football Edit

Ground Zero: Recruiting notebook

Stephen Carr
Stephen Carr

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. -- Stephen Carr remains committed to USC but the 2017 four-star all-purpose back said he is open in his recruitment because he wants to see what other schools will come calling.

That was the message from the Fontana (Calif.) Summit standout Saturday at the Ground Zero 7-on-7 registration event. He still likes the Trojans, is sticking with them but wants to keep all his options open, probably take other visits and then figure out which situation is best for him.

It is the same story for fellow Ground Zero teammate and four-star cornerback Thomas Graham, who is staying with his Trojans’ commitment but is definitely considering other programs, too, at this point.

“I want to see how some other programs compare to USC and hopefully some other schools offer so I can take some official visits there to see how it all plays out,” Carr said.

So far, Carr has seen his recruitment dramatically pick up. LSU, Texas and Notre Dame have all reached out and one source said at least two of those schools might be close to offering soon.

Rated as the second-best all-purpose back and No. 37 overall, Carr said he loved how LSU used Leonard Fournette this season, he would like to take a trip to Notre Dame and he’s hoping now that he’s more open than before that other schools start hitting him up.

Two programs Carr would love to hear from are Alabama and Clemson, no surprise since the Crimson Tide and Tigers just played for the national championship.

As for his USC pledge, the four-star said he continues to stay in close touch with the Trojans’ coaching staff and from what he understands assistant coach Johnny Nansen will still coach running backs.


Tayari Venable
Tayari Venable (

Tayari Venable committed to Washington State before his junior season and he’s sticking with the Cougars especially because he sees possible early playing time in Pullman but if other offers come in there might be some serious competition.

The three-star defensive back from Rancho Cucamonga said essentially every team in the Pac-12 along with LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma have reached out recently and he’s at least listening to what coaches have to say.

Venable, who’s been committed to Washington State since July 1, said if offers come in from UCLA, Notre Dame, Oklahoma or Washington, those would be big and he’d definitely take a more serious look.

“Those offers could definitely make some things happen,” Venable said.


Jaiden Woodbey
Jaiden Woodbey (

Upland, Calif., athlete Jaiden Woodbey has a chance to be one of the better 2018 prospects in California and he’s already receiving a lot of early attention.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect who projects as a defensive back landed his first offer from UCLA during his sophomore season and he’s already developing a strong relationship with Bruins’ assistant coach Demetrice Martin.

“I’ve been putting in work, made my highlights and sent it to them and things took off from there,” Woodbey said.

“(Martin) was telling me they need me there, there are a lot of things they see in me that can fit their program and that’s what he went over with me.”

New interest is coming in from USC, Arizona, Arizona State, North Carolina, Texas and Notre Dame so far.

Woodbey said he really hopes to hear more from Georgia, Florida State, Miami and Oklahoma and his recruitment could definitely change if any of those schools offer in the coming years.


Damian Alloway
Damian Alloway (

* Four-star Damian Alloway has taken his time throughout the recruiting process and it seemed like Notre Dame had been the favorite but a source says UCLA has emerged as the possible team to beat for the Fontana Summit star.

That is big for the Bruins because Alloway seemed destined for the Irish but after multiple visits to South Bend and the ND coaches doing virtually everything possible to land him, he still hasn’t committed.

Arizona State, Cal and some others remain involved but it looks like UCLA might have pulled ahead for Alloway, one of the best receivers in California.

* It might be a big deal, it might be nothing, but 2017 four-star Javaris Steward showed up to the event wearing a UCLA sweatshirt.

The Pomona, Calif., standout who looks like a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker was committed to USC for a short while and then there were rumors that the Bruins were out front.

Plenty of other programs are getting involved all the time so Steward will probably take his time as his recruitment moves forward.