football

Where will the West's best commit in 2018?

Class of 2018, it's your turn.

The West region is home to some of the nation's top prospects, and the best football programs in the country are fighting furiously to get these players to commit. Here is just a taste of the battles taking place.

MORE 2018 PREDICTIONS: Midwest | Southeast | Mid-Atlantic

X4hfahzp39gmm8us8umg

Outlook: There is some thinking that simply because four-star teammates Joseph Lewis and Greg Johnson picked USC in the 2017 cycle that Hall will absolutely end up with the Trojans. That is not the case. The five-star receiver is more open to looking nationally, considering programs in every major conference and then making up his mind. With that all being said, as Signing Day gets closer, and especially if USC has another strong season then Hall could easily wind up with the Trojans. Ohio State, Oklahoma, Nebraska and many others are involved though as Hall remains wide open.

Way-too-early prediction: USC

Outlook: St. Brown’s oldest brother, Equanimeous, plays at Notre Dame and his middle brother, Osiris, signed with Stanford this recruiting cycle. The 2018 five-star is definitely the biggest wild card in the family, which means he could make a really surprising decision, but his recruitment could take an altogether predictable path, too. St. Brown had a great relationship with former UCLA receivers coach Eric Yarber, now with the Los Angeles Rams. But the prediction is with new offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and new receivers coach Jimmie Dougherty in place, the Bruins will stay high atop St. Brown’s list. Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Nebraska, USC and of course Notre Dame and Stanford are some others already involved.

Way-too-early prediction: UCLA

Outlook: Gaoteote is one of the hardest prospects in the West to read because he doesn’t open up much about his recruitment, but there is a specific line of thinking here. A few of his Gorman teammates are leaning toward UCLA at the moment and that could play a factor. But some of his teammates in the 2017 class signed with Ohio State and coach Urban Meyer is arguably the best recruiter in college football. He usually gets what he wants and Gaoteote is a top target.

Way-too-early prediction: Ohio State

Pkgisjvvp5hcvojk1nbh

Outlook: There might have been some concern with the recent coaching changes at UCLA, but not to fear when it comes to Thompson-Robinson, the four-star dual-threat quarterback who’s poised for a breakout senior season. He mainly played receiver this season because Tate Martell was the starting quarterback, but the four-star could prove to be one of the nation’s best. He’s already developed a strong relationship with new UCLA offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch, from his days at Michigan, and that should carry over in a huge way for the Bruins. Michigan and many others are involved but Thompson-Robinson could be UCLA’s to lose right now.

Way-too-early prediction: UCLA

Outlook: USC is the early frontrunner for Griffin, a four-star cornerback from Mission Viejo, Calif., and he has a top five but doesn’t want to make it public yet. The Trojans are out in front because Griffin has taken numerous visits there and really hasn’t seen many other schools. He wants to take trips to Alabama, Michigan and Nebraska in the coming months and that could completely shift things but USC might be tough to beat. The son of rapper Warren G, Griffin has a lot of connections to Los Angeles and getting him out of town will be a battle.

Way-too-early prediction: USC

Drs9noyg8x77nqwonkdy

Outlook: Washington and Cal had been the two favorites for the four-star for some time, but recently it seemed like the Huskies jumped ahead after all the Cal coaching changes. Washington definitely has Williams’ interest as the four-star can play on either side of the ball and especially after the Huskies finished this season so well. Ole Miss is interesting because former Cal assistant Jacob Peeler is on staff there and Cal, Notre Dame and Oregon are all in Williams’ sights. But Washington definitely looks to have the edge here.

Way-too-early prediction: Washington

Ua79p2mf8vv1aslkzt5m

Outlook: Numerous times after visiting Ohio State for its summer camp and then again for a game this season, the four-star prospect who probably projects as a linebacker in college said the Buckeyes hold the edge. A decision is expected before his senior season, so it would be no surprise at all if Jackson picks Ohio State over Nebraska, Colorado and many others. He seemed to love his camp experience in Columbus and that only built up even more after seeing a game this season. If Ohio State wants Jackson, he should be wrapped up in the coming months.

Way-too-early prediction: Ohio State

Edit
,