Once again, Southern California is on its usual track of picking up a very high quality class, one top prospect at a time.
Last week it was Camden (N.J.) Woodrow Wilson safety Antwine Perez, a four-star Rivals100 member. His commitment kept the New Jersey pipeline flowing for the Trojans adding to fellow Garden staters wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett and linebacker Brian Cushing.
It didn't hurt that running backs coach Todd McNair was heading up Perez's recruitment being that he went to high school with Woodrow Wilson coach Michael McBride.
"I've known coach McNair for a long time," Perez said. "I felt real comfortable out there. I especially feel comfortable with the coaching staff, especially coach McNair."
Perez will also get his shot at safety because five-star safety commit Taylor Mays looks like he'll get his first shot at linebacker or tight end more so than safety. The second Perez jumped on board, he also started drawing comparisons to Ronnie Lott.
Of course, Perez will not be the last huge pickup on their board this season as the Trojans are set up to have another quality class. In fact, they're even still working on a few prospects committed elsewhere such as Texas running back commit Emmanuel Moody who visited USC on Sept. 16.
The Trojans also are still heavily in on the nation's No. 1 overall prospect in Percy Harvin who is set to visit Oct. 28.
Could this class be even better than last year's top rated class? Many believe that USC's recruiting strategy now is to pick rather than to recruit and that may be hard to argue with considering just how many top prospects the Trojans have a chance of landing in 2006.
Assistant moves ASU up for Hayes
Four-star offensive guard Jovon Hayes of Los Angeles Dorsey may have started out his recruiting process with countless offers, but it looks like he's down to six schools that are in the running for his commitment as the month of October begins.
There are two teams that he grew up watching and they have shown up on his list as he shaved it down this week.
"I grew up liking Arizona State and I like coach Mark Carrier a lot," Hayes said. "I haven't been to ASU yet but I think I'm going to visit there. I also grew up liking Florida, too. Florida has a new coach who is dedicated to winning and they have a good business school."
Cal and Arizona are the other two Pac-10 teams that are major competition for the Sun Devils.
Brothers dead set on Oregon trip
The No. 43 and No. 44 rated defensive ends in the country just happen to be brothers and they are adamant on attending the same schools.
Corey Elmore and Ricky Elmore have quite the trip plans for checking out their list of schools and if one program hasn't offered the other, they're not on the list.
The it appears the Ducks are a major player on that list having offered both and they're trip on Nov. 5 could be pivotal in landing the pair. However, they will have to compete with the likes of Utah (Nov. 12 visit) and a USC unofficial trip on Oct. 8. The good news is that USC has yet to offer and many believe that it may not come around.
This leaves the door wide open for the brothers to make a pick to a school that has offered the both of them.
"Yes, we will be going to the same school for sure," Ricky Elmore said.
Their top five right now includes the Ducks along with Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, and Oregon State.
Sun Devils rack up a linebacker
The schemes that Arizona State uses on defense was something that Fairfield, Calif., linebacker Jamarr Robinson noticed first and foremost on his Sept. 16 visit to watch the Sun Devils play.
In fact it only took weeks for the 6-foot-3, 230-pound three-star defender to make his pick over an offer from Colorado.
"He was showing me how they do things and I was real impressed with everything," Robinson said. "Plus they don't have a lot of guys coming back next year, so I could maybe play right away."
One question is whether or not he will follow his coach's advice to take a trip to a school like Oklahoma or Tennessee to compare the trip. However, this will all depend on what Robinson wants to do because as of now, this is just an idea that was posed by his coach and not something he looks dead set on.
Even with another trip, many believe that ASU will not lose this one.
Don't count out UCLA
It's usually always talk of the USC Trojans when it comes to top teams in California making national recruiting noise, but for months the UCLA Bruins have been making noise of their own as they quietly put together a very impressive class for 2006.
This past week it was Westlake Village, Calif., prospect and four-star defensive end Jeff Miller who really didn't surprise many experts, who believed that it would be hard for anyone to beat out the in-state school.
With what the Bruins are doing on the field this season, it's also not a big shock that Miller decided to go ahead and make his choice.
"I think that UCLA is a program on the way up and I want to be a part of it and help them out," Miller said. "It is also nice that it is pretty close to home."
The Bruins, 4-0 on the field, right now have 18 commitments.
October starts off with a bang for Oregon State
The commitments started early in the fall month for the Beavers when they landed two prospects' verbal pledges on the first and second day of October. In-state offensive guard prospect Mau Nomani seemingly surprised many after he stopped his recruitment with only one visit to check out Oregon State.
The three-star prospect and the No. 3 rated player in the state of Oregon decided he'd seen all he needed and decided against a trip that was set to BYU and other offers from Nebraska and Oregon.
"It just felt that was the spot and that's where God wanted me to be," Nomani said. "I told coach Riley on Saturday and they were very excited and very happy. Probably the biggest thing was the offensive line coach, coach Cavanaugh. He was one of the best coaches to personally talk to and I really got an understanding of his side of the game and the way that he coaches."
Orting, Wash., three-star tight end Joe Halahuni joined the club with a commitment of his own after his official visit to Oregon State also ending his recruiting process with only one official visit in the books.
"I just said to coach Riley that Oregon State is where I want to be," Halahuni said. "I felt really comfortable with everyone – the coaches and the players. I felt real comfortable about the whole situation."
The Beavers have now set the stage for a big month that should carry then through the rest of the fall.
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