Pac-12 recruiting: Oregon lands 3 commits over Pac-12 rivals, but loses 1 to USC

Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

The foundation for recruiting success during the December signing window often is laid in the spring and summer, when on-campus visits are taken, short lists created and verbal commitments made.

The Hotline is delighted to provide Pac-12 fans with a dive into the process through the eyes and ears of Brandon Huffman, the Seattle-based national recruiting analyst for 247Sports.

The following information, in his words, was provided to the Hotline on Aug. 18 …

*** It has been a big week for the Oregon Ducks.

On Monday, they pulled off a stunner by landing four-star athlete Kenyon Sadiq, the No. 1 player in Idaho and the highest-rated player from the state since defensive lineman Tommy Togiai, who went to Ohio State five years ago.

The 220-pound Sadiq had named a final three of Washington, Michigan and Iowa State.

Washington had gotten a midweek visit from him in June between trips to Iowa State and Michigan.

Michigan had signed the top player from Idaho a year ago.

And Iowa State was the first Power Five scholarship offer for Sadiq.

All three had reason to think they would get him, and then Oregon swooped in late.

Receivers coach Junior Adams has ties to Sadiq, and then tight ends coach Drew Mehringer really ramped it up, and the Ducks pulled off the shocker.

Then, on Wednesday, they got a commitment from Jaeden Moore, a high-three-star pass rusher from Visalia, Cal., who picked Oregon over Washington, Arizona and Cal.

And going back to late last week, the Ducks landed three-star linebacker Jerry Mixon of Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Francisco. He's the cousin of Bengals running back Joe Mixon and was down to a final two of Oregon and UCLA.

Arizona, ASU and Missouri also had hats at the table, but ultimately, Mixon picked the Ducks. The relationship with assistant coach Tosh Lupoi was a big piece.

*** Another notable development took place outside the conference footprint, with three-star tight end Ben Marshall of Murfreesboro, Tenn., committing to Cal last week.

He's a nice pickup for the Bears, who have had some heartbreak this year: They were recruiting both Jaeden Moore and Jerry Mixon, the Oregon commits. But the Bears went into Tennessee to get a tight end who had about 25 scholarship offers.

*** The other big Pac-12 commitment this week was three-star interior offensive lineman Alani Noa, out of the famed Grant High School program in Sacramento.

Noa had a final two of Oregon and USC. After the Trojans lost five-star prospect Josh Conerly Jr. to the Ducks in the 2022 recruiting cycle, they have now taken two of Oregon's top interior targets in the '23 cycle: first three-star lineman Micah Banuelos a month ago, and now Noah.

At one point, all signs were pointing to the Ducks. Noa took an unofficial visit in the spring but didn't commit, and that swung momentum back USC's way.

*** Late Tuesday, three-star safety Brock Fonoimoana, from Kahuku High School in Hawaii, committed to Utah. He's the No. 6 player in the state and a big win for the Utes, who have two players on their current roster from the school: defensive tackle Aliki Vimahi and tailback Elvis Vakapuna.

Fonoimoana also has a younger brother who's a very talented 2025 prospect, so that could be a commitment that doesn't just provide gains now but also long term.

The Utes continue to identify and develop talent. They're going back to the Kahuku well, which has been so good to them.

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Jon Wilner
Jon Wilner's Pac-12 Hotline is brought to through a partnership with the Bay Area News Group.

Jon Wilner has been covering college sports for decades and is an AP Top 25 football and basketball voter as well as a Heisman Trophy voter. He was named Beat Writer of the Year in 2013 by the Football Writers Association of America for his coverage of the Pac-12, won first place for feature writing in 2016 in the Associated Press Sports Editors writing contest and is a five-time APSE honoree. You can follow him on Twitter @WilnerHotline or send an email at

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