he returns from UCLA and my gut says he will be a Duck as his cousin Kenny was a star CB there and they got his first visit.

Bryce Lamb- Lamb narrowed his choices down to Colorado for football and Texas Tech for track (Tech is not recruiting him in football). I expect him to go to T-Tech and run track as he is one of the world's best triple jumpers and could be a future Olympian. Expect the announcement any day.

Jevon Reynolds- Reynolds has visits set to Arizona State and Kansas State. He named K-State his leader when Prince was the coach and I believe he just wants to get familiar with Snyder before pulling the trigger. Expect a commitment shortly after his trip to Manhattan.
--Jason Jewell

Tyler Gaffney- The #3 fullback in the country, Gaffney will have a busy January, since December was occupied leading Cathedral to the state championship.  He's visited Notre Dame and he'll visit Stanford this weekend and USC later this month.  With Gaffney, Notre Dame and USC look at him as a fullback, while Stanford sees Toby Gerhart 2.0, and Gaffney showed this season he can be a feature back.  I expect him to commit to the Cardinal if he passes admission.  Otherwise, he likely ends up at USC.

Cliff Harris- The best cover corner in the West, Harris has been relatively quiet in recruiting for most of the year, as he missed much of the season with academic issues.  The word is that he is shoring up the academics and he's focusing on Oregon and USC.  Don't count out Fresno State either, who'd love to land the hometown star.  Still, we expect him to choose the Ducks, then work his tail off to get the academics in order so he can end up in Eugene this summer.

Michael Philipp- Few players have played their recruitment as close to the vest as Philipp has.  When he says that he's torn between six schools, you really believe it.  To date, he's visited Cal, Oregon and UCLA and he'll visit Stanford this weekend and Oregon State later this month.  His brother is at Arizona, so he's plenty familiar with the Wildcats.  With Philipp, if he gets through admissions at Stanford, the Cardinal could end up being the favorite, but you also have to think Arizona, Oregon and UCLA are still heavily in the mix.  This one is too close to call

Randall Carroll- One of the more intriguing recruitments going on, Carroll committed to USC in September 2007, but seems to have been waffling on it since then.  He told Scout in San Antonio that he's pretty much eliminated USC, but he visited with the coaches this week.  He's already tripped to Cal and he'll visit UCLA this weekend and Arizona State and Tennessee will likely get trips out of him.  While you can't count out USC, even with what he said, the feeling is he is Cal or UCLA's to lose, with the Bears the slight leader.

Michael Clay- The four-star weakside linebacker is down to Colorado and Oregon, and after already having visited Colorado, he'll be in Oregon this weekend.  Eugene was where he first made a splash, earning MVP honors there at a camp when he was a sophomore, and the Ducks have been the one constant in his recruitment.  We expect Clay to join his former workout partner Kiko Alonso in Eugene and become the third Bell to commit to the Pac-10.

Devon Flournoy- Another longtime commit to USC, nary a word was said about Flournoy for most of the year until he took a visit to Cal in December.  Now he's visiting UCLA this weekend, and he's got strong ties to both schools, originally being from the Bay Area and having two close friends and former HS teammates at UCLA.  Cal and UCLA are hopeful he chooses one of them, but we think in the end he sticks with the Trojans.

James Boyd- Yet another longtime Trojan commit, Boyd seemed to be pretty solid to USC, but with Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt now at Washington, two coaches he's close to, the Huskies are getting involved and he's also planning to visit Arizona State.  A defensive end and quarterback, the Trojans have his commitment as an end, but he'd like a shot at quarterback and it's something the Huskies are willing to give him.  If his dreams of being a quarterback are that strong, then don't be surprised if Boyd picks the Huskies.  But if the pull of staying close to home weighs the heaviest, he'll sign with the Trojans.

Kevin Greene- Few players in this class may  have the upside of Greene, a basketball player who is in just his second year of football.  Greene has followed football, though, long enough to know he wants to play for USC, and while the Trojans and Washington State are his leaders, we expect him to commit to the Trojans following his long-awaited official visit to Los Angeles.

James Johnson- The all-San Diego County receiver has three schools he's focused on, Colorado State, Washington and Oregon, and the two Pac-10 schools are in the lead.  He'll visit both Northwest programs in the next two weeks, and the Ducks have the advantage, having been a longtime favorite of him.  We're picking the Ducks in this one.

Kyle Van Noy- The #2 player in Nevada has been visiting schools and is at BYU this weekend.  The Cougars have long been a heavy favorite, and it wouldn't be a surprise if he pulled the trigger this weekend.  Arizona State, Colorado, UCLA and Boise State have been other schools mentioned, but they're all second to BYU.
--Brandon Huffman

Manti Te'o - I've never wavered in my thoughts on this one once I found out who Manti's childhood favorite was - and that's USC.  Granted, Te'o has a very strong LDS background, and BYU is a school that has been in his life from the beginning, but there's something to be said about fulfilling a dream.  Just ask Lorenzo Booker.  If he gets admitted into Stanford, the Cardinal could be a compelling contender, but on Signing Day Te'o will be sworn in as the newest Trojan linebacker phenom, joining fellow islander Simione Vehikite to Los Angeles.  And people won't be talking about him being the next Rey Maualuga: He'll be the first Manti Te'o. 

Stan Hasiak - One of the things I've learned over the course of following recruiting is that as a general rule, things always come full-circle.  Whether it be staying close to home after thinking about going away for college or coming back to your first choice after sampling the menu of quality selections out there, there's usually a reason why a player sticks with their first impression.  In my opinion, that's what's going to happen with Kapolei big man Stan Hasiak.  I remember seeing his father head-to-toe in UCLA gear the first time I met Stan, and that made an impression on me.  The family has been feeling the Westwood vibe for some time, and I think that's going to come through when he eventually signs with the Bruins over strong interest from Cal, Oregon State and USC.

Xavier Su'a-Filo - LSU, USC, UCLA, Utah and BYU all have a legitimate chance to make a difference with the top tackle in the region.  Su'a-Filo is LDS, so that should give BYU and Utah an edge, as well as the in-state factor with both the Cougars and Utes playing so well.  I believe Xavier is probably more confused than ever about his choices and where he wants, so I'm going to try and play Carnac for a second and make the educated guess.  Mission plans are still up in the air, and I think Su'a-Filo wants to be in a position where his family will be able to see him play. Give the edge to Utah in this Beehive State battle.

Desmond Trufant - It sounds like Trufant likes Arizona State enough that he will visit Tempe a second time so his family gets an idea of what life is like in the desert.  That should put the Sun Devils on top, but in my best Lee Corso - Not So Fast, My Friends!  His older brother Marcus starred at Washington State, and he lives less than an hour away from Washington, and both of those schools will get visits before it's said and done.  My gut tells me that he's been waiting for the coaching situation at Washington to resolve itself, and that both Steve Sarkisian and Jim Michalczik have made a positive impression on both Trufant and his family.  Trufant might be the only in-state player the Huskies go hard for from here on out, and I expect them  to land the Wilson star.

L.T. Filiaga - Originally it was thought that the Bingham star might go Pac-10, and he still might with trips lined up to Stanford and Washington - but the in-state success of BYU and Utah has opened his eyes, and now I don't believe L.T. will move far from home.  The only question that remains is Salt Lake City or Provo?  Bingham already has kids at BYU, most notably Iona Pritchard, and Filiaga's teammate Remington Peck is going to be a Cougar.  Louie Sakoda and Derek Tuimauga are former Miners turned Utes, so he'd be at home at either school.  Again, with BYU typically cleaning their in-state recruiting up very early, I think this is a battle that's going to go the way of the U.  Neither school has a prep commit at LB yet, so expect this one to go down to the wire.
--Chris Fetters

Jason Jewell is Scout.com's Southeast Regional Analyst, covering Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico.   Chris Fetters is Scout.com's Northwest Regional Analyst, covering Hawaii, Utah, Oregon, Idaho and Washington.  Brandon Huffman is Scout.com's West Regional Manager and covers California and Nevada.


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