Who won the state of California in 2017 recruiting?
The 2017 recruiting cycle has come and gone, but analysis of how the recruiting year played out is ongoing. Today, we examine which programs successfully pursued prospects from the state of California - and which struggled.
STATE CHAMPION: USC
It’s not a surprise to see the Trojans win the state of California. They did it on the strength of landing five of the state’s top 15 prospects and nine in-state four-stars overall. Stephen Carr, an electric running back who was also pursued by schools from all over the country, headlined USC’s class. Signing Day commitments from prospects like wide receiver Joseph Lewis (No. 6 in the state), athlete Greg Johnson (No. 13) and Josh Falo (No. 33) helped seal the Trojans' in-state title.
HONORABLE MENTION: UCLA
Despite an up-and-down season on the field, the Bruins continue to recruit very well in the state. UCLA landed two five-stars in Jaelen Phillips (No. 2 in state) and Darnay Holmes (No. 4), and if it weren’t for the Trojans having more four-stars, UCLA might be the state champs. In-state depth is also a hallmark of the class, with four-stars like defensive back Elijah Gates (No. 31), offensive lineman Kanan Ray (No. 34) and tight end Jimmy Jaggers (No. 41) expected to be big-time contributors in Pasadena.
SURPRISINGLY WEAK: NOTRE DAME
Over the years, the Irish have gone into California and grabbed several stars, including at least two four-stars in the 2015 and 2016 classes. This year the Irish fell short, landing four-star offensive lineman Aaron Banks (No. 16 in state) and three-star athlete Jordan Genmark Heath (No. 73). When the Irish have been recruiting at their best, it usually involves snagging high-level prospects out of California.
OUT-OF-REGION THREAT: NEBRASKA
The Huskers targeted several prospects in California, and the efforts led to three of the state’s top 40 players taking part in the “Calibraska” movement. While three may not seem like a big number, it’s more four-stars than Pac-12 schools Washington State and Colorado combined. The Nebraska staff has no plans of slowing down recruiting efforts in the state and if recruits like quarterback Tristan Gebbia and defensive back Elijah Blades can contribute early, the Huskers might be on this list again next year.