Junior quarterback Josh Rosen has quickly risen up the ranks of 2015 offensive playmakers, earning scholarship offers from several top-tier BCS programs. The St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, Calif.) 5-star recruit recently revealed his four favorite school choices to Scout.com writer Hayley Elwood (subscription required).
"My top schools are California, Stanford, UCLA and USC," Rosen told Elwood.
Clearly, the California kid is leaning toward staying close to home. That's tough news to take for teams attempting to lure Rosen away from The Golden State.
The 6'4", 205-pound passer holds a rapidly expanding list of options, including Michigan, Tennessee, Virginia and Oregon State. Notre Dame and Washington each extended offers in September.
Rosen is listed as the No. 1 pro-style quarterback and No. 6 overall prospect in 247Sports' composite rankings in the 2015 class. He threw for 2,087 yards and 22 touchdowns as a sophomore while picking up an additional 352 rushing yards, per 247Sports.
Six games into his junior season, Rosen is 72-of-95 passing, per MaxPreps. He's thrown for 1,171 yards, 13 touchdowns and one interception.
Now that we have an early indication of which offers Rosen is considering more than others, it's an appropriate time to examine his top four choices.
The Stanford Cardinal emerged as an immediate favorite for Rosen. The team's pro-style offense commanded the national spotlight in 2011, when eventual No. 1 NFL draft pick Andrew Luck led the attack.
Other squads have caught up to the Cardinal atop Rosen's list, but it's important to note his early interest.
“Initially Stanford stood out, but I’ve started to take a few more visits,” he told Scout.com. “I’ve watched a bunch of UCLA and USC games and I have more of an open mind right now."
Junior Kevin Hogan currently starts at quarterback for the Cardinal. Freshman Ryan Burns is the team's top young passer, as he arrived on campus this year as a 4-star recruit from Virginia.
Stanford landed one of the premier quarterbacks of the 2014 class when 5-star Palo Alto native Keller Chryst committed in June. It's the second straight year that David Shaw's top recruit is a passer.
He could make it three years in a row if the program is able to reel in Rosen. However, competition doesn't get much stiffer than what Rosen would face while attempting to start at Stanford.
The UCLA Bruins have made significant strides during Jim Mora's tenure. Much of the success can be credited to vast improvement on offense.
Sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley has emerged as one of the top Pac-12 playmakers, leading the Bruins to a 5-0 start. UCLA ranks 17th in the nation in passing yards per game (323.6 yards), and Hundley is an excellent rusher.
Freshman walk-on quarterback Mike Fafaul became an intriguing player during training camp and has already seen limited playing time in his first collegiate season. Freshman Asiantii Woulard was a 4-star recruit from Winter Park, Fla. and presents excellent dual-threat capabilities.
UCLA has yet to add a quarterback to its 2014 class, and it remains to be seen what the Bruins' intentions are with a pair of talented freshman passers already on the roster. Don't be surprised if UCLA decides not to allocate a scholarship to the position during this cycle.
That would set the stage for Mora to bring in Rosen following a two-year scholarship gap at quarterback. He's already proven willing to hand the keys of his offense over to a freshman.
The USC Trojans program is currently surrounded by uncertainty, but that won't be an issue in a few months. Rosen can monitor the situation from close by and draw his own conclusions from the school's eventual coaching hire.
Few programs have produced a lineage of NFL quarterback like USC in the past decade. Matt Leinart, Matt Cassel, Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley may not be starring on the big stage, but they earned roles on professional rosters after leading the Trojans.
The once-powerful USC aerial attack has sputtered this season, as third-year sophomores Cody Kessler and Max Wittek have combined to throw just eight touchdowns through six games. The Trojans rank 87th in the country in passing yards per game (207.7 yards) despite featuring a receiving corps stocked with talent.
Freshman quarterback Max Browne was a 5-star prospect in the 2013 recruiting class. He initially battled for the starting job this season before Kiffin went in another direction.
USC's 2014 class doesn't include a quarterback at the moment. Quarterbacks currently on the Trojan roster could ultimately opt to transfer after this season depending on who is named the new coach.
If the new regime's scheme seems right for Rosen, USC is an appealing choice. He could be the first major commitment of a new era and perhaps its first star passer as well.
The California Golden Bears round out Rosen's list of favorites, who all compete in the Pac-12. The program is in the worst place among his top four in terms of wins and losses.
California is 1-5 under first-year head coach Sonny Dykes. There's a long way to go toward a turnaround on the field, and it starts with recruiting.
Rosen would have to trust in Dykes' vision in order to end up in Berkeley. The Golden Bears may not be winning much, but the squad is racking up yardage with a proficient passing game.
California ranks fifth in the nation with more than 370 passing yards per contest. Freshman quarterback Jared Goff has gone through peaks and valleys so far, but he's shown signs of stardom.
Goff, a 4-star recruit, was the highest-ranked member of the Golden Bears' 2013 class. California landed a commitment from 3-star prospect Luke Rubenzer (Scottsdale, Ariz.) in June.
Despite competitive concerns, 247Sports currently lists California as the front-runner for Rosen's services.
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