FRESNO, Calif. –Aziz Shittu’s recruitment has been a little bit unorthodox. The four-star defensive lineman had early offers from schools around the west coast and beyond and he made an early commitment in the spring to Stanford. Just over a month later, Shittu decommitted from the Cardinal and opened things back up. However, Stanford has remained high on Shittu’s list throughout the process.
Aziz Shittu has three more visits scheduled in January.
On Monday at the Cal-State All-Star Game registration, Shittu arrived decked out proudly in a Stanford sweatshirt. But in classic Aziz Shittu fashion, his outfit was topped by an Oregon hat. Shittu’s recruitment will come to an end soon but before it does, he has a few more visits he wants to squeeze in.
Already, Shittu has taken official visits to Texas A&M and Cal. On Monday he listed Cal in his top four along with the other three schools he plans on visiting: Stanford, USC and UCLA. UCLA’s new coaching staff has only helped the Bruins’ chances.
“I was talking to the old staff so I just started talking to the new staff,” Shittu said. “I talked to Coach (Steve) Broussard a coupld of days ago. I’m kind of interested in seeing what they have to offer. I’m interested in seeing if they can turn around UCLA.”
Shittu played tight end, offensive guard and defensive tackle for his 12-1 Atwater (Calif.) Buhach Colony program in the fall but is rated as the No. 11 defensive tackle in the country.
Coaching changes affecting commitments
The west coast has been the setting for some major coaching shakeups in college football, and not just on the head coaching level. New coaching regimes and assistant coach musical chairs has given numerous prospects taking part in the Cal-State All-Star game plenty to think about.
Robert Lewis committed to SMU and its star recruiter Adrian Klemm as part of a huge California coup heading to Dallas. With Klemm’s recent hiring at UCLA, Lewis’ recruitment has suddenly gotten some serious question marks and another new coaching staff may be able to capitalize.
Lewis, a versatile and athletic all-purpose back, has scheduled an official visit for January 13 to Washington State and is intrigued by the offense that new head coach Mike Leach will bring to Pullman.
Coaching changes have given Devian Shelton plenty to think about.
Along with the Cougars, Lewis also hopes to take an official visit to Oregon but is waiting on the Oregon staff to evaluate his senior film.
Mike Leach is attempting to turn three-star Devian Shelton as well. Shelton also has seen his recruitment open up after a coaching change at Arizona, where he was previously committed. Following the firing of Mike Stoops, Shelton is now considering other options and will be with Lewis on the Jan. 13 official visit to Washington State. Shelton is also considering Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA and USC, while still keeping Arizona in the mix.
Shelton has built the best relationship with Oregon State assistant Keith Heyward among all of the coaches recruiting him. However the Washington (Demetrice Martin), SMU (Adrian Klemm) and Arizona State (Steve Broussard) assistants that were recruiting him at each school are now all at UCLA, giving the Bruins an added boost.
But the Trojans could be the Ace that trumps everybody if they decide to offer. USC has other cornerbacks that are higher on their board but Shelton said that if that Trojan offer were to come, it would likely move quickly into his top choice.
As a player that has only played the cornerback position for two years, Shelton has some of the best upside as a defensive back in the state of California.
Both Cochrans like three
Matt Cochran is one of the top center prospects in the country and he has narrowed his choices down to three likely candidates: Cal, Tennessee and Washington.
The senior has already taken official visits to all three programs and wants to decide at the Semper Fidelis Bowl in January. Following that Bowl game Cochran has one official visit set up with Utah that may or may not happen. Accompanying teammate Aziz Shittu on an official visit to UCLA is also an option for the big interior lineman.
Cochran’s upcoming decision will be a big one for his future and it could even impact a four-star recruit in the class of 2013 – his brother. Aaron Cochran, a Top247 prospect and a four-star in the 2013 class is already getting plenty of attention and the elder of the two brothers listed not just his top three but also took a shot at what he thinks his younger brother’s top three looks like.
“For the longest time, he wanted to go to Oregon,” Matt said. “I think he still wants to go to Oregon but for him, I think it’s Oregon, Notre Dame and Cal.”
Matt said that he and his brother would love to play together on the next level but are not letting each other factor into their decisions.
Awrabi considering the Trojans – as a walk-on
Clovis (Calif.) East defensive end Sam Awrabi has college options. He recently took an official visit to Northern Arizona. He has another official visit scheduled for Wyoming. San Jose State is also very much in the mix for his signature. Meanwhile programs like Fresno state and Washington State have expressed some interest. But Awrabi is considering passing on all of those for the opportunity to walk-on at USC.
“I’ve talked to the coaches at USC some about walking on,” Awrabi said on Monday. “I’m definitely interested. I have confidence in my abilities so I think I could do well there.”
Awrabi has spent much of his time at the defensive end at the high school level and sees himself fitting in well in the Nick Perry role for the Trojans.
One of the most underrated arms in the country is taking part in the Cal-State All-Star game as a quarterback in the Rising Stars Game. Tyler Ferguson out of Bakersfield, Calif. has been snakebit during his high school career. He split time as a junior with an upperclassman, started off his senior year as a starter with great success but a collar-bone injury forced him to miss half of the season. That injury caused any schools that had picked up interest to slow things down.
Now, Ferguson is looking for any interest from colleges and is looking at the Cal-State game as a great opportunity.
“I know a lot of guys here (at the Cal-State Game), it’s kind of a fun thing for them,” Ferguson said. “It’s totally fun for me. Football is a lot of fun to play but I’m also looking to get a lot of exposure out of the game.”
UNLV has shown Ferguson some interest but he is still waiting for more. The senior is set to graduate early and is ready to enroll early at the college of his choice but has yet to get the opportunity. He is hoping that this week helps him find that opportunity.
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