Recruiting has been pretty quiet for 2013 standout Michael Hutchings in recent weeks which gives the Concord (Calif.) De La Salle prospect time to look at some of his favorites and figure out what to do next in the process.
Hutchings, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound outside linebacker, said a top group of schools have emerged but he's taking his time with the decision-making process and probably won't make a commitment for many months.
First, Hutchings would like to see how some freshmen linebackers are used early next season and then figure out which situation is best for him.
"It's been pretty quiet," said Hutchings, who attended the Cal-Washington State game this past weekend. "There's really nothing new. I've just been talking to the main schools in my group of favorites.
"I don't have a top school, I don't have a frontrunner, but I'd say I have a group of favorites with USC, Washington, Cal, UCLA and Oklahoma up there.
"In the next couple months I'm probably going to lay low because we have playoffs and I have stuff with my team but as soon as the end of December comes I'll be figuring that stuff out with my family. I'll be looking at visits mostly."
With offers from Arizona, Cal, Colorado, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Tennessee, UCLA, USC and Washington, Hutchings said he plans to take things slower than first expected with the recruiting process and by the end of December he would like to cut down his list.
That's the first step as Hutchings figures out the best situation for him.
"We're going to cut down the list probably because the offers are getting up there in number so it's making things a little harder," Hutchings said. "I think we're going to try to cut it down a little bit in December.
"I'm going to take it slower so I can watch and gauge the freshmen next year for some teams to see if they're going to play a factor or how they do for some teams."
USC has been considered one of his top schools and keeping a close eye on linebackers Jabari Ruffin and Scott Starr, if both do indeed sign with the Trojans as expected, could be a crucial component as Hutchings makes his choice.
"It could be later," Hutchings said. "I actually want to watch the two commits for USC. I want to watch Ruffin and Starr to see how they perform when they get to USC a little bit. Next summer could be the earliest but I want to see how they do there."