Signing Day: Locals breaking the mold

USC and UCLA had the least amount of commits of any of the schools in the Top 20 of’s national recruiting rankings. There were 19 members of the USC recruiting class and 18 members in UCLA’s class. Their classes finished first and fourth in the Pac-12, respectively.

Even with all the talent accumulated by the local schools, there is still plenty to go around. Here’s a look at 10 of the top local players that did not sign with the Trojans or the Bruins.

Marquis Ware, LB Arizona (Salesian) — After helping Salesian win its first CIF championship in school history, Ware signed with the University of Arizona on Wednesday, where he’ll join his cousin Jamadre Cobb who was also a part of Salesian’s 2013 CIF title. Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez says Ware has an opportunity to not only play right away but see time on both sides of the ball.

Jamadre Cobb, LB Arizona (Salesian) — Like his cousin Ware, Cobb is making the trek from Los Angeles to Tucson. Cobb, who is the No. 1 middle linebacker on the West Coast according to, is regarded as the best prospect in Rodriguez’s 2014 class.

Rashaad Penny, RB San Diego St. (Norwalk) — The Lancers enjoyed one their finest seasons in school history with Penny leading the way. The all-state performer guided Norwalk to the CIF finals in 2013 while rushing for 2,504 yards and 41 touchdowns in addition to his 10 touchdown receptions. The Aztecs get a steal in one of the top running backs on the West Coast.

Brad Kaaya, QB Miami (Chaminade) — There were rumors that Kaaya may have been on the fence when the Miami commit took a trip to Boise State prior to National Signing Day. As it turns out, Kaaya’s heart was always with "The U." Rumor has it Kaaya was so eager he signed his National Letter of Intent at 4 a.m. on Wednesday. He is a Elite 11 alum and one of the most impressive gunslingers in the country.


Chandler Leniu, LB Cal (St. John Bosco) — The numbers for the Braves’ defensive leader were astronomical in St. John Bosco’s national championship season of 2013. He recorded 238 tackles in 2013 –161 of them were solo. Leniu will stay in state, heading up north to play for the Golden Bears.

Donovan Lee, CB Colorado (Chaminade) — Lee had huge shoes to fill, taking over as the Eagles’ primary ball carrier in 2013 after the graduation of Terrell Newby. Lee didn’t disappoint, rushing for nearly 2,000 yards and 37 touchdowns while helping the Eagles win CIF and state championships. He’ll play cornerback at Colorado.

Koa Farmer, ATH Penn State (Sherman Oaks Notre Dame) — If you tuned into Prep Zone at all in 2013, you were sure to witness no shortage of highlights for Farmer. The one-time Cal commit will be leaving the West Coast and head to Happy Valley as a key cog in first year head coach James Franklin’s 2014 recruiting class. He’ll likely make his mark on the defensive side of the ball.

Shay Fields, WR Colorado (St. John Bosco) — The Buffaloes lost Serra alum Paul Richardson Jr. after he decided to declare early for the NFL Draft. Richardson Jr. is arguably the greatest wide receiver to ever play at Colorado, but head coach Mike MacIntyre believes he may have found his replacement in Fields. As a senior, Fields made 82 catches for 1,617 yards and 17 touchdowns for the national champion Braves.

Dallis Todd, WR Oklahoma (La Mirada) — Trevor Knight showed he was Oklahoma’s quarterback of the future in the Sooners’ Sugar Bowl win over Alabama. One of Knight’s top targets could be Todd, who committed to OU as a junior and never wavered.

Tre Watson, RB Cal (Corona Centennial) — The Cal commit opened up the recruitment and took a trip to Washington leading up to National Signing Day. However, he made it official on the High School Spotlight Signing Day Special on Wednesday, announcing he would stay true to the Golden Bears. The CIF-SS Offensive Player of the Year rushed for 3,734 yards and 50 touchdowns as a senior.