The Opening: Biggins Recruiting Notebook

A trio of West Coast players make their college choices, a Texas native is headed to the Pac 12 and several other recruiting notes from day 2 of The Opening.'s complete coverage of The Opening 2013 presented by NIKE
Recruiting Notebook

*Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco defensive backs Naijiel Hale and Jaleel Wadood committed on air Tuesday and both will be playing in the Pac 12. Hale committed to Arizona and Wadood is headed to California.

"Arizona recruited me harder than anyone and made me feel like a priority," Hale said. "I love the coaching staff, I had a great visit out there and I have a cousin who played for Rich Rodriguez at Michigan and he told me I could trust him.

"Arizona was my second offer and I think I'll have a good chance to come in there and play early. I like the guys on the team at Arizona a lot and it was just a great all around fit for me."

While Hale chose the Cats over Cal, Wadood committed to the Bears over a hard late push from UCLA.

"I had decided on Cal about a month ago after I visited there," Wadood said. "Then in the last week, UCLA came on me hard. They were recruiting me like crazy and I was hearing from Coach Martin all the time. I really didn't make the final decision until last night.

"What put Cal over the top was I had a great relationship with Coach Dykes, he was personally recruiting me. Both USC and UCLA were kind of pressuring me a little in to making an early decision and said they had other guys on their list so I had to decide before they could move on. Cal just said to take my time and they would always be there for me and I appreciated that approach."

*Fontana (Calif.) Summit wide out Erik Brown committed to Washington after being an early UCLA lean.

"I'm very excited to be committed to Washington," Brown said. "I had a great visit there last week and I fell in love with the place. I love Coach Kiesau, the WR coach, he's the greatest dude ever and I'm just excited to be part of what UW is building.

"I still want to take my visits and I need to check out Oregon State, Notre Dame, Nebraska and California. This was a very tough decision for me. UCLA was my hometown school and where I've wanted to go since my sophomore year. I just felt like getting away from home was the right thing and I really loved it at UW."

*Oregon could be on the verge of a big time DB class and added a commitment from San Antonio (Texas) Roosevelt safety Arrion Springs. Springs chose the Ducks over Texas.

"I've always wanted to go to Oregon, I was just waiting on the offer," Springs said. "Once they offered, my decision was made and I'm happy to be a Duck. They want me to play corner and some safety but I was mostly recruited for corner and I'm excited to get out there and get going."

*Oregon also made the final three for River Ridge (La.) John Curtis Christian defensive back Mattrell McGraw. Florida State and UCLA also made the cut but the feeling is the Ducks are in a good spot for McGraw right now.

"I like all three schools equally right now," McGraw. Said. "I've been to UCLA and Oregon and I'm visiting Florida State later this month and will also camp with LSU. If LSU offers, they'll move in to my top three but these are the schools I like right now.

"I think I'll be ready to make a decision sometime in August. If I know where I want to go, I'll go ahead and make my decision before school gets here. I've already been to Oregon and UCLA and know those schools pretty well so after I visit Florida State, I should have an idea of what I want to do."

*Although one of just four juniors at The Opening, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro wide out Christian Kirk has shown he can compete with the big boys. He's easily one of the top players in the 2015 class and a sure fire top 100 player nationally in two years.

"Right now, the schools I'm hearing the most from are probably Texas A&M, Tennessee, UCLA, Oklahoma State, Arizona State and California. With Kykle (Allen) at A&M and Luke (Rubenzer) at Cal, I'm hearing from both of those guys a lot, they're both trying to recruit me pretty hard.

"I'm honestly still open though and I don't plan to make an early decision. I want to go through the process and take my visits. I've talked to some friends who committed early and wished they had gone through it more so I don't want to rush it and then regret an early decision.

*Lompoc (Calif.) defensive lineman Ainuu Taua has been very impressive this week and might be the quickest tackle in the event. He has strong, violent hands, and has been very tough to stop in the one on ones.

"I like UCLA and Washington and want to visit Ole Miss and Wisconsin," Taua said. "UCLA is close to home, I love it in Cali and the alumni support is very good. I love the campus and I like the DL coach, Angus McClure.

"I just visited Washington and it was real cool there. I like Tosh Lupoi a lot, Sark (Steve Sarkisian) is real cool and the whole staff is great. I want to check out Ole Miss and Wisconsin for sure but my only concern is it's pretty far from home. I still want to visit though and then we'll just go from there."

Greg Biggins has been covering recruiting for over 15 years, covering the West since the mid-1990's and currently serves as a national analyst for
Twitter | E-Mail |

Inside The Os Top Stories