An incredibly exciting weekend in the Pac-12 might have cost the conference a spot in the College Football Playoff, but it also might have made the run to signing day that much more interesting. Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon and Washington State all produced thrilling wins that could have recruiting trail ramifications, as several Pac-12 programs added commitments over the weekend.
Biggest commitment: There were a number of important commitments over the weekend, as at least five recruits made their way into Pac-12 recruiting classes.
UCLA dropped a tough game against Washington State on Saturday, but the Bruins won a big recruiting battle on Monday night, as offensive lineman Mike Alves announced his commitment. Alves selected UCLA over offers from Arizona State, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and others. The four-star Alves gives the Bruins a big addition along the line, as he is the No. 1 offensive guard in California.
Arizona State scored another junior college defender, as Koron Crump announced his commitment. Crump joins Christian Hill and Dougladson Subtyl as juco commitments in the front seven for Arizona State, which is looking for some instant impact players to get after the quarterback next season.
Colorado hasn’t made much noise on the recruiting trail this year, as the Buffaloes have just 12 verbal commitments at this point. But as the improvements have come on the field, so to have they come in regard to in-state recruiting. The Buffaloes picked up a commitment from offensive lineman Hunter Vaughn over the weekend, as Vaughn joins fellow Colorado offensive line prospect Terriek Roberts in the Buffaloes 2016 class.
Washington State has two of the Pac-12’s biggest in-conference wins this season, against Oregon and UCLA, and the Cougars’ recruiting class reflects the importance placed on skill positions. The top eight prospects in the class were wide receivers, cornerbacks and quarterbacks, but the Cougars added a commitment from offensive tackle Keenen King over the weekend. The three-star tackle is just the second offensive lineman in this class, but represents a big recruiting win.
Cal picked up a defensive commit in defensive end Chinedu Udeogu, the fifth defensive line commit for the Golden Bears in the 2016 class.
Biggest offer: USC is in an interesting situation as the only Pac-12 program recruiting without a permanent head coach, but interim coach Clay Helton hasn’t stopped hitting the trail. The Trojans are on a four-game winning streak and are looking to flex their recruiting muscles, as an offer went out to Washington cornerback commit Kentrell Love. USC is yet to land a commitment since the dismissal of former head coach Steve Sarkisian, but recruits are watching how the situation unfolds and with some of the conference’s biggest games left on the schedule, USC still has an opportunity on the field and with space in the class to shake things up on the trail.
Most important visitor: Arizona State had a couple of potential impact defensive recruits on hand, as USC safety commit C.J. Pollard and uncommitted cornerback Byron Murphy — both ESPN 300 prospects — were in Tempe. While Pollard will be tough to sway from his commitment to the Trojans, Murphy is one of the most coveted prospects still on the board for the Sun Devils. Arizona State already holds commitments from three of the top six in-state prospects and Murphy would give them another from that group, including three of the four ESPN 300 prospects in the state of Arizona.
Biggest question: How will this season of parity in the conference affect the recruiting race down the stretch and with the 2017 class?
Stanford and Utah likely lost huge opportunities to impact recruits with a potential spot in the College Football Playoff and the bright spotlight that comes with it. This weekend also showed that Arizona, Arizona State and Washington State have the ability to make noise over the next few games as every program looks to end the season on a strong note to take into the final three months of recruiting. While wins don’t always have an immediate impact on recruiting, it’s certainly easier to hit the trail after a big win.