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February 24, 2012
West region analyst Adam Gorney goes around his region.
Here are a few players who are starting to blow up on the scene as we approach the May Evaluation Period.
ATH Elijah Qualls: The Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande athlete is one of the more interesting prospects in the West this recruiting cycle because he can play multiple positions on both sides of the field and that's one reason he's so attractive to college coaches. It's unique when a player is being recruited as a running back by some schools and a defensive lineman by others. He has landed offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, California, Iowa State, Michigan, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington and Washington State and many others could be on the way.
S Tahaan Goodman and CB Chris Hawkins: The Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) teammates are having an outstanding start to the recruiting process with offers coming in almost multiple times daily. Goodman is a high-flying, athletic safety who loves to hit people and Hawkins is one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the 2013 class. Cal, Stanford and UCLA are three favorites for Hawkins but a recent offer from Notre Dame is going to be seriously considered. Goodman has lots of offers as well and don't rule out the SEC or playing in Texas since he has family in the South.
CB Priest Willis: Offers are coming in from many of the nation's top programs and after seeing Willis perform at a recent B2G Sports workout it's easy to see why. The Tempe (Ariz.) Marcos De Niza cornerback is fluid, athletic and has great timing to make plays on the ball. Florida State offered on Thursday and he also has USC, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska and some other heavy hitters on his list. Almost every day Willis is landing another giant offer.
CB Cole Luke: The Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton corner started off slow and steady with the recruiting process picking up a few offers here and there. Recently it seems more major programs are getting involved after watching his junior highlight tape. Luke is great in coverage, never lets a receiver fool him and can jump so passes are always contested with him. Michigan, Nebraska and Oklahoma are some early offers and many Pac-12 schools are also involved.
RB Justin Davis: After rushing for 2,380 yards and 36 touchdowns in his junior season it became almost obvious that the Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln running back would pick up some major offers. It has already happened for Davis, who just got offered by Nebraska on Thursday. USC, Cal, Michigan, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, UCLA, Washington and many others are also involved. The Trojans are the early favorite but Davis is expected to play things out a little longer.
Instead of prolonging the recruiting process, five-star Thomas Tyner committed to Oregon in November and has not looked back. The Beaverton (Ore.) Aloha all-purpose back was marred with injuries this past season but he seems like a perfect fit for Oregon's wide-open offense. Tyner is the fastest athlete in Oregon high school history but he's also tough and can bounce off tacklers for extra yardage. Locking him up early was huge for the Ducks although competitors probably won't back off until next signing day.
USC and UCLA: The Trojans don't have any commitments yet but their recent junior day had almost all of the top players in the West in attendance. Some left with offers, such as five-star quarterback Max Browne from Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline and Davis, and others remain highly interested in USC. Coach Lane Kiffin has the program riding high into next season, which should only help with recruiting. The Bruins have a commitment from four-star cornerback Dashon Hunt and first-year coach Jim Mora has revitalized the program. UCLA is much more aggressive on the recruiting trail and many four-star prospects are eyeing the Bruins early on.
Keep an eye on
Boise State, Oregon State and UCLA have already offered San Diego (Calif.) Madison running back Pierre Cormier but he's a prospect who could pick up many more offers - especially after coaches review his junior highlight film. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound prospect has outstanding tape and he rushed for 1,471 yards and 20 touchdowns in his junior season. There is a lot to like about Cormier, who will attend the UCLA junior day this weekend, and more schools could offer soon.
News & notes
Nebraska is far away from the palm trees and golden beaches of Southern California but the Huskers are reaching out in a big way and offering lots of top West Coast talent early on this recruiting cycle. The Huskers offered Davis and four-star defensive end Eddie Vanderdoes on Thursday. Five-star Su'a Cravens along with four-star Kylie Fitts, Joe Mathis, Max Redfield, Michael Hutchings, Tahaan Goodman and many others have already been offered.
The state of Hawaii looks good this recruiting cycle and there have already been some rave reviews about Honolulu (Hawaii) Punahou linebacker Isaac Savaiinaea, a 6-foot-3, 235-pound recruit who has offers from Stanford, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii and Washington State. Offensive lineman Reeve Koehler and wide receiver Jeremy Tabuyo are teammates at Honolulu St. Louis and both already have offered. Tabuyo has outstanding film that shows him running past everybody.