The Opening 2014 is just days away with player check-in on July 7. Four players from the West region will be making their college choices and it will be interesting to see how many of these commitments actually stick this year.
Just a year ago, three players from out West made commitments at The Opening and all three signed elsewhere. Wide receiver Erik Brown announced for Washington but signed with California, safety Jaleel Wadood announced for Cal but signed with UCLA, linebacker D.J. Calhoun announced for USC but signed with Arizona State and corner Naijiel Hale announced for Arizona but signed with Washington.
The four players announcing this year are Bothell (Wash.) quarterback Ross Bowers, San Leandro (Calif.) athlete Stephen Johnson, Foothill (Calif.) Pleasanton athlete Isaiah Langley and Clayton Valley (Calif.) defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie.
Bowers will announce on July 8 and narrowed his choices to Cal and Colorado State. The Bears are a huge leader and it would be one of the biggest recruiting shockers of the year if Colorado State pulled off the upset.
Johnson will also decide on the 8th and his decision is the toughest to call. He told us just a week ago that he goes back and forth almost daily between Oregon and UCLA and he's the one guy in this group who we could see waffling and going back and forth during the fall.
Johnson said UCLA is recruiting him the hardest but he likes the opportunity to play right away at Oregon as a slot receiver. In early June, we would have pegged Johnson as a Bruin lean but the momentum seems to be shifting to the Ducks as we get closer to decision day.
While Langley has always mentioned multiple schools, this one has always been mainly a Cal-USC battle. The Bears are the local school and have been recruiting Langley longer than anyone.
USC is the school we've heard has been quietly leading for Langley for months. The athlete can play on either side of the ball but is being recruited as a corner, his desired position and mentioned the Trojans depth chart as a big reason why he likes them so much. He'll also announce on the 8th.
McKenzie will announce on the 10th and is down to Arizona and Tennessee. The Wildcats emergence for McKenzie has surprised many nationally but the big tackle fell in love with the school on his spring unofficial visit.
Tennessee has been the odds on favorite since early in the process. His father and uncle both played for the Vols and UT really rolled out the red carpet when he visited the campus. All signs still point to Tennessee right now but it may not be the slam dunk a lot of people think.