Early Signing Period: Biggest question for each Pac-12 team
The beginning of the new early signing period starts Dec. 20 and every team from coast to coast will be focused on making sure they get as many signed National Letters of Intent as possible. Many schools are also hoping to land new commitments during the signing period that runs from next Wednesday to next Friday. Here is a look at the biggest question facing each Pac-12 team.
ARIZONA - Will Plant be an early signee?
A majority of Arizona’s recruiting class is expected to sign during the early period but there is also some mystery as to whether four-star defensive end Adam Plant will be one of them. The Las Vegas Bishop Gorman standout has committed to the Wildcats twice so there is some confidence he will get it done early. The real intrigue surrounds three-star quarterback Jamarye Joiner, who visited Arizona State this past weekend. Joiner has a lot of the same qualities as current QB Khalil Tate, so losing him to the in-state rival would hurt.
ARIZONA STATE - How many willing to stick with Herm?
There are at least a handful, if not more, of Arizona State’s commits that plan to sign during the early period, so maybe there won’t be a recruiting downturn with coach Herm Edwards taking over. Talented linebacker Christian LaValle and RB Demetrious Flowers are two that are expected to stick with the Sun Devils. However, the Sun Devils just lost a commitment from three-star OL Jarrett Patterson and there are some others who might wait. It’s still a fluid situation in Tempe so questions abound about this recruiting class.
CAL - Will it be drama-free in Berkeley?
There seems to be a good chance that nearly all of Cal’s recruiting class will sign early and many of its top commits are making Dec. 20 as easy for coach Justin Wilcox as possible. Four-star WR Nikko Remigio, four-star OL Will Craig and four-star DB Chigozie Anusiem will sign during the early period. So will three-star running back Christopher Brown Jr., the Golden Bears’ newest commit. There are not a lot of questions with Cal’s class since nearly all of the commits are locked in and signing early.
COLORADO - Will all go as planned for Buffs?
It should be a relatively planned out and drama-free early signing period for Colorado especially after a bunch of weekend visits solidified the commitments of top prospects. Three-star receiver Daniel Arias was being heavily pursued by Oregon State but will stick with the Buffaloes. Standout commit Dimitri Stanley landed a Washington offer last month but seems firm. Quarterback commit Blake Stenstrom tied up some loose ends this past weekend as well. Questions or surprises? Probably not in Boulder.
OREGON - Can Cristobal salvage class?
After a few stressful days, things have settled down in Eugene with Mario Cristobal being named head coach after Willie Taggart left after only one season. A lot of prospects whispered their concerns about the unknown coaching situation, but several of them have come out in complete support of Cristobal, a favorite of current players and commits. Four-star quarterback Tyler Shough and four-star defensive back Steve Stephens are two prospects expected to sign with the Ducks early. Four-star linebacker Eli’Jah Winston said he’s not signing early but he and many other commits have been backing Cristobal in a big way.
OREGON STATE - Can Smith snag four-star QB?
A lot of Oregon State commits had hoped interim coach Cory Hall would be named head coach. That did not happen as the Beavers decided to dip into Washington for its offensive coordinator and get Jonathan Smith. That sat well with the entire recruiting class and it’s expected nearly the entire class will sign during the early period. The real question mark – and the big fish – is four-star quarterback Spencer Petras. The Kentfield (Calif.) Marin Catholic standout visited Iowa earlier this week and has a lot to consider in the coming days.
STANFORD - How will admissions process affect early signing period?
The admissions process is incredibly demanding and grueling, and could throw a wrench in the early signing period. But it has not and according to sources eight to 10 commits could sign next week. However, the biggest question becomes how fast the admissions office moves to admit those prospects and whether it will fall under the Dec. 20-22 window. The Cardinal currently have only 11 commitments so there’s some thinking that nearly their entire class could be ready to go in the early period.
UCLA - What will revamped Bruins class look like under Kelly?
There has been something of a purge in UCLA’s recruiting class recently as new coach Chip Kelly looks to rebuild the program and with that 10 prospects are no longer in the Bruins’ recruiting class. That does not mean the cupboards are bare. It’s about quality over quantity now. Four-star running back Kazmeir Allen, who put up record-breaking numbers in his senior season, plans to sign early. But four-star quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and four-star DB Stephan Blaylock said they will not and four-star recent commit Bryan Addison said he’s unsure. UCLA should be just fine as Kelly reworks the class, whether top kids sign next week or wait until February.
USC - Will any high-profile targets sign early?
There could be a tremendous amount of intrigue when it comes to USC and the early signing period and then a bunch of opportunities to load up leading into February. Five-star linebacker commit Palaie Gaoteote is not expected to sign during the early period and neither are five-star local prospects WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart or ATH Devon Williams. The Trojans are squarely in the mix with St. Brown and Taylor-Stuart and also involved with Williams. Ohio State commit Jaiden Woodbey is also taking a close look at the Trojans.
UTAH - Will Utes seal deal with four-star QB Tuttle?
With only seven commitments, Utah does not have a lot of margin for error during the early signing period, but the good news is that four-star quarterback Jack Tuttle is supposed to put pen to paper and finally end his recruitment. USC tried to flip Tuttle unsuccessfully as he feels like a perfect fit in that offense. It’s interesting that four-star lineman Hunter Lotulelei does not plan to sign during the early period but it’s fully expected he ends up with the Utes.
WASHINGTON - Will all go according to plan for Petersen?
The news for the early signing period seems to be good and drama-free, just the way coach Chris Petersen envisioned it. Top wide receiver Marquis Spiker, who has superstar ability, is expected to sign on Dec. 20 along with four-star receiver Austin Osborne, four-star quarterback Jacob Sirmon and others. The Huskies are coming off a huge recruiting weekend headlined by the commitment of four-star lineman Sam Taimani, who’s expected to play defense. He is expected to sign early as well.
WASHINGTON STATE - Will WRs flock to Cougars?
Washington State is planning to have more than a dozen commits sign during the early period, which is great news for coach Mike Leach and his staff. The best news is that - unsurprisingly - four-star quarterback Cammon Cooper is planning to sign on Dec. 20 and that could only help with recruiting on offense leading into February. The big question will be how much the Cougars will now focus on even more receivers in this class after the departures of Tavares Martin Jr. and the expected transfer of Isaiah Johnson-Mack.