West Spotlight: Five Early Signing Period predictions
National Signing Day is only days away and so there’s no better time for some predictions. Today, we look at five prognostications in the West Region:
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UIAGALELEI WILL KEEP IT INTERESTING
There are so many storylines and rumors going around about five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei in the final days that this thing could still break in different directions.
There is also the big moving piece of where his brother, D.J., ends up coming out of the transfer portal which could play a role in Uiagalelei’s thinking as well. He’s expected at USC this weekend but the feeling is that Ohio State and Oregon still look best in his recruitment. The family has tremendous respect for position coach Shaun Nua but will it be enough?
Ohio State coach Ryan Day and position coach Larry Johnson recently flew to California to meet with Uiagalelei as the Buckeyes try to close on another five-star defensive end. But coach Dan Lanning and his staff aren’t giving up at all as some believe the Ducks are still very much in this as well.
The plan is still to announce Wednesday.
MOORE IS THE TALK OF THE TOWN
Dante Moore is from Detroit (Mich.) Martin Luther King but the five-star quarterback is the talk of every recruiting discussion in the Pac-12 leading up to signing day.
Oregon is trying everything possible to keep the five-star quarterback in the class but since Kenny Dillingham’s departure for Arizona State and a recent visit to UCLA, it looks like the Bruins could have the edge to flip him. There are also some rumors that the Ducks are making contingency plans just in case it happens.
AKANA COULD MAKE A SURPRISE DECISION
Oklahoma figures to be the favorite to land Tausili Akana but like most of his recruitment, the Lehi (Utah) Skyridge four-star outside linebacker/edge rusher continues to keep us guessing. Two big weekend visits could be telling.
Akana visited Louisville and Colorado in recent days and both are worth watching since new Cardinals coach Jeff Brohm has done a great job early on keeping together a lot of the recruits and enticing others to join a strong class. And now Colorado is the hot spot especially on Sunday as first-year coach Deion Sanders has arrived for good from Jackson State.
Could a big surprise be coming from the four-star who hasn’t talked much about his recruitment?
FLIP SEASON IS UPON US
Just like every other recruiting cycle, there are always flips, rumors of flips and chatter that goes nowhere in the final days before signing day. In the West, there are a lot of names that could possibly change their decision led by four-star receiver Deandre Moore.
The Louisville commit is being pursued heavily by Georgia and this weekend the Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco standout is visiting Texas as those two programs are the biggest threats to the Cardinals. Some feel Moore is definitely headed elsewhere while others think the Cardinals could still reel him in especially with teammates going there. If a guess came from here, it looks like the four-star receiver will head someplace else.
More flips could be coming but watch out especially for four-star cornerback Caleb Presley, who has been committed to Oregon since July but recently visited Washington and he loves that staff, and four-star Jamari Johnson, who picked Louisville in April and visited there this weekend but he was also at Oregon.
WILL LYONS WAIT?
In the last week or so, the plan was for four-star tight end Walker Lyons to wait until February to make his final decision. The Folsom, Calif., tight end plans to take his LDS Mission and so he won’t be immediately available anyway and doesn’t want to make a decision after backing off his Stanford pledge following coach David Shaw’s resignation.
Now things might be getting a little more interesting. New Stanford coach Troy Taylor used to coach at Lyons’ school and after sort of eliminating the Cardinal after Shaw left - and focusing more on Utah, USC and others - Lyons was back at Stanford over the weekend and it cannot be discounted in his recruitment again.
Maybe Lyons waits until February to make his final decision which was the plan heading into the weekend. The coming days should be telling.