2014 Pac-12 Football Recruiting: Each Pac-12 team's best commit

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

Each Pac-12 schools has one commit that they are fighting to hang onto more than others.

Back in the day (Okay, six or seven years ago), a high school football prospect committing to a school actually meant that he might actually sign with that school. Now, a prospect committing to a school just means that there is a decent chance that he will actually sign there.

With the 2013-14 recruiting season now winding down, one of the biggest challenges for each Pac-12 team's staff will be hanging onto those top prospects that they have a commitment from and here are the most important to hang onto for each school.

Arizona - WR Cameron Denson 6'1 170 Tucson, AZ (Salpointe Catholic)

The Wildcats got a very early commitment from one of the West's best receiver prospect in hometown boy Denson who is a smooth playmaker that could make an impact right away for the Wildcats.

Chances of hanging on - Almost certain - Denson is from Tucson, has never mentioned talking to other teams and hasn't scheduled any visits.

Who to watch out for - No one.

Arizona State - WR Tyler Whiley 6'1 190 Scottsdale, AZ (Chaparral)

A big, two-way athlete that is right up there with Denson as one of the best receivers out West, Whiley committed to the Sun Devils early to stay home.

Chances of hanging on - Very good - Whiley has always affirmed that he couldn't be more solid to Arizona State.

Who to watch out for - USC - even though he said he is not considering other options, Whiley recently said that USC has been in touch and never count on the Trojans if they truly want a prospect.

Cal - WR Erik Brown 6'1 175 Fontana, CA (Summit)

A fantastic all-around receiver prospect that can do everything and is polished for a high school prospect, Brown was an early commit to Washington but flipped to Cal in November after Steve Sarkisian left Seattle.

Chances of hanging on - Okay - Brown committed despite Cal's woeful 2013 campaign, possibly because he knows the Bear raid offense will give him a ton of chances to showcase his skills, but I think they might have a tough time keeping him if big time schools like Nebraska and Notre Dame make serious late runs on him.

Who to watch out for - Notre Dame - Brown took a visit to South Bend in October, but the Irish already have two big time commitments at receiver, so they might not be pushing him that hard. However, if the Irish lose one of those commits, or decide to make a late run at Brown they might be hard for him to turn down.

Colorado - RB Jomon Dotson 6'0 165 American Canyon, CA

A speedster that could play running back or corner at the next level, Dotson runs a 10.7 100 meters and started racking up offers last spring before committing to Colorado in October.

Chances of hanging on - Good - It looked a couple of Pac-12 schools, Arizona State and Washington, could be making a run on Dotson, but neither has set up a visit yet, and as long as that is the case, expect Dotson to go to Boulder.

Who to watch out for - Washington - The Huskies are taking a long hard look at Dotson and don't be surprised if he visits Seattle before it's all over and the Huskies fight hard for his signature.

Oregon - S Budda Baker 5'10 175 Bellevue, WA

Baker has been the lightning quick playmaker for powerhouse Bellevue that does nothing but win state championships for a few years now and is one of the best pure athletes in the nation. Baker maintained a low key recruitment before committing to Oregon just before the holidays.

Chances of hanging on - Very good - Baker basically shut down his recruitment publicly when he officially committed to Oregon and has maintained since though schools like Washington UCLA will assuredly push him until the very end in hopes that he will listen.

Who to watch out for - Washington - I think Baker's recruitment is done, but if something weird happens, it would probably be an unexpected change to stay as close to home as possible.

Oregon State - G Drew Clarkson 6'4 275 Camas, WA

The Beavers landed a commitment from the savvy lineman who is one of the best guards on the West Coast this year over offers from other Pac-12 schools in October.

Chances of hanging on - Very good - The Beavers have fought off other schools well and Clarkson has maintained his allegiance to the Beavers, but he did take a visit to Cal in September and Washington's new staff is likely working on getting a look from him.

Who to watch out for - Washington - Chris Peterson and his staff are putting an immediate focus on keeping in-state talent so they are likely working on Clarkson and trying to get a visit.

Stanford - QB Keller Chryst 6'3 215 Palo Alto, CA

California's top quarterback prospect this year is a big, pro-style, polished QB who chose the Cardinal over USC last Spring.

Chances of hanging on - Almost certain - Big time quarterbacks almost never flip late.

Who to watch out for - USC - It's a long, long shot, but the Trojans may go hard after Chryst since they haven't been able to get a commitment from another elite quarterback this year and have a new staff.

UCLA - LB Zach Whitley 6'2 220 Galena Park, TX (North Shore)


The Bruins just got the fantastic middle linebacker prospect to flip from Alabama.

Chances of hanging on - Very good - A situation like this one usually isn't over, but Whitley is an early enrollee so I think he might be out of time for more flip flops and the Bruins' main competition, Alabama can afford to move on.

Who to watch out for - Alabama - They don't have much time, and they may have moved on, but if they haven't, don't count out Alabama.

USC - G Viane Talamaivao 6'3 285 Corona, CA (Centennial)

A powerful prospect that is among the best guards in the country made a huge splash when he flipped from Alabama to USC in November.

Chances of hanging on - Very good - Talamaivao seemed like a guy the Trojans could potentially use when they didn't keep Orgeron, but he has stated that he is still happy as a Trojan.

Who to watch out for - UCLA - Alabama has probably moved on and Talamaivao is probably set, but he may listen if the Bruins push hard.

Utah - T Jackson Barton 6'7 275 Salt Lake City, UT (Brighton)

The Utes wrapped up a really good local prospect very early in the process and he has remained the crown jewel of their class throughout.

Chances of hanging on - Certain - Barton recently enrolled early.

Who to watch out for - No one - Barton hasn't really mentioned anyone else.

Washington - TE Chase Blakley 6'5 235 Couer d'Alene, ID

The athletic tight end prospect can block and catch passes and committed to Washington early and stuck with them through the coaching change.

Chances of hanging on - Very good - There was some questioning with the coaching change, but Blakley has yet to say he is headed anywhere else or set up visits.

Who to watch out for - USC - This probably isn't as big of a fear as it was for the Huskies, as USC just got a commitment from Bryce Dixon, but if he flips somewhere else, the Trojans could be a danger if Sarkisian decides he needs another tight end.

Washington State - LB Chandler Leniu 6'1 225 Bellflower, CA (St. John Bosco)

One of the West's top middle linebacker prospects turned down a number of Big 12 schools and committed to the Cougars in September.

Chances of hanging on - Good - Leniu isn't being pushed by a number of Pac-12 schools, but he is the type of prospect that the Cougars sometime have a hard time hanging onto when things get heated.

Who to watch out for - Cal - Leniu recently said that he plans on visiting the Bears and that could mean that a big battle between Cal and the Cougars for his signature is on the horizon.

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