These are the top recruits that I could see signing with Pac-12 schools this time next year.
- Sav’ell Smalls LB Seattle, WA - The 6’3 230 outside linebacker could be the top player at any position in 2020 when all things are said and done. He’s that so rare defensive player with the size and strength to hold up on the edge in run defense against offensive linemen, but who has the speed and first step to be an elite edge rusher. He could be another Terrell Suggs in the Pac-12. Prediction: Washington isn’t a clear cut leader, but Smalls is showing a lot of love to his hometown school in a recruitment that’s fairly open right now with Alabama and Oregon right there with the Huskies.
- Justin Flowe LB Upland, CA - Flowe is a lot like Smalls, a surefire five-star, 6’2 225, from the West Coast, but he plays inside and is more of a big hitter. He could be Vontaze Burfict without all the drama. Prediction: USC is the early heavy favorite, but that’s shaky given how much turmoil there is there right now. Don’t be surprised if Alabama, Oregon and Washington get heavy consideration with the Trojans floundering.
- Kelee Ringo CB Scottsdale, AZ - A 6’2 205 cornerback with outrageous athleticism and physicality, Ringo almost seems like a prospect made up in a video game. He’s very much real though and has a great chance at being the Class of 2020’s top cornerback recruit. Prediction: Washington has a great chance to reel in Ringo given he only recently moved from Seattle and Washington and Jimmy Lake’s success with putting DBs in the NFL (including Scottsdale’s Byron Murphy). It will be almost impossible to pry him away from national powers like Alabama and Texas and regional powers like USC and Oregon though.
- DJ Uiagalelei QB Bellflower, CA - A 6’4 240 prospect who can sling it more than 80s who has great accuracy, he’s one of the best QB prospects out West in a while. He’s almost top round MLB prospect so he might not end up playing football in the end. Prediction: Clemson seems to locking up DJ’s recruitment early on and it seems like he’ll leave Pac-12 country. USC and Oregon maybe have a shot at keeping him, but it doesn’t seem likely, especially with USC already having a commitment from Bryce Young.
- Elias Ricks CB Santa Ana, CA - Ricks is a lot like Ringo, a big CB who can play physical in contention to be the top cornerback prospect in the nation in 2020. He’s almost impossible to throw against with his length, speed, and ball skills. Prediction: LSU has a commitment from Ricks, but you have to think that schools like Alabama and USC will stay on him for the next year. He might reconsider USC if they end up with a new staff sometime between now and next signing day.
- Kendall Milton RB Clovis, CA - The West sorely lacks big running backs that can run between the tackles and Milton is that and more. He’s 6’2 210 and has the speed to run away from people. He could end up being a faster Royce Freeman. Prediction: USC makes a living on bringing in recruits like Milton and he seems interested, but their struggles leaves the door wide open for Alabama and Oregon to steal him away.
- Johnny Wilson WR Calabasas, CA - A 6’5 215 target that could end up being the top-rated receiver in the country. He has the size of a small tight end, but the athleticism and playmaking ability of a top flight receiver, making him one of the most-coveted receivers out West. Prediction: USC seems like a safe pick in what is a wide open recruitment right now. UCLA, Oregon, and Washington will be right there with the Trojans the whole way.
- Bryce Young QB Santa Ana, CA - Young is only 6’0 175 and that might be a generous listing, but that shows just how good of a pure football player he is. A true dual threat, he’s going to rack up passing yard and TD records while also always being a threat with his feet. Prediction: USC has a commitment from Young, but watch for UCLA, Oregon and Washington to hover if USC makes coaching changes in the next year.
- Jason Harris DE Gilbert, AZ - A 6’7 220 defensive end that’s a 4/5-star prospect in both basketball and football like Harris is exactly the kind of prospect to get every Pac-12 coach drooling. He looks like an All-American power forward that could use that length and explosion to also make him a deadly pass rusher. Prediction: Arizona is in an ideal spot to pull one of their top recruits of all time with Harris given his dad played football for the Wildcats and his brother is on the team right now. The usual suspects of Alabama, Oregon, UCLA, and USC might creep in if he wants to go somewhere else.
- Myles Hinton T Norcross, GA - The 6’6 310 tackle with NFL ready polish and size is the kind of linemen that turned Stanford into a national power. He could come in right away and replace Walker Little if he heads early to the NFL. Prediction: Stanford has a commitment from the big man and that’s why he’s on this Pac-12 list even though he’s from Georgia. Expect Alabama, Clemson, Georgia and the like to keep pitching him, but I don’t he wavers.
- Myles Murao G Santa Ana, CA - Murao isn’t huge at 6’3 275, but that shows what a powerful, polished prospect he is. He reminds me of big-time LA recruit Wyatt Davis who just started for Ohio State as a true freshman. Prediction: USC is hard to bet against with Mater Dei products. However, I know Washington has a good shot at him and expect Stanford and UCLA to recruit him hard.
- Bijan Robinson RB Tucson, AZ - 6’0 200 with speed and power, he’s a full package back that should put on weight and look like an NFL back in a few years. Prediction: Arizona is a favorite with him already in Tucson and his uncle having played for the Wildcats. Alabama, UCLA, USC and Oregon are other schools to watch.
Others to Watch
Darnell Washington TE Las Vegas, NV
Avantae Williams S Deland, FL - Oregon commit
Jay Butterfield QB Brentwood, CA - likely Stanford
Clark Phillips III CB La Habra, CA
Gary Bryant Jr. CB Corona, CA