Every year programs reach out to the West coast hoping to lure some of the talent. Last year Nebraska, Notre Dame and Michigan did a tremendous job adding some West coast flavor to their classes.
UCLA ace-recruiter Adrian Klemm has taken his skills to a national level.
Teams like Florida, Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma are also known for recruiting California and Arizona regularly.
This year most of those same programs have extended early offers to some of the top recruits in the West. However Texas A&M, Ole Miss Alabama and Tennessee have increased their early efforts. And it wouldn't be a surprise if an Urban Meyer-led Ohio State program decides to recruit several of the top options out West this year. The Buckeyes have already targeted tight end Marcus Baugh.
There are 40 recruits in our current top 247 that play high school ball in a state West of the Rockies. Perhaps this 'top heavy' class of 2013 is the reason for the new interest. Or, some of the recent coaching shake-ups is the bigger cause.
On the flip side, even though they are nestled in the epi-center of the talent-rich state of California, UCLA has made no secret their intent to recruit nationally. Yesterday the Bruins picked up their second commitment from Georgia in running back Keyante Green. And if Jim Mora has his way, it won't be the last. The Bruins have already offered Vonn Bell, Carl Lawson and Juwan Dickey all from Georgia.
With their strong east coast ties, don't be surprised if ASU and Arizona look back to their roots for some talent. For those players nestled in a colder region, the state of Arizona can be an easy sell in the winter months. Both programs seem intent on working the in-state talent first and foremost, which is an important component to successful recruiting.
Washington has made a change as well. After luring ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi from Cal, the Huskies decided they would broaden their national approach. While at Cal, Lupoi showed he was not afraid or incapable of recruiting nationally and has already brought that same flavor to Seattle. Right now coach Lupoi has his targets set on Texas defensive prospect Deon Hollins among others. Don't forget Tennessee transplants, Justin Wilcox and Peter Sirmon may get back into SEC country to use their previously established relationships while with the Vols.
Under Lane Kiffin, USC has shown they will scour the country side in any state recruiting players they want. The Trojans finished that effort in late January by snaring Florida studs, Nelson Agholor and Leonard Williams. Although most of the class finished with the top talent from California, they were in on a number of high profile recruits nationally. This year they have already made their mark. The Trojans current lone 2013 commit is four-star defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow from Delaware.
Here's a few 'odds and ends' notes on recent offers and other news on some of the top players in the West.
Notre Dame assistant Mike Denbrock has proven he can recruit California and the West successfully.
Mike Denbrock has been active early and often in the West region. The Irish have extended recent offers to Priest Willis, Chans Cox, Eddie Vanderdoes, Aaron Cochran, Steven Mitchell, Chris Hawkins and Tahaan Goodman among several others. Today they also offered Kylie Fitts.
Last year the Irish signed four preps from the West, including late-signee Davonte Neal. Expect them to once again be a force out West.
Already in the class of 2013, the Wolverines have made their impact snaring Colorado offensive tackle Chris Fox. Fox is one of the top players in the nation and may only be a start for Brady Hoke and his west ties.
Like Notre Dame, the Wolverines have extended numerous offers to players out West. Eddie Vanderdoes, Cole Luke, Darrell Daniels, Devon Allen and Demorea Stringfellow are just a handful of early offers made by Michigan staff members.
Last year the staff locked up the in-state talent and made an early splash with Erik Magnuson, expect the Wolverines to build on that success.
Nick Saban has his sights set on 5-star QB Max Browne from Washington.
The Crimson Tide have demonstrated the ability to recruit anywhere in the nation. Although they don't often come out West too much, five-star Max Browne has captured their attention in a big way. Browne is one of a handful of top recruits the Tide are interested in. D.J. Martin and Cooper Bateman have also been offered, while Priest Willis, Justin Davis, Steven Mitchell and Eddie Vanderdoes are hearing from Alabama.
Don't be surprised to see Nick Saban ramp up their efforts as they continue to evaluate the nation for talent.
Like Alabama, FSU is not afraid to recruit nationally, including the West. Last year they signed California tight end Christo Kourtzidis from Lutheran Orange. The Noles also found success in New Mexico with junior college lineman Daniel Glauser. They were also in the final three for Arizona offensive lineman Andrus Peat who signed with Stanford.
This year they have already made two offers to Sebastian LaRue and yesterday to Priest Willis. Eddie Vanderdoes is another recruit that tells me Florida State is showing interest. Kourtzidis' teammate, John Lopez is also an early target by the staff, however he seems more likely to stay closer to home than his former teammate.
Last year the Aggies didn't recruit anyone out west with the exception of Aziz Shittu. Shittu took an official visit to College Station but didn't seem to seriously consider them late in the process.
But this year, new head man Kevin Sumlin has an agenda to recruit the region. The Aggies have already offered Su'a Cravens, Sebastian LaRue, Steven Mitchell, Tahaan Goodman and Evan Voeller. Currently none seem to be ready to jump on the offer, but LaRue and Goodman appear to be the most interested at this time.
With March nearing, don't be surprised to see the staff continue to look for options beyond the talent-rich state of Texas to fit the up-tempo offense that was so successful at Houston.