Pac-12 recruiting: USC in the post-Grinch era, UCLA’s QB commit and big weekends for OSU, UW

The Bruins finally found a quarterback in the class of 2024 despite their stocked roster

The Hotline is delighted to provide Pac-12 fans with a regular dive into the recruiting process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting editor for 247Sports. He submitted the following report on Nov. 9 …

The Grinch who saved the season

The firing of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch had no effect on recruiting at USC.

The Trojans experienced no de-commitments as a result of the change. Coach Lincoln Riley, in fact, has added to his commitment list.

In the hours following Grinch’s dismissal, the Trojans signed Chatsworth (California) cornerback Madden Riordan, a member of the 2026 recruiting class.

This comes just a week after fellow 2026 cornerback Brandon Lockhart, Riordan’s 7-on-7 teammate, committed to the Trojans.

If anything, the coordinator change has helped USC retain recruits, as concerns about Grinch’s job security are no longer present.

And, as he did two years ago as USC’s interim coach following Clay Helton’s dismissal, assistant coach Donte Williams has turned chaos into certainty by landing a couple of recruits.

The bigger question is how the change will affect the Trojans in the future.

Our guess is no.

Whether Riley keeps one of his two interim defensive coordinators, Shaun Nua and Brian Odom, or hires someone from outside the program, the Grinch question has been answered. Riley can proceed accordingly.

UCLA finds its 2024 QB

When the Bruins signed blue chip quarterback Dante Moore in the 2023 class, it had a significant impact on their 2024 prospects.

UCLA has offered scholarships to five different passers, but four have already committed to other schools.

Karson Gordon of Bellaire, Texas, comes to mind.

Gordon, a former UNLV commit, kept in touch with UCLA quarterbacks coach Ryan Gunderson and director of player personnel Ethan Young throughout the fall.

Gordon visited UCLA for the Colorado game before decommitting from the Rebels.

He announced his commitment to UCLA on Tuesday night.

On film, Gordon resembles former Bruins starter Dorian Thompson-Robinson in that he’s a true dual-threat player with the passing ability to make plays happen.

Gordon appears to be a natural fit for Chip Kelly’s offense, as neither Moore, freshman Luke Duncan, nor recent starter Ethan Garbers are dual-threat players.

Washington as host

The Huskies will host Utah on Saturday in their first home game in three weeks, and several recruits are expected to attend.

Their list includes a few key commitments as well as a slew of uncommitted goals.

Paki Finau, a four-star offensive lineman from Hesperia, California, is the headliner and UW’s second-highest rated pledge in the 2024 class.

This weekend, his 2025 teammate, running back Karson Cox, will be flanking Finau on Montlake.

Omar Khan, a current 2024 commitment from Cypress (Texas), will also join Washington.

The Huskies will also have the No. 1 player in Kansas, tackle Andrew Babalola, and the No. 1 prospect in Northern California, El Dorado Hills tight end Kaleb Edwards, in attendance from the 2025 class.

Beavers back in Corvallis

Oregon State can’t help but think ahead to next week’s game against Washington, which should be a prime-time broadcast on ABC with Kirk Hebstreit and Chris Fowler on the call, as well as the possibility of ESPN’s ‘College GameDay’ broadcast from Corvallis.

But first, the Beavers will host Stanford at Reser Stadium, where they will have the opportunity to impress several recruits.

This includes the state’s top players in the 2025 and 2026 classes.

West Linn tight end Baron Naone committed to the Beavers last month.

Naone chose Oregon State over Washington because his father, Barry, played for the Beavers.

Meanwhile, Ansu Sanoe of Lake Oswego, the No. 1 ranked in-state recruit in the 2026 class and a member of the Top247 rankings, will be back in Corvallis this weekend.

Sanoe has scholarship offers from Georgia, Tennessee, Texas A&M, and Oregon, in addition to Oregon State.

Yes, he’s a national recruit, but the Beavers have had a presence with the four-star recruit since the beginning.

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