Title: Pac-12 Programs and the 2024 Recruiting Cycle: Key Questions and Predictions
In this article, we will delve into the biggest questions surrounding Pac-12 programs and their 2024 recruiting cycle. Rivals.com national recruiting director Adam Gorney provides insights into the recruitments of multiple five-star prospects and other crucial aspects. With the Pac-12 conference looking to make a mark in the college football landscape, these questions will shed light on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.
1. Can USC keep elite players home? (Word count: 144)
USC, under second-year coach Lincoln Riley, has made significant strides in building a formidable offense through the transfer portal. However, winning recruiting battles with local high school players has proven challenging. The dominance of Alabama in securing commitments from top California prospects, including five-stars QB Julian Sayin and safety Peyton Woodyard, raises doubts about USC’s ability to keep elite players home. Despite its recent loss to Notre Dame, USC’s head coach has made remarkable progress. However, winning recruiting battles in Southern California remains a top priority.
2. Can Arizona and ASU turn the tide on in-state players? (Word count: 167)
Over the past decade, the state of Arizona has seen its top prospects leave the state, highlighting the challenges faced by local programs in retaining elite talent. Previous recruiting cycles have shown a minimal number of in-state commitments, reinforcing the need for change. Arizona coach Jedd Fisch and Arizona State’s Kenny Dillingham have made in-state recruiting a priority by hiring coaches with strong connections to prominent programs in Arizona. However, the success has been marginal so far, with the majority of top players continuing to leave the state. The coaching staffs in Tucson and Tempe must find ways to keep these talented athletes home to create a more competitive landscape.
3. Can Colorado capitalize with its recruiting class? (Word count: 160)
Under the leadership of first-year coach Deion Sanders, Colorado football has witnessed a remarkable turnaround in terms of public perception. However, the program has the fewest commitments in the Pac-12 with only ten so far. While the Buffaloes have managed to attract elite recruits and generate significant buzz, their position in the conference rankings is less impressive. Sanders may consider utilizing the transfer portal to bolster the roster or wait for more recruits to make decisions as the season progresses. Colorado needs to step up its recruiting efforts to ensure long-term success.
4. Will a Pac-12 team break into the top five nationally? (Word count: 109)
In the past two recruiting cycles, no Pac-12 team has cracked the top five in the national team rankings. However, the 2024 cycle presents an opportunity for Oregon, currently ranked ninth, to achieve a top-five finish. While other teams like Stanford and USC sit outside the top 20, the potential for a late surge cannot be ruled out. Oregon’s chances of making the jump are enhanced if they can secure commitments from potential five-star recruits in the coming months.
5. What will 2025 West five-stars do? (Word count: 114)
In the 2025 class, two five-star prospects, offensive tackle Douglas Utu and running back Jordon Davison, have emerged as significant prospects. Davison has narrowed his choices to Texas, Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, and Colorado, with the Longhorns holding a slight edge. Utu’s recruitment is less clear, with interest from Oklahoma, USC, and Oregon. Playing alongside teammates SJ Alofaituli and Alai Kalaniuvalu could factor into Utu’s decision-making process. As the recruitment progresses, the landscape may change. The developments surrounding these five-stars make their decisions even more intriguing.
Pac-12 programs face several challenges and opportunities in the 2024 recruiting cycle. USC must find a way to keep elite players within the state of California, Arizona and ASU need to reverse the trend of losing in-state talent, and Colorado must capitalize on its newfound momentum. Oregon has a chance to break into the top-five nationally if they secure commitments from potential five-star recruits. The recruitment of 2025 West five-stars brings another layer of excitement and uncertainty to the process. As the recruiting cycle unfolds, the answers to these questions will shape the future of Pac-12 football.