As Aztec head coach Rocky Long continues to say consistency has plagued the Aztecs all season. Fourth quarter Aztec collapses against Oregon State and Fresno has left them 4-4 and struggling to get bowl eligible instead of 6-2 with two upset victories against two top 25 teams.
Has inconsistency hurt recruiting? Of course it has. The Aztecs were rolling along with 12 recruits before the 2013 season started. Then the wheels fell off; with the losses to Eastern Illinois, Ohio State and Oregon State it weakened their position with signing recruits and this week the Aztecs lost two key defensive commitments. Safety and Quarterback, Ajene Harris from Crenshaw High School and Linebacker, Cameron Griffin, from View Park in Los Angeles. Both Harris and Griffin will spend their next four years at home at USC and UCLA respectively.
This has been a week that the Aztecs may want to forget and they haven't even played a down yet. On Friday afternoon, just less than a week after Griffin officially picked up his UCLA offer, the two-star linebacker flipped pledges from San Diego State to UCLA. According to Aztec Report Griffin said, "I committed to UCLA because coach (Jeff) Ulbrich seems like the best coach to teach me not only football skills, but life skills as well," Griffin said via text message Friday. "And (Eric) Yarber's enthusiasm and passion for the game is what won me over ultimately."
Griffin may not be the most skillful recruit right now, having only started his football career just three and a half years ago and playing in one of the least competitive football leagues in Los Angeles, but he has tremendous upside and athletic ability.
A strong and quick inside Linebacker, at 6-foot-3 and a 215-pound frame he can easily add around 20-30 more pounds, and still run a 4.6 40-yard dash. That is what Coach Mora and the UCLA assistants are seeing right now.
Crenshaw QB Ajene Harris was committed to San Diego State, but with a scholarship offer coming from USC on Thursday, his de-commitment from the Aztecs and commitment to the Trojans was just a matter of when rather than if. Rivals reported "Getting the offer was so exciting because USC is my dream school, and I decided to commit tonight," said Harris. "I've always wanted to be a Trojan.
"When I took my visit to the Utah game last weekend, it just felt like home. They have a couple of players I know from Crenshaw in Big Marcus Martin and Hayes [Pullard]. I got to chat with them after the game, and I just feel real comfortable at USC."
"It was hard making that call to San Diego State because that was like the first school that recruited me. But USC is my dream school. SC is where my heart is. It's where I want to be my next four years."
Harris is an All-City quarterback for Crenshaw, but he also plays safety for the Cougars. Harris says USC will bring him in as an athlete and let him decide where he lines up in fall camp.
"I'm stuck on SC," said Harris. "That's my dream school and that's my final decision."
A win tonight will get the Aztecs fifth win and a jump in the standings above the Spartans, but nothing has been a given with the Aztecs this year. Not even the early recruits and with the loss of Harris and Griffin, they lose some top athletes plain and simple. A week that they simply want to forget.