DOWNEY, Calif. – The first stop of the Rivals Camp Series was in Southern California last weekend and a bunch of top regional prospects showed out. Here are the five college programs that should be pleased based on what recruits said and how top targets and commits performed.
The Crimson Tide have come into the West region and landed some of the best prospects in college football recently in quarterback Bryce Young, running back Najee Harris and others. Alabama is back again and was not only mentioned by some of the best prospects at the Rivals Camp but look to be serious contenders for them as well.
After decommitting from Ole Miss, Alabama is one of the front-runners for four-star linebacker Jordan Lockhart. Also, Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa is giving the Tide a look, while five-star quarterback Julian Sayin is already committed. Bradenton (Fla.) IMG Academy teammates Keenyi Pepe and Zech Fort, who are both originally from California, are involved as well. Many others in the West are on Alabama’s radar as well.
Ohio State has done an incredible job – maybe better than any out-of-region team recently – with landing elite West players whether it was QB CJ Stroud, who could be the first one taken in the NFL Draft, former five-stars J.T. Tuimoloau or Emeka Egbuka, four-stars Denzel Burke and Devin Brown and so many others.
While the Buckeyes don’t have as many targets at this point in the West there are some significant names as they try to flip five-star QB Julian Sayin from Alabama. They’re involved with Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa and others, and 2025 No. 1 RB Jordon Davison is very high on Ohio State, too.
Dan Lanning and his staff really flexed their recruiting muscles late in the 2023 class when Oregon landed four-star athlete Rodrick Pleasant over USC, flipped Jayden Limar from Notre Dame, flipped Daylen Austin from LSU and won out for five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei over USC, Ohio State and others.
The Ducks are off to a great start in 2024 as well as four-star athlete Jordan Anderson was the best receiver at Sunday’s camp, four-star quarterback Elijah Brown is interested in Oregon, Akili Smith Jr. definitely has his eyes on the Ducks and then two big-timers in 2025 – running back Jordon Davison and offensive lineman Douglas Utu – are on the radar as well.
A bunch of elite players from Utah and Nevada were at the Rivals Camp on Sunday along with current Utes commit Kobe Boykin so that is a program that could load up from players in attendance.
In-state prospects Kash Dillon, Devoux Tuataga, Davis Andrews and Blake Tabaracci will be a few to watch. Las Vegas Bishop Gorman interior linemen Alai Kalaniuvalu and SJ Alofaituli along with Gorman defensive lineman Sione Motuapuaka put on a show.
Only miles from USC’s campus, there were inevitably a lot of top prospects in the coming recruiting classes that will closely take a look at the Trojans on both sides of the ball. Quarterbacks Elijah Brown and Husan Longstreet will lead two of the top programs in the country next season in Santa Ana Mater Dei and Corona (Calif.) Centennial, respectively.
Cole Leinart, USC legend Matt Leinart’s son, is waiting in the wings at Mater Dei. Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco linebackers Jordan Lockhart and Kyngstonn Vliamu-Asa are closely watching USC along with defensive backs Dijon Lee Jr., Jeilani Davis, Daryus Dixson and Jett White, who’s already been committed to the Trojans but will keep in close touch.
Adam Gorney and Clint Cosgrove, Rivals.com