The quarterback class in the West in 2008 may not have the star power that previous classes have had, but the depth is there this year, unlike in years past.
Still, the quarterback "arms race" has been slow, with only one quarterback prospect in the region having made a decision when May rolled around. Dayne Crist, from Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks chose the University of Notre Dame, leaving all the Western schools available, despite having offers from several of them.
Over the weekend, though, UCLA became the first Pac-10 school to get a commitment from a quarterback when they received a verbal from Nick Crissman out of Edison HS in Huntington Beach.
"I was talking to Coach (Karl) Dorrell on the phone and he offered me and I decided to commit right there on the phone," said Crissman. "They were my number one school after getting to know Coach Dorrell and Coach (Jay) Norvell. I really felt we built a great relationship and I have always been a fan of the school."
Last year, Crissman led the Chargers to the CIF Pac-5
finals, where they lost to Orange Lutheran. He threw for 3,094 yards and 27
touchdowns (232-for-368), leading Edison to an 11-3 record.
Bellevue (Wash.) offensive lineman David DeCastro is
one of the most heavily pursued offensive linemen in the Northwest, and he is
holding offers from Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Boise State, Arizona
and Oregon State.
"It's great to get all of those offers this early and have those options, but I'm not in a hurry," DeCastro told Dawgman.com. "That doesn't mean I might not make an early decision, but I think I'll probably end up taking all my visits to check out the schools and see what each has to offer."
DeCastro is one of Washington's top targets and he took in the Huskies' Spring Game, getting a chance to visit with head coach Tyrone Willingham.
"It was a lot of fun. It was really good because I got to meet with coach (Tyrone)
Willingham and he got to meet my mom for the first time because she hadn't been
able to talk with him before. We talked about football and what he likes and expects out of his players. He
also talked about where the program is going and that they really are focusing
on the in-state guys this year and that they like what I bring to the table."
One of the fastest rising prospects in the West is Merced (Calif.) receiver Jarrett Sparks. The top offensive player in Central California, Sparks picked up his fifth offer earlier this week, and his fifth from the Pac-10 at that, when Arizona State offered him.
Sparks had 862 yards receiving and eight touchdowns as a junior and was also an all-state basketball pick
The quarterback class of 2009 may be the best the state of California has seen in years. Several top college prospects are already being identified in that class and so far, two signal-callers have picked up offers 21 months before they can sign anywhere.
"(Coach) Harbaugh came to Mater Dei , watched the practice and then offered Matt," said his father Les.
The Cardinal also offered 2009 prospect Tate Forcier out of Scripps Ranch in San Diego. The youngest of three quarterback playing brothers, Forcier's offer from the Cardinal was his first and then Arizona followed suit days later.
"Coach (Jim) Harbaugh came by the school and I wasn't there. My dad told me to call him. I called him and he said he was giving me a scholarship to Stanford."
Forcier's older brother Jason just transferred to Stanford from Michigan and
his other brother, Chris, signed with UCLA in February. Tate was named the
top quarterback at the Los Angeles Scout.com Combine last month, impressive for
a sophomore, and is considered the best of the Forcier's.
Van Nuys (Calif.) Birmingham tight
end Mychal Rivera (6-4, 228) told us a month ago that he was hoping to get an
offer from Oregon and earlier this week, he got that offer.
"Coach Greatwood told me they were offering me a scholarship to the University of Oregon," said Rivera. "I couldn't believe it. That was the one school I wanted an offer from."
The offer for Rivera was his second, Nevada being the first, but he made no bones about the Ducks being the favorite.
"I'm planning on going up there in a couple of weeks and if I like the feel, I'll commit," said Rivera.
One of the top tight ends in California, Rivera had 21 catches for 203 yards while spending much of the year opening holes for running back Milton Knox.
Arizona is quick becoming a hotbed for recruits, and the running back class in the Cactus State is one of the best at the top the state has seen in years.
Covaughn Deboskie and Jamal Womble get much of the attention but Phoenix (Ariz.) Brophy Prep running back Ray Polk is getting plenty of interest from colleges and he already has scholarship offers from the two in-state programs, Arizona and Arizona State as well as Nevada, Nebraska, Oregon State, Colorado, San Diego State and Oklahoma State.
"Initially I am looking at the programs, the staffs and education," Polk told Scout.com. "But ultimately the main thing with me is how I fit in. How do these schools fit me?"
Michigan and UCLA also like him and have been keeping a close eye on Polk.
Snow (Utah) College has been a good feeder JC to BYU and the Cougars again reaped the benefits of that relationship when they picked up a verbal commitment early this week from defensive tackle Tevita Hola.
"I was going to either call them last Saturday or today to let them know that I was going to commit," Hola told TotalBlueSports.com. "I just decided to give [Mendenhall] a call today to let him know, and luckily he was still at the airport and here in Utah. We basically just talked about what he expected of me and what he wanted me to prepare for as I go throughout the season. He said he was basically looking forward to seeing me up there after this year."
One of the best defensive tackles in the JC ranks this year, Hola initially committed to Southern Utah University, but decided to take his two-year LDS mission. Upon his return, he enrolled at Snow and will play the 2007 season there.