West Recruiting Notebook
Bryan Bennett
Bryan Bennett
West Recruiting Manager
Posted Jun 19, 2009

The quarterback situation for several schools is beginning to clear up as the dominoes are starting to fall, with summer just around the corner, this week in the West Recruiting Notebook...

Sean Mannion

The quarterback chips are beginning to fall out West.

Things got going when Steamboat Springs (Colo.) quarterback Austin Hinder committed to California late in May, then Dallas Lloyd from Pleasant Grove (Utah) verballed to Stanford.

Jake Heaps from Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline really got the train rolling when he committed to BYU.  Since Heaps, the top quarterback prospect in the West, four more quarterbacks have made decisions, all to Pac-10 schools.

Nick Montana from Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian committed to Washington last week, then Peter Thomas from El Cajon (Calif.) Valhalla pledged to Arizona State.

In the last two days, both Oregon State and Oregon have picked up quarterback commitments, the Beavers landing Sean Mannion from Pleasanton (Calif.) Foothill and the Ducks picking up Bryan Bennett from Encino (Calif.) Crespi.

And two more of the West's top passers are hitting the camp circuit, with California's top prospect, Jesse Scroggins from Lakewood, down in the Southeast, camping at Florida already this week and Tennessee through the weekend.  Meanwhile, Brett Nottingham from Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista is in Colorado camping with the Buffs and will likely camp at USC and UCLA next week. Scroggins is expected to camp at USC's Rising Stars Camp as well. 

Other quarterbacks have seen offers roll in, with Brian Blechen from Moorpark (Calif.) picking up his first offer, from the Sugar Bowl champions, Utah, and then Blechen committing there.

Anaheim (Calif.) Servite passer Cody Fajardo got an offer from Towson State and Connor Halliday picked one up from Washington State.

Neither UCLA or USC have a quarterback commitment, but both schools could expedite their quarterback recruitment in the next week, as they host their camps.  Under-the-radar guys like Tyler Shreve, (Redlands East Valley), Tyler Bray (Kingsburg), Ryan Kasdorf (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame) and Ryan Orozco (Chino Hills Ayala), are all hoping good performances net them offers.

Colin Porter

Washington may have had one of their commits, Tevin Carter from Los Angeles (Calif.) Santee, soften his verbal, but it's not been a bad week for the Huskies at all, especially on the heels of Montana's verbal. 

They've picked up three commitments, two from in-state in Michael Hartvigson and Colin Porter, both from Bothell. 

Hartvigson plays tight end for the perennially powerful Bothell program, while Porter has just made the move from Redmond, and will line up next to Hartvigson at offensive tackle.

The Huskies also went into Oregon and picked up the state's number three player in Keanon Lowe.

George Bell

Peter Thomas' commitment to Arizona State wasn't the only good news for the Sun Devils.

Arizona State picked up a verbal from Carl Bradford from Norco, their second Cougar they've landed a verbal from (joining teammate Deantre Lewis).

That came on the heels of one-time commit Josh Fulton recommitting to the Sun Devils.

But the biggest get was that of receiver George Bell from Southwestern (Calif.) J.C., one of the premier playmakers in the J.C. ranks.

Thomas and Bell work out together, and that played a role in Bell's decision.

 “I know Pete very well and we work out a lot together,” Bell told DevilsDigest.com. “It’s very important for a quarterback and a wide receiver to have a strong connection, and he’s a solid quarterback who knows how I play.”


Chidera Uzo-Direbe

Despite being overshadowed by two top 10 players at their position, Corona (Calif.) defensive end Chidera Uzo-Direbe is making a name for himself.

Jordon James (#8-ranked running back) and Demetrius Wright (#9-ranked cornerback), have both deservedly received a lot of attention, but Uzo-Direbe turned in a fine performance at Colorado's camp this week, and in the process, landed his first offer.

"Colorado just offered me," said Uzo-Direbe.

Uzo-Direbe also has camped at UCLA and will be visiting Westwood on Friday for an unofficial visit with James and then will head up to Fresno State to take an unofficial visit next week.

In the meantime, James has set four official visits and took an unofficial visit to UCLA on Friday

"I have four official visits set up already," said James. "I'm going to Florida on September 19th, Notre Dame on October 17th, Arizona on November 7th and UCLA on November 21st."

Oregon State also extended an offer to James earlier this week.

Baker Pritchard

The Cougars of BYU and of Washington State both picked up commitments in the last week.

Washington State had Oakland (Calif.) cornerback Damante Horton pick the Cougs over offers from a dozen schools.

Meanwhile, BYU had two commits from the Lone Star State in linebacker Teu Kautai and offensive tackle Tayo Fabuluje from The Oakridge School in Arlington, and they'll join teammate Ross Apo, who committed earlier this month.

Then this week, BYU got a head start on the class of 2011, when Baker Pritchard told Talo Steves of TotalBlueSports.com, that he was committing to the Cougars.

Pritchard's older brother, Iona, played as a true freshman for the Cougars last fall.


Tevin McDonald

UCLA's recruiting class is one of the smaller ones in the Pac-10, but it added to its class on Thursday when Fresno (Calif.) Edison safety/cornerback Tevin McDonald committed to the Bruins over an offer from Washington.

The younger brother of All-American safety T.J. McDonald, who signed with USC last February, and the son of NFL Pro Bowler and now Edison head coach Tim McDonald, who starred for the Trojans, decided to blaze his own trail in picking the Bruins.

"Even though I had all my family with USC, I felt like UCLA was the best place for me," said McDonald.  "My dad was very supportive, especially because he's all die-hard USC."

McDonald was offered by the Bruins after a strong showing at their camp two weeks ago, and decided to take the Bruins up on the offer.

But he received some good-natured ribbing from his older brother, who'll move down to USC next week.

"He was happy for me and congratulated me, but said 'it had to be the Bruins, didn't it," said McDonald.

Shaan Johnson

Other News and Notes from out West

A couple of 2009 prospects have made late decisions.

-Florida picked up a verbal from La Mesa (Calif.) Helix athlete Travon Van.  Van will go to Milford Academy, a prep school, this fall, before heading to Gainesville to play for the Gators. 

-Montebello (Calif.) Cantwell-Sacred Heart receiver Jeffrey Taylor is going to Nevada, committing to the Wolf Pack and will be enrolling in the fall.

Meanwhile, several more offers have made their ways out in the weeks following the camp and combine circuit and the evaluation period.

-Alex Crosthwaite, an offensive tackle from San Diego (Calif.) Central Catholic picked up his 15th offer when Syracuse offered this week.

-Receiver Shaan Johnson from Cerritos (Calif.) Gahr was offered by Utah while Santa Monica linebacker Luke Zelon picked one up from Iowa State.

-Defensive end Tony Washington  from Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) Los Osos was offered by San Diego State, his 11th offer overall.

-Colton teammates Derrick Malone (safety) and Jonathan Mack (cornerback) were both offered by UNLV.

-UTEP has offered offensive tackle Zach Dilley from Paloma Valley HS in Menifee and A.J. Powell, an athlete from Covina (Calif.) South Hills.

-New Mexico State has offered Covina (Calif.) Charter Oak cornerback Jordan Canada.

-Air Force has offered two prospects from Southern California, offensive lineman Moorpark's Joe Frank and St. Augustine's Joe Macias, a cornerback.

-Cal Poly offered Sacramento (Calif.) Inderkum athlete Demetrius Williams, Torrance (Calif.) linebacker Erick Kendle, Concord (Calif.) De La Salle defensive tackle Christopher Lawrence and Pittsburg (Calif.) defensive back Tracy Clark.

-Harvard-Westlake safety Nick Okano was offered by Columbia, Narbonne of Harbor City defensive end Devon Wallace was offered by Northern Arizona and Las Vegas (Nev.) Cheyenne running back Jordan Butler was offered by South Dakota.

Scout.com Southwest Recruiting Analyst Jason Jewell & Northwest Recruiting Analyst Chris Fetters contributed to this report

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