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Pac-12 Spotlight: Four predictions for the 2023 season

The 2023 recruiting cycle is entering crunch time and teams around the country are finalizing their recruiting classes. This week, we're looking at each conference and predicting which team will win the conference recruiting title, which team will be the biggest surprise, what the conference's biggest recruiting win will be and which decisions will cause major changes in the conference recruiting standings.

Up next is the Pac-12.


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The Pac-12 recruiting champion will be … Oregon.  

Dan Lanning
Dan Lanning (AP Images)

This could still be very fluid and USC could make a rush to the top of the team rankings if No. 1 tight end Duce Robinson commits and others follow him. But the best chance here is still Oregon, which is tops in the Pac-12 right now and could really extend its lead if the cards fall the right way.

The Ducks just have so many options to close with as coach Dan Lanning and his staff could pull off some blockbuster moves in the weeks before the Early Signing Period.

Five-star defensive lineman David Hicks Jr. remains committed to Texas A&M, but he just visited Oregon and things supposedly went well. Oklahoma is a main contender there as well. Five-star Iowa OL commit Kadyn Proctor visited Oregon last weekend, too, and by all accounts the Ducks are now seriously in this.

Ohio State looks best for high four-star DE Matayo Uiagalelei, but if he opts to stay closer to home then Oregon would be his pick right now. Former Wisconsin commit Trech Kekahuna is another to watch as the Ducks round out the probable No. 1 class.



The Pac-12’s most surprising class will be … Stanford.  

Walker Lyons
Walker Lyons (Nick Lucero/

Stanford went 3-9 last season and the Cardinal are 3-7 right now, but recruiting has not taken a major hit. If anything, Stanford’s class is surprisingly good, even with coach David Shaw entering hot seat territory.

Keeping four-star tight end Walker Lyons is key, as many other programs are working on flipping him. But with him in the fold and a host of other four-stars, including defensive end Hunter Clegg, Stanford could get back on the winning track.

There could be some upward movement among three-stars as well in the next rankings cycle as receiver Tiger Bachmeier is a stat machine and some linemen on both sides of the ball, including Gavin Geweniger, are guys to watch.



The biggest recruiting victory will be … Dante Moore to Oregon.  

Malachi Nelson to USC – and keeping him away from a flip to Texas A&M – is definitely monumental because the five-star quarterback is perfect in coach Lincoln Riley’s offense. But Oregon winning out for Moore was huge for the Ducks’ future.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Kenny Dillingham had a longstanding relationship with Moore that paid off big-time. The five-star receiver was phenomenal at the Elite 11 this past summer and he has all the tools to help lead Oregon to the College Football Playoff.

Things will get interesting if Dillingham takes a head coaching job somewhere (there have been rumors that Arizona State is interested) and Michigan State is trying to flip Moore, but let’s cross those bridges when we get there.


The biggest remaining decision that will impact the Pac-12 rankings will be ... Duce Robinson’s commitment.  

The top uncommitted player in the West is four-star tight end Duce Robinson from Phoenix Pinnacle, who has USC, Georgia and Texas as his three frontrunners.

And this is where it gets really interesting.

USC has long been the frontrunner as he loves Lincoln Riley’s offense and he could get the ball thrown to him by Malachi Nelson. Plus, it’s closer to home, but not right down the road.

Georgia has made significant in-roads as Robinson visited this season. The Bulldogs are developing and throwing to their tight ends, and the high four-star loved the environment in Athens.

Last weekend, Robinson made the trip to Texas (where his best QB relationship is with Arch Manning) as the Longhorns tried to make one final pitch to him as well.

There are still lots of big West prospects to announce, but none are bigger than Robinson.