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Tuesday (Recruiting) News & Notes

So much for all the excitement around getting commitment from a quality OL. It now sounds like the Stevens commit to Dorrell's program is looking very shaky. From Superprep:

Although Hamani is still committed to the Bruins, he has not completely ruled out the thought of checking out other schools, in particular, USC.

"I’ve been talking to USC for a while now," he said. "They actually came out and watched me before UCLA. They’ve been letting me know that they want to take a better look at me, and I’m fine with that. I want to prove that I can play there I am going to head to the Rising Stars Camp this weekend and dominate."

Stevens will have a lot riding on the line during his upcoming camp experience at USC, as he will try to go out and earn a scholarship offer from the Trojans after it is all said and done.

"I’m going to show them (the USC coaches) that I can play football at that level," Stevens said. "I’m going to go out there and kick butt, I’m just going to play football. The coaches at USC invited me to the camp, and they have been telling me that I’m on the bubble, telling me that I’m also high on their list. They (the USC coaches) told me to just go out there and dominate, be a beast."

Stevens will undoubtedly have his chance to prove himself this weekend, but how will the UCLA commitment react if the Trojans were to offer a scholarship following an impressive outing?

"I mean, that’s a really big offer," he answered. "I wouldn’t just hop on it right away, but I would definitely have to give them a look. I’m committed to UCLA and I respect them, so I am not going to hop on USC. I need to see what is out there for me, I need to see what will benefit me the most in the end. If it’s USC, then its USC."
Uh yeah, okay. The kid goes on to say this:
"I’m going to UCLA tomorrow actually to figure out my commitment and make sure it is final," he said. "The commitment is a little shaky right now, and that is why I am going to head down there tomorrow. For me to go to a different school is pretty unlikely, and that school would really have to blow my mind for me to switch my commitment. I would have to fit in at that place like a piece to a puzzle."
All righty then. In other words I am not going to hold my breath over Stevens committing to UCLA if Dorrell comes up with another mediocre season in Westwood.

This is just a classic example of why following football recruiting is not all that fun. Because no matter how good it looks on paper right now with early commits (highlighted by defensive recruits), the bottom line is the picture is unstably given the uncertainty with our coaching staff. Everyone and their mother knows that Dorrell and his staff is going to be under incredible pressure to produce a Pac-10 championship. If he fails to deliver then all of this recruiting momentum is going to fall apart like house of cards. And this time Dorrell will probably not have anyone left to scape goat.

On the other side of recruiting spectrum, its a whole lot of fun when the program is led by a great coach. Case in point Ben Howland's recruitment of Jrue Holiday. People are starting to feel so good about Holiday being a Bruin, that some are already slipping up and calling him a commit. The Oregonian's Scott Anderson penned a report on a summer highschool tournament in Portland and jumped the gun on Jrue:
In the third-place game, Portland's Team Jones lost 74-66 to the Pump 'n Run All-Stars. Team Jones trailed 39-31 at halftime and had Holiday, who has signed a letter of intent with UCLA, in foul trouble in the second half; he fouled out with 11:05 remaining. Still, Pump 'n Run held on.
Obviously Jrue hasn't signed anything with UCLA yet. He hasn't even committed to Howland yet. But we are all feeling very good about this. And that kind of good feeling exudes around a program when it is led by a competent coach.