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Pac-12 Spotlight: Storylines to follow to National Signing Day

With the all-star events in the rearview mirror, it’s time for the mad dash to National Signing Day. Here are five storylines in the Pac-12 that could be noteworthy over the coming weeks.

MORE: SEC storylines to follow | ACC storylines | Pac-12 team recruiting rankings

1. Top-end talent available

Isaac Taylor-Stuart
Isaac Taylor-Stuart (Nick Lucero/

Perhaps more than any other region, there are a bunch of Rivals100 prospects from the West that will be taking visits throughout this month and then making their commitments closer to National Signing Day. Five-star CB Isaac Taylor-Stuart is closely looking at USC, but is also venturing out of his Pac-12 backyard for the SEC –Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee are candidates.

Oregon seems to be the favorite for five-star ATH Devon Williams. Four-stars Olaijah Griffin, Penei Sewell, Tanner McKee, Julius Irvin, Jalen Hall and Solomon Tuliaupupu all have to make their pledges.

It’s going to be a busy few weeks out West.

2. Can UDub hold No. 1 class?

Brandon Kaho
Brandon Kaho

The Washington recruiting class is absolutely loaded and over the holidays the Huskies added two huge pieces in four-star DB Kyler Gordon and four-star LB Brandon Kaho, who flipped from BYU as Washington held off Alabama and others. The Huskies have done phenomenally well this recruiting cycle with the top-rated class in the Pac-12 and they currently sit at No. 11 nationally.

Quarterbacks Jacob Sirmon and Colson Yankoff are highly talented. Receivers Marquis Spiker, Austin Osborne and Trey Lowe could be the next crop of stars in Seattle.

USC, Oregon and others will push for that top spot but wherever the Huskies end up on signing day, this is a really talented class. Irvin and four-star DE Jeremiah Martin are two of the top remaining targets.

3. USC looks to close strong

JT Daniels
JT Daniels (Nick Lucero/

The Trojans loaded up over the last few weeks and there was no bigger news than when five-star receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown picked USC over Notre Dame and Stanford. He could be one of the best receivers in California in at least the last decade. Five-star quarterback JT Daniels reclassified from 2019 to 2018 and he could compete for the starting job right away. Also, a mess of talented four-stars including Talanoa Hufanga and Abdul-Malik McClain, a former UCLA pledge, committed to the Trojans.

Closing strong will be important as well. USC has a huge visit weekend coming up with Griffin, Williams, Taylor-Stuart and others expected. The Trojans could be lining up for a huge haul toward Signing Day.

4. How will ASU do?

Jamarye Joiner
Jamarye Joiner

The hiring of Herm Edwards was a curious one since he has not coached since 2008, had a record of 54-74 in the NFL and has limited college coaching experience on his resume. But Arizona State’s recruiting class has stayed largely intact with some talented prospects already signed to the Sun Devils.

With turmoil going on at Arizona, could Arizona State capitalize on that issue and load up leading to signing day?

One important step Edwards and his coaching staff must take is to keep local talent home. Only one of the top 10 players in the state of Arizona is committed to an in-state school (Arizona). But Arizona State is making a run at that player - three-star dual-threat QB Jamarye Joiner - and starting with the 2019 class, the Sun Devils must do a better job of locking up local prospects.

5. UCLA looks to reload

Tyler Manoa
Tyler Manoa (Nick Lucero/

When Chip Kelly was hired in Westwood, the Bruins' recruiting class went through a complete overhaul. There were plenty of decommitments as the first-year coach looked to put his own stamp on the class. UCLA is tied for the fewest commits in the Pac-12 with only 11, but there’s a good possibility the Bruins can load up in the coming month. There is little margin for error though and one or two unexpected de-commitments could tank the class.

Still, three-star DL Tyler Manoa along with talented offensive linemen Jarrett Bell and Jarrett Patterson have UCLA high on their lists. Martell Irby and Chris Olave could provide a spark on offense if they choose the Bruins. Defensive ends Elijah Wade and Jeremiah Martin are two other names to watch.