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West spotlight: Top 2019 storylines

MORE 2019 STORYLINES: Midwest | Mid-Atlantic

This week marks the first release of the class of 2019 Rivals100, so we take a look around the country at the top storylines for the current sophomore class, continuing with the West region.


JT Daniels
JT Daniels (Nick Lucero/

JT Daniels is a five-star quarterback who had an incredible sophomore season, so top programs from around the country are heavily pursuing him.

The Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei recruit who completed 74 percent of his passes for 4,849 yards with 67 touchdowns and six interceptions this past season is about to embark on a bunch of important unofficial visits as he analyzes some of the schools that intrigue him the most.

Daniels will visit Washington in early April, then go to Alabama and Auburn and wrap things up with a trip to Stanford in May. Notre Dame and many others remain under serious consideration as well.

As the five-star goes through his recruitment, there are plenty of things he will be looking for at each program and continuing to develop as a quarterback will definitely be one. The family is going into this process methodically and wisely with a bunch of checklist items they want to see.

Daniels is that good. So finding the right program – whether it’s staying in the Pac-12 or venturing out elsewhere - will be crucial over the next phase of his recruitment.


Taulia Tagovailoa
Taulia Tagovailoa (

There are an inordinate amount of prospects in the 2019 class out West whose brothers are playing or have played college football and that could have a significant influence on their decisions as well.

There’s no telling how it will play out yet but it’s absolutely something to watch since there are so many of them in the region basically across the board at all positions.

At quarterback, Taulia Tagovailoa’s brother, Tua, is a freshman at Alabama, Ryan Hilinski’s brother, Tyler, plays at Washington State and Luke McCaffrey’s brothers, Christian and Dylan, were/are at Stanford and Michigan, respectively. At receiver, Mycah Pittman’s brother, Michael, is at USC.

Others to really focus on are defensive tackle Matthew Pola-Mao, whose brother Isaiah, signed with USC last recruiting cycle; tight end Patrick Herbert’s brother, Justin, goes to Oregon; defensive back Ralen Goforth’s brother, Randall, has been at UCLA and Enokk Vimahi’s brother, Aliki, signed with Utah last recruiting cycle.

There are others as well. Those are just some of the big names. It could be something to closely watch as the younger brothers start to make their decisions – and possibly follow their siblings – to certain schools.


Maninoa Tufono
Maninoa Tufono

More coaching staffs from across the country are smartening up and heading to Hawaii each recruiting class, because there is plenty of talent in that state and the 2019 class could be an absolutely loaded group.

Four-star defensive tackle Faatui Tuitele leads the way and he’s already becoming a national recruit with an impressive offer list. Taulia Tagovailoa is emerging as a really talented quarterback, but he and his family could be moving to Mobile, Ala., to be closer to his brother, Tua, at Alabama.

Still, there is plenty of talent on the islands. Linebacker Maninoa Tufono already has offers from Oregon, Washington State and others. Offensive lineman Enokk Vimahi has landed offers from Nebraska, Oregon, USC and others as he continues to bulk up and prove his worth.

There are others as well and it’s no secret that talented players pop up in Hawaii through their senior seasons. Top college coaches will definitely be back there for 2019 prospects because it’s already proving to be a top-notch class.


Dylan Morris
Dylan Morris (Nick Lucero/

If schools strike out on its top quarterback target in the 2018 class, there is not much need for worry because the 2019 quarterback crop out West is absolutely loaded and not only in California.

Five-star JT Daniels leads the way and probably won’t be caught by anyone in the region because he’s so incredibly talented, but there are many other recruits who could make a lot of top teams happy.

In Washington, four-star Dylan Morris is an intriguing prospect. In Oregon, four-star Michael Johnson Jr., recently transferred to Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon after his father landed an assistant coaching job with the Ducks. In Hawaii, Taulia Tagovailoa leads the way, although he could be moving to Mobile, Ala.

In California, Hank Bachmeier and Ryan Hilinski are two names to remember. In Arizona, Chandler’s Jacob Conover is definitely Pac-12 worthy. All across the region there are plenty of talented quarterbacks in the 2019 class and many others could emerge over the next two seasons.


Kalani Sitake
Kalani Sitake (AP Images)

There are four 2019 prospects from the West region committed already. Three of them have pledged to BYU and the Cougars have landed some top prospects.

The BYU coaching staff has been incredibly aggressive going after local recruits, offering a bunch of prospects in lower grades and then landing some big-time commitments early in their recruitments.

Can the Cougars keep it up? The top 2019 prospect is four-star DE/RB CJ Alatini, who should be a top Pac-12 target in the coming years, but defensive tackle Siaka Ika and defensive end Tausili Fiatoa are also big-time players who have committed to BYU early on.

Kalani Sitake and his staff have made getting early commits a priority and they’ve been successful so far. But can they continue to have that success as big-time national programs come into Utah and try to sway recruits?