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Seven of the 12 incoming USC Trojans recruits hail from the offensive side, including a trio of five-star recruits.
The USC Trojans and head coach Lane Kiffin had his work cut out for him on National Signing Day, as the school is restricted to bringing in 15 scholarship players (rather than the usual limit of 25) in each of the next three years due to NCAA sanctions. The Trojans went even lower than that on Wednesday with only 12 signees, but the Trojans made them count, still a highly rated class full of impact players.
"We didn't reach," Kiffin said in his press conference, noting that USC can bring in as many as 18 players next year. "We had a specific plan which was targeting quality players. As you missed [out on some of them], [it] gives us some room for next year."
The two surprise recruits on Wednesday came from Florida, as Tampa wide receiver Nelson Agholor and Daytona Beach defensive end Leonard Williams gave USC a pair of impact players from the Sunshine State. USC lost two offensive linemen to the Stanford Cardinal in Andrus Peat and Kyle Murphy, but the Trojans still came away with three Rivals top 50 linemen in Zach Banner, , and Max Tuerk.
Here is the full class of 2012 for the Trojans, complete with their Rivals star rating:
Nelson Agholor, wide receiver from Berkeley Prep in Tampa, Florida
Jordan Simmons, offensive guard from Crespi High Schoo
Zach Banner, offensive tackle from Lakes High School in Puyallup, Washington
Gerald Bowman, safety from Pierce Community College in Philadelphia
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, tight end from Whitney High School in Rocklin, California
Darreus Rogers, wide receiver from Carson High School
Jabari Ruffin, linebacker from Downey High School
Kevon Seymour, cornerback from John Muir High School
Devian Shelton, cornerback from Inglewood High School
Max Tuerk, offensive tackle from Santa Margarita High School
Leonard Williams, defensive end from Mainland High School in Daytona Beach, Florida
Jahleel Pinner, fullback from Mission Viejo High School
For more on Darreus Rogers and USC Football recruiting, visit Conquest Chronicles and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on National Signing Day 2012, head over to SB Nation's College Football Recruiting hub.
Darreus Rogers, a consensus 4-star recruit out of Carson Senior High School in Carson, CA has committed to the USC Trojans on National Signing Day. The 6'2", 200 pound wide receiver eventually chose Lane Kiffin and the Trojans over fellow Pac-12 rival Arizona St. Sun Devils, and likely will be the last of the 2012 USC recruiting class.
Rogers has a big, athletic body that can get up and meet the ball at it's highest point, as well as some sneaky speed. With the wideout's singing, it signals the likely end of the signings USC will partake in this recruiting class.
Lane Kiffin said the USC recruiting class is likely capped at 12 with WR Darreus Rogers.— Pedro Moura (@PedroMoura) February 2, 2012
Fox Sports' Whitney Blaine tweeted Kiffin's explanation:
"We saved those three spots...balancing out the penalty is what we're doing."
Either way, from the talent USC is stacking, Kiffin looks like he knows what he's doing.
Rogers had been committed to USC for more than a year though He also had offers from Arizona State, Miami, Oregon, Southern Methodist, and UCLA. He joins a great corps of receivers at USC, highlighted by Robert Woods. Rivals rates Rogers as one of the top 30 receivers in the country, and the 198th talent overall in the nation.
For more on Darreus Rogers and USC Football recruiting, visit Conquest Chronicles and SB Nation Los Angeles. For more on National Signing Day 2012, head over to SB Nation's College Football Recruiting hub.
As if the offensive line class for Stanford couldn't get any better with the signings of top tackles, Andrus Peat, Joshua Garnett, and Brandon Fanaika, whom were all All-American selections, the Cardinal received a pleasant surprise with the signing of Kyle Murphy, the No. 3 rated offensive tackle prospect and No. 19 overall on Rivals.com.
Murphy is also the second-best prospect in the state of California.
The product of San Clemente High School, San Clemente, Calif., juggled two schools on his final list, USC and Stanford, before ultimately committing to the Cardinal. The commitment from Andrus Peat, who signed with Stanford earlier today, was thought to have shifted Murphy's decision in favor of USC as recruiting experts thought Murphy would sign with the Cardinal. But those thoughts were put to rest when Murphy flipped the Cardinal hat on at his announcement ceremony at his school.
The thought was that way before USC came closing in on his trail after Murphy officially visited the Trojans on the weekend of Jan. 21.
USC had its last in-home visit with Murphy on Saturday and Pat Haden was believed to be part of the visit.
Cyler Miles, the No. 2 quarterback in the country, according to Rivals.com, was reportedly wavering his commitment from the University of Washington and considering USC, but Miles announced at his school today that he will honor his original commitment and sticking with the Huskies.
The Army All-American chose to open his recruitment after former offensive coordinator, Doug Nussmeier, left UW for Alabama late last year.
After performing well at the Army All-American bowl, USC discussed an official visit with Miles in San Antonio, Tex., which Miles confirmed to do. A Jan. 21 visit, which wasn't openly reported until after, brought more interest to USC. Miles hosted Lane Kiffin and staff for an in-home visit soon afterwards.
In the end, Miles had been leaning with the Huskies too long of time not to decommit.
The USC Trojans add huge bodies on the offensive line as they officially signed Zach Banner, Jordan Simmons, and Max Tuerk.
Banner is the talented of the bunch with the higher ranking of the three at No. 16 nationally and the No. 2 overall left tackle prospect. The Lakewood High School product from Lakewood, Wash. has unofficially visited the Trojans several times last year.
Banner, who is a 5-star prospect, officially visited the Trojans on Jan. 21 and raved about his visit there, which probably sealed the deal for his signature.
Simmons, another 5-star prospect and No. 25 overall prospect on Rivals.com, will mostly likely compete for a spot inside the line. The 6-5, 330 pound prospect was exceptional in the Nike camps last year. Simmons, who played all positions on the line at Crespi high school, Encino, Calif., was an Army All-American selection, but tore his MCL during practices.
Tuerk, Army All-American, No. 46 overall prospect on Rivals.com, committed early in the recruiting trail, after giving the USC staff a verbal after being offered a scholarship after his performance from the Nike camp in Palo Alto, Calif.
Tuerk was the star of highly rated offensive line that of Santa Margarita High School, Santa Margarita, Calif., who won their division state championship last year.
Though the Trojans get commitments from three of the highly rated tackles in the country, they finished second in the trail for highly touted prospect in Andrus Peat. Peat, from Tempe, Ariz., is the No. 6 offensive tackle prospect on Rivals.com and was believed to challenge the vacant left tackle spot right away if signed at USC.
The USC Trojans have had a busy morning on National Signing Day 2012, receiving commitments from a pair of top recruits from Florida in speedster Nelson Agholor from Tampa and defensive end Leonard Williams from Daytona Beach. But while these players have publicly committed to the Trojans, including many on television, nothing is official until they have signed on the dotted line.
These players have officially joined the USC class of 2012.
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick: The four-star tight end from Whitney High School in Rocklin, California was an Under Armour All-American in 2011. The 6'5", 260-pound Cope-Fitzpatrick joins a stacked group of Trojans tight ends, with RandallTelfer, Xavier Grimble, Christian Thomas, and Junior Pomee returning.
Kevon Seymour: The four-star cornerback from Muir High School in Pasadena was the sixth-highest ranked cornerback in the country per Rivals.
Jahleel Pinner: The three-star Pinner from Mission Viejo High School is the top-rated fullback in the country by Rivals.
The USC Trojans have secured some signings from prospects Gerald Bowman, Jabari Ruffin, and Devian Shelton.
Bowman comes in as a safety prospect from Woodland Hills Community College. He was originally set to sign as an early enrollee and therefore sign as part of the 2011 class, but late finishes to his classes resulted as a mid-year enrollee, which counts towards the 2012 class.
Bowman is the top junior college prospect on Rivals.com and a 4-star prospect. As a big hitter, scouts project him to play at strong safety.
Ruffin hails from Downey, Calif. and attended Downey High School. According to Rivals.com, Ruffin is the top outside linebacker prospect and No. 40 overall prospect. An Army All-American, Ruffin has incredible speed for his size, which benefits the USC defense against spread offenses. Ruffin committed to the Trojans early on and recruited for USC along the way.
Shelton was just recently offered by the Trojans, who was committed to the Oregon State Beavers before signing. Shelton is an Inglewood high school prospect who mans the wide receiver, cornerback, and running back position. It is unclear which position the Trojans offered Shelton as, but cornerback is where he is projected.
Credit goes to defensive coordinator, Monte Kiffin, who was the main recruiter for Agholor and Florida regional recruiter. Agholor, a Tampa, Fla. product, has stated the reputation that Kiffin has in the area when he was with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Although scouts say his highest ceiling is at wide receiver, Agholor can play two other positions at running back and safety. Agholor was mostly used at running back this past season playing at Berkley Prep., Tampa, Fla.
The USC Trojans continue its hot streak of receiving letter of intents from out of state prospects as the latest comes from top Floridian prospect, Nelson Agholor, the No. 18 overall player on Rivals.com and No. 3 wide receiver.
The wide receiver from Tampa, Fla. has stated from his sophomore year that USC was his “dream school” as the Trojans were the first team to offer him.
Agholor is a versatile athlete that can play three positions: Wide receiver, running back, and safety. Scouts say Agholor has the talent to star at any of those three positions, but feel that he has higher upside at wide out.
With a healthy stock of receivers already on the Trojans roster, Agholor will have to compete for playing time in his freshman year. However, Agholor is a rare talent with break-away speed, long arms, and elusive when open.
Agholor praises his main recruiter, Monte Kiffin, as he has an great reputation around the Tampa area.
Leonard Williams, the No. 53 overall prospect on Rivals.com and the No. 5 overall strongside defensive end, will sign his letter of intent to USC.
The signing comes off as a surprise as the product from Mainland high school, Daytona, Fla. was strongly considering Auburn University and Florida Unversity. Swaying away a top prospect from the opposite side of the nation is always a tough process, but top recruiter Ed Orgeron is always a threat to do that.
Williams will join a young defensive line roster and looks to play at the end spot, although he played all defensive line positions in high school.
The prospect was selected to participate at the Under Armour All-American bowl and collected two sacks in the game.
Williams first had interest at USC after unofficially visiting last summer when the Trojans hosted its annual Risings Star camp, which hosts some of the top prospects in the nation to run drills on campus.
Pio Vatuvei, longtime USC commit, decommitted this morning from the Trojans and will sign with the Washington Huskies.
Vatuvei, the No. 145 overall player and No. 11 defensive end on Rivals.com, made noise when he competed well against elite players last year at The Opening, a training camp held at Oregon. His performance led to an USC offer.
Vatuvei committed to the Trojans on Aug. 1, but said he would use his official visits. He visited Cal on Jan. 14 and enjoyed his visit and would consider the Bears.
After Lupoi’s departure to the Huskies, Vatuvei set his sights at USC. However, his relationship with Lupoi remained strong, which was evidenced in the signing.
Washington receives a 6-2, 265 prospect that can play both defensive line positions. The product of Patterson High School in Patterson, Calif. hopes to play at the end spot.
For more on Pio Vatuvei and USC football recruiting, head over to Conquest Chronicles. Click the link for wall-to-wall coverage of 2012 National Signing Day.
Murphy will decide between the two Pac-12 schools at 1:45 p.m. PST. Stanford is the favorite, but could be swayed by immediate playing time, wrote Bud Elliott of SB Nation:
It's that expectation of early playing time, no matter how unrealistic, that has been important to Murphy throughout his recruitment. Whichever coach can downplay Murphy's need to get a lot bigger and stronger, perhaps via redshirt year, and present a compelling case for why Murphy is likely to play a lot as a freshman, is likely to gain his signature.
The 6'7", 275-pound lineman would add to impressive class of offensive linemen for Lane Kiffin and the Trojans. USC has received commitments from Zach Banner, Max Tuerk, and Jordan Simmons to date. All looking to fill the void left by junior All-American left tackle Matt Kalil, who decided to skip his senior season and enter the 2012 NFL Draft.
After many weeks of anticipation, National Signing Day 2012 is finally here. The nation's best and brightest high school athletes will sign their National Letter of Intent beginning on Wednesday, something that is always a thrill for the fans of each football program. One of the best remaining prospects out there is offensive tackle Andrus Peat, who is nationally ranked No. 32 by Rivals, and has more than 20 scholarship offers.
Many of the best football programs in the country tried to land Peat, but it appears the lineman out of Arizona has trimmed his list to four or five. Among the teams considered to be the favorites are the Stanford Cardinal, Nebraska Cornhuskers and your USC Trojans. Most experts believe either Stanford or Nebraska will sign Peat, although the Trojans have reportedly made up a lot of ground in recent weeks and received an official visit not too long ago.
You can find Andrus Peat making his final decision on ESPNU at 10:35 a.m. PT on Wednesday morning. Be sure to check it out.
Aziz Shittu, the No. 27 ranked prospect by Rivals, is deciding between Pac-12 Conference schools on National Signing Day 2012. The defensive lineman from Buhach Colony in Atwater, California has narrowed his choices to the Stanford Cardinal, California Bears, USC Trojans, and UCLA Bruins.
The 6'3", 275-pound Shittu is the fifth-highest rated defensive lineman by Rivals. He will make his decision at 2 p.m. PST. "UCLA is definitely in there now too, I had a great visit," Shittu told ESPN after his fourth visit to UCLA earlier this week. "I really enjoyed the campus and the lifestyle there and the intensity the new staff is bringing to the program. What I enjoyed most was hanging out with Coach [Jim] Mora and seeing what a cool person he is. I liked him a lot."
For more on USC football recruiting, head over to Conquest Chronicles. For more on UCLA football recruiting, head over to Bruins Nation. Click the link for wall-to-wall coverage of 2012 National Signing Day.
The USC Trojans were banned from postseason play in each of the last two seasons, but their sanctions continue for the next three years as they lose 10 scholarships per year. But despite the restrictions, USC is still expected to land a strong class on national letter-of-intent day on Wednesday.
With Matt Barkley returning for his senior season, the Trojans are expected to be a preseason top five team in 2012. Among their known commitments for the 2012 class include these Rivals top 100:
The Trojans are also in the mix for highly rated recruits Leonard Williams, a defensive lineman of Daytona Beach, Florida; Nelson Agholor, wide receiver from Tampa, Florida; Andrus Peat, offensive tackle from Tempe, Arizona;, offensive tackle from San Clemente; Aziz Shittu, defensive end from Atwater; and wide receiver Darreus Rogers.
It's National Signing Day 2012 and 5-star receiving recruit Nelson Agholor is set to announce his decision on which school he'll play football for this season, and it will be aired nationally on ESPNU at 9:05 AM. The 6'2, 180 pound wide receiver out of Tampa, Florida's Berkely Prep is widely regarded as one of the top prospects in the country and has narrowed his college choices down to Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, and of course, USC.
Agholor collected more than 40 scholarship offers, and is considered one of the top student-athletes in the class. He visited USC this weekend and was hosted part of the time by the Trojans' star receiver Robert Woods, per ESPN. It would be a huge pickup for the Trojans' and Lane Kiffin's staff, so make sure to tune in.
For more on the Cardinal, make sure you check out Rule of Tree, and to learn more about National Signing Day 2012 and where the nation's top recruits are headed, make sure you stop by SBN's College Recruiting Headquarters.
The USC Trojans are in play for defensive end Leonard Williams, rated No. 53 overall by Rivals, on National Signing Day 2012. The 6'5", 254-pound Williams is rated a four-star recruit by Rivals, and has narrowed his choices to USC, Florida, Florida State, and Auburn. It might be tough for the Trojans to pry the Daytona Beach star out of Florida.
Williams, rated the ninth-highest defensive end by Rivals, will announce his decision at 8 a.m. PST. The Trojans are considered a long shot to land Williams. "Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami and USC. My top three is Auburn, Florida and Florida State. They've been on me the hardest, showing me their strengths," the Mainland High School standout told SB Nation in early January.
With NCAA sanctions stemming from the Reggie Bush violations, the USC Trojans and Lane Kiffin are limited in to 75 total scholarships for both 2012 and 2013, 10 fewer than the normal limit. That makes USC focus on quality over quantity on National Signing Day, and the Trojans are still in play for several top recruits who have yet to announce their commitments.
Here is a look at the schedule of the announcement times for some of the top prospects in the nation, who still have USC on their radar. Many of these recruits will announce their choices on ESPNU (all times PST):
8 a.m. - Leonard Williams, Daytona Beach, Florida: The defensive end is ranked No. 53 by Rivals, and is choosing between USC, Florida, Florida State, and Auburn.
9:05 a.m. - Nelson Agholor, Tampa, Florida (ESPNU): The wide receiver / athlete is ranked No. 18 by Rivals, and said to be choosing between USC, Florida, and Florida State.
10:35 a.m. - Andrus Peat, Tempe, Arizona (ESPNU): Ranked No. 32 by Rivals, the offensive lineman is choosing between USC, Nebraska, and Stanford.
1:45 p.m. -, San Clemente, Arizona: The offensive lineman, ranked No. 19 by Rivals, is choosing between USC and Stanford.
2 p.m. - Aziz Shittu, Atwater, California: The defensive tackle, ranked No. 27 by Rivals, has narrowed his choices to USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Cal.
3 p.m. - Darreus Rogers, Carson, California: The wide receiver from Carson High School is down to USC and Arizona State.
USC Trojans, making the announcement in a ceremony at Crespi High School in Encino, California, per Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com. The 6'5", 333-pound offensive guard committed to USC in October, but made the news official on Tuesday., the No. 29 rated recruit according to Rivals, has officially committed to the
Simmons is part of an impressive class of offensive lineman for USC, joining fellow U.S. Army All-Americans Zach Banner of Lakewood, Washington (No. 16 per Rivals) and Max Tuerk of Santa Margarita, California (No. 46 per Rivals). Simmons is the sixth-rated offensive lineman by Rivals.
The Trojans lost Matt Kalil to the NFL, as the All-American left tackle is expected to be the top offensive lineman selected in April. Kalil was part of an offensive line that saw quarterback Matt Barkley get sacked just eight times in 2011. USC returns four starters from the offensive line in 2012: center Khaled Holmes, guards Marcus Martin and John Martinez, and tackle Kevin Graf.
Gerald Bowman is a 6-1, 210-pound safety out of Pierce (Calif.) Community College and ranks as the no. 3 JUCO Transfer recruit, according to scout.com. He's also headed to the USC Trojans next season to provide exactly what the Trojans look for in a safety. Scouts.com had this to say about Bowman.
"He's physical. He's fast. He's exactly what the Trojans want roaming the secondary from the safety position. ...harbors all of the closing speed and natural instincts of some cornerbacks, which is why so many programs coveted his signature at the end of last year. Bowman can intimidate opposing receivers and tight ends, much the way USC safeties have down for the past two generations. In Year 1 in Los Angeles, though, he may need to be a little patient as the newest member of a defensive backfield that lost no on to graduation."
Bowman will not be joined, however, by Fullerton (Calif.) College standout Kelvin York. The 225-pound running back is headed to the Utah Utes after USC stopped showing interest after York suffered a season-ending meniscus tear in mid-November. York is ranked as the no. 14 JUCO Transfer recruit.
Zach Banner was considered one of the top recruits on the West Coast. He played a position that everyone desperately needs at the college football level, offensive tackle. He's a monster in the trenches and a physical player to deal with. Any school would have been happy to have him, and the Men of Troy should be happy to have him.
At a public ceremony at Lakes High School, Banner committed moments ago to the USC Trojans over the Washington Huskies and the Oklahoma Sooners. Banner couldn't pass up on the opportunity at playing at USC at the end of the day. Banner joins an offensive line class at USC that includes Max Tuerk and Jordan Simmons, which will rate among one of the best O-line classes in the country.
To discuss Banner being on the Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles. To talk about Oklahoma football recruiting, check out Crimson and Cream Machine. To discuss Washington football recruiting, go to UW Dawg Pound.
After all the drama surrounding Arik Armstead, it appears that the talented young lineman will not join the USC Trojans after all, which is what fans have been accepting as a given since November.
Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee reported on Sunday that the 6'8 Pleasant Grove High School All-American has announced that he will become a member of the Oregon Ducks in the fall.
Armstead had previously committed to USC prior to his junior year, following his older brother Armond Armstead to Lane Kiffin's team. In November of 2011, Arik rescinded that commitment. It seemed that would be the end of that story, but Kiffin was one of five teams' representatives who paid home visits to Arik in the past week, keeping hope alive for the Trojans a while longer. Now the other shoe has dropped and Armstead will be heading to Oregon.
The USC Trojans are focusing on their recruiting in preparation for national signing day on February 1. One of the prospects they're keeping an eye on is four-star offensive tackle Zach Banner.
Chris Egan of King-5 TV in Washington tweeted on Saturday night that he believes Banner is deciding between signing with the Washington Huskies and the USC Trojans. Egan says the official announcement will come on Monday.
If the Trojans happen to miss out on luring Arik Armstead, Banner could go a long way toward lessening that blow. Certainly, USC will be hoping to snag at least one of the top linemen preparing to enter college. With Matt Kalil entering the NFL Draft, they will have some holes to fill in the upcoming season.
The Trojans are one of five teams to pay a home visit to the 6-foot-8, 305-pound player, along with Washington, Michigan, Notre Dame and Oklahoma. Over a dozen other schools have made offers. According to Banner's ESPN scouting report, he excels at pass blocking and possesses both strength and toughness.
Pleasant Grove high school lineman Arik Armstead has been one of the very top prospects in the country for a while now. The big senior made waves in November when he rescinded a previous commitment to become a member of the USC Trojans following graduation.
It was revealed last week that USC was back in the running for Armstead, with head coach Lane Kiffin among the many school representatives who would be paying a home visit to the All-American.
The latest news, according to Joe Davidson at The Sacramento Bee, is that Armstead is expected to announce his final college decision on Sunday. Other teams believed to be in the running for the player's services include the UCLA Bruins, the California Golden Bears, The Washington Huskies and the Oregon Ducks.
National Signing Day is on February 1 so for more updates in the last few days on Trojans recruiting, check out Conquest Chronicles.
Four-star wide receiver recruit out of Tampa Berkely Prep Nelson Agholor will be visiting the University of Southern California, one of the five school interested in giving him a football scholarship, for the third time on Saturday, according to ESPN's Corey Long.
"I've seen a lot of what I wanted to see in terms of facilities and the stadium and stuff like that," Agholor said. "I really want the one-on-one time with the coaches to ask the important questions and finally get some answers.
"It's so much more than just football for me. I want to feel a sense of comfort and a sense of community. Wherever I go it's going to be because I belong there."
The other schools that are in the running are the Florida Gators, Florida State Seminoles, Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Oklahoma Sooners. Agholor plans on making his announcement on where he will be playing on ESPNU a little after noon (ET).
"There won't be any hat tricks or anything like that," Agholor said. "I'm going to tell everyone my choice and just smile."
National Signing Day is on February 1 so for more updates in the last few days on Trojans recruiting, check out Conquest Chronicles.
Sorry Trojans fans, it just wasn’t it the cards.
Four-star high school running back prospect D.J. Foster made his decision as to where he will play his college ball on Friday, choosing the Arizona State Sun Devils as the place he will be matriculating this upcoming fall.
Foster, a Scottsdale, AZ native, wanted to stay close to home and be nearer his family, which played a large role as to why he decided ASU over thier Pac-12 rival Trojans and Cal Golden Bears, the other teams Foster was choosing from.
5’11" 180 pound Foster is seen as the No. 5 running back in this year’s recruiting class, and the No. 71 overall player coming out of high school in the nation.
With Amir Carlisle transferring to Notre Dame, Dillon Baxter to SDSU, and freshman George Farmer moving back to WR, it would have been nice to have a guy like Foster joining the ranks. But what are you gonna do, c’est la vie.
For more on USC Football, head over to Conquest Chronicles.
Two of the top prospects in Florida are going to check out the Men of Troy. Is Lane Kiffin going to close with some monumental signings?
Nelson Agholor is considered one of the premier talents at his position at wide receiver, and could help lead USC right back to their glory days if he joins up with Robert Woods and Marqise Lee to become the main targets of Matt Barkley. It seems that Agholor is very much interested in what the Trojans has to offer, and will take an official visit there this final weekend before National Signing Day.
Tyriq McCord has already signed with the Miami Hurricanes, but he's also been getting the USC full-court press lately, and both are considered high-needs. McCord is at the coveted weakside defensive end position and could be marketed as the next Nick Perry, which is too compelling a sales pitch to miss out on.
Getting one of theses guys out of Florida would be impressive. Getting both would be a coup.
To discuss Agholor, McCord and USC football recruiting, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.
Darreus Rogers has been committed to the USC Trojans for quite some time. The wide receiver has been considered the next in the line of great wideouts that will line up for Lane Kiffin and keep the trend of explosive offenses going.
However, Rogers took a look at the Arizona St. Sun Devils this past weekend. And it appears like he'll be choosing between the two at National Signing Day. Greg Biggins has more.
You'd have to think Rogers still favors USC, but the fact that ASU is going this much attention this close to signing day can be a good sign for the fans in Tempe. Every USC fan in Los Angeles might have to be on the edge of their seats come February 1st wondering if Rogers will make the call to stick with the Men of Troy.
Now that the college football postseason has wrapped up, college football recruiting season can get into full swing. One California high school player that is very much in demand from a multitude of schools is Pleasant Grove player Arik Armstead, whose family is bracing for a slew of home visits in the next few days.
According to Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee, the USC Trojans are once again in the running for the 6'8", 295-pound lineman. Head coach Lane Kiffin is expected to make a personal home visit to the young player soon, which comes as a surprise to many. Arik made a verbal commitment to USC before his junior season, but decommitted from the school in November. Arik's older brother, Armond Armstead, plays for Kiffin at USC, although he did not play in the 2011 season.
Other teams that will be making home visits to Arik soon include Cal, Alabama, Washington, Notre Dame, UCLA, Oregon, Auburn and Hawaii. Arik says he is weighing all of his options and doesn't want to rule anything out.
For all news and information regarding the USC Trojans, please visit Conquest Chronicles.
DJ Foster, a highly-touted RB from Scottsdale, AZ, has narrowed his list of schools to two: USC and Arizona State.
Foster has taken multiple visits to major programs, and recently traveled to USC's campus on January 13th.
Working in the Trojans favor is the potential for Foster to compete for a National Championship early on in his career, according to East Valley Tribune writer Kyle Odegard.
"The Trojans are making a late run, and the opportunity to compete for a national championship as a true freshman must be enticing." -- Kyle Odegard, on Foster and USC
Odegard went on to suggest that Arizona State remains the leader in the clubhouse for Foster's commitment because of its proximity to where he grew up, but signing Foster would be a major boon for USC head coach Lane Kiffin.
Foster was a MaxsPrep All American in 2011 and rushed for over 3,000 yards in his senior season, as well as breaking the state single-season record for touchdowns with 60.
Have you ever spent a ton of time on something or someone, just to realize that is wasn't even worth the hassle? That seems to be the situation with running back Amir Carlisle and the USC Trojans. The highly-regarded freshman running back, who originally committed to USC over Notre Dame last year, has now transferred from Los Angeles to South Bend.
According to this report, Carlisle will sit out the 2012 season and become a member of the Fighting Irish in 2013. While talented, there were quite a few issues with Carlisle and his move to Notre Dame is probably for the best. And if a kid does not want to be part of a team that will begin the season in the top-five next season, well, Lane Kiffin and the coaching staff probably do not want him, anyway.
"It was a very tough decision for him to select USC over Notre Dame last year," Duane Carlisle, Amir's father, told the South Bend Tribune on Saturday. "It came down to the wire, and it was neck-and-neck the whole time. Very close decision. They're both great places with great traditions.
"He's excited. He's very excited about the opportunity to continue his career as a student-athlete at Notre Dame."
Best of luck to Amir as he continues his football career in Notre Dame.
For more on the USC Trojans, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.
The USC Trojans landed a talented cornerback on Saturday in Kevon Seymour, a local recruit who had offers from just about every program on the west coast and some of the more prominent teams around the nation. Seymour, who is a senior at Muir High School in Pasadena, is 6'0" and 170 pounds and has the speed to play both defense and as a kick returner in college. He is ranked as four-star recruit by most scouting services.
#16 cornerback Kevon Seymour stays local, commits to USC.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) January 7, 2012
This is a big get for the Trojans, who continue to find success on the recruiting trail. Lane Kiffin is assembling an incredible amount of talent at USC and the team will likely be loaded for years to come because of it. Here is a photo of Kevon, who played at the Army All American Game on Saturday.
Best of luck to you, Kevon, as you begin your journey as a USC Trojan.
For more on the USC football, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.
The USC Trojans needed some quick fixes in their secondary this offseason. T.J. McDonald is only a junior, but there is a good chance he could leave early to declare for the 2012 NFL Draft. That means the safety position could be wide open for anyone who wants to play aside Jawanza Starling.
Gerald Bowman from Woodland Hills, Ca.'s Pierce Community College will be the one to make the leap, as he made his official commitment to USC earlier this afternoon. Bowman is one of the strongest junior college prospects in the country, and he could be an immediate impact player.
Here's a look at Bowman's recruiting tape. You can tell that he's a guy who knows how to handle himself properly from the safety position.
With USC short on scholarships the next few seasons, the Trojans need as much immediate help as they can get, and Bowman can be one of those guys who can try and shore up the defensive back depth immediately.
To discuss USC football recruiting, head on over to Conquest Chronicles.
As suspected, Dorsey wide receiver Jaydon Mickens is starting to look elsewhere for where he wants to play his college football. Mickens has decommitted from the USC Trojans and will probably play football somewhere else on the West Coast.
USC has huge scholarship restrictions, so they have to be very selective about the type of players they take on. Mickens committed to USC early, but his hold on his verbal was always very low. The Trojans can only take a very small class, and they have a lot of big targets. Mickens also probably looked at the deep pool of USC players and realized his chances of playing in Los Angeles were probably low compared to some of the other big schools.
Mickens supposedly has schools like the Washington Huskies and the Oregon Ducks on his radar, and the California Golden Bears will be getting a visit soon. They will be getting a great talent; check out the video highlights below!
To discuss USC football recruiting, check out Conquest Chronicles.
If there's anything like a can't miss recruit from this year's class, Ellis McCarthy from Monrovia High comes pretty close. The defensive tackle has been an unstoppable beast through his senior year of high school, and he figures to stay on the West Coast for college in the Pac-12.
Whoever ends up with McCarthy could have a dominant interior linemen that'll give offensive lines all sorts of problems. As we come closer to decision day, McCarthy appears to be sticking with his hometown team as the team he wants to play for in college. Kevin Carden of Scout reports on McCarthy's thinking process.
McCarthy was in attendance at Saturday night's electric USC-Oregon matchup, and he might have been swayed to keep the Trojans at the top of the list by the way they manhandled the Oregon offensive line for most of three quarters. USC also has had plenty of historical success in sending defensive linemen to the NFL, so that also has to be appealing to a player like McCarthy.
The UCLA Bruins (particularly UCLA) and USC Trojans are both potential candidates to land the best recruit of the 2012 class, but Shabazz Muhammad is in no hurry to come to a decision on where he's spending his time in college.
Muhammad revealed that he won't be signing today like many other college basketball recruits. Makes sense for Muhammad to take his time and weigh his options. He is the top recruit and he should want to survey which situation would be most optimal for him to showcase his talents.
However, he may have let off a huge clue as to where he's leaning right now. Muhammad talked to Mitch Sherman of ESPN Recruiting Nation about his potential decision.
Muhammad said he took official visits to Texas A&M in September and Kentucky in October. He spoke highly of both programs, in particular the Wildcats, whose Big Blue Madness impressed him. Of the coaches he's met, UK's John Calipari stands out, Muhammad said.
"I think it's probably because it was my last official visit," he said, "but Coach Cal's personality is great. He pushes his players in practice. That's the thing I'm looking for. I'm trying to get better and get to the next level."
Sounds like a good sign that Calipari is sticking out, and a bad sign for UCLA basketball head coach Ben Howland. It is really difficult to compete with the best college basketball recruiter in the country, but UCLA should have a pretty solid system where a guy like Muhammad should thrive.
This looks like a battle that could go on for quite some time, but all signs looking good for Kentucky right now. UCLA might have some catching up to do.
The USC Trojans are going to have to shore up their losses quickly to avoid falling behind in the Pac-12 conference. They might have landed a top name on signing day for college basketball.
J.T. Terrell was one of the most talented players from the 2010 recruiting class, and he officially signed with the Trojans today. Terrell provides USC with potentially Kevin O'Neill's most talented wing player during his tenure as head coach of the Men of Troy. Terrell provides instant strength, explosion and shooting ability for a Trojans offense that has lacked it lately, and he could be the offensive weapon O'Neill has desperately needed to kickstart the team. Take a look at his highlight reel below.
Terrell is originally from Burlington, North Carolina, and committed to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons out of high school. But Terrell left the program after being sentenced for a DWI, and will be playing this season at Peninsula Junior College in Port Angeles, Washington, where he was recently ranked the top junior college recruit in this year's class. Here's hoping he gets off on the right path in the Galen Center and can be part of what's looking like a resurgence for the conference in 2012.
For more on USC basketball, check out Conquest Chronicles.
The USC Trojans have one big defensive target they'd like to land--Monrovia defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy. McCarthy is already a beast at this level and could very likely become a dominant interior tackle in the future.
USC has long been considered one of the favorites for perhaps the best recruit in all of Southern California; currently Cal looks like the biggest competition. Ed Orgeron and Tosh Lupoi are not only two of the best line coaches in the country, but they're also two of the best college recruiters as well.
However, it does look as if McCarthy has found a favorite. Fred Robledo of Inside SoCal with the report.
Big-time recruit Ellis McCarthy, whom [McCarthy's coach] Maddox is hoping goes to USC. In fact, Maddox sort of broke some news, saying USC is at the top of McCarthy's list, followed by California and Oregon
Of course, his high school head coach does want him to become a Trojan, so that could just be him talking. And it doesn't matter as much about him liking USC now as liking USC last. You have to figure he's a natural fit for the Trojans if he does decide in their favor though.
For more on USC football recruiting, hit up Conquest Chronicles.
Kyle Murphy could be the top pure offensive tackle on the West Coast, and whoever gets him could be getting the surest thing you could possibly get out of a high school offensive lineman. The San Clemente offensive tackle remained pretty quiet about his recruitment, trying to stay humble and not talk about where he wants to end up in college. He wants to make sure his decision is the right one before making one, which probably means his recruitment will take a long time.
Murphy does finally give some hints as to where he wants to take his recruitment in the upcoming weeks when he talked to Dan Albano of OC Varsity. He visited Oregon earlier this season and will head to Florida in a few weeks when his high school team is on his bye, but also plans on taking visits to several other schools. Oregon and Florida already counted toward his officials, so he'll probably pick three of four from Oklahoma, USC, Cal and Stanford. There are a lot of big names out there for Murphy, and you have to figure any of them would love to have him.
For more on college football recruiting, go to Addicted to Quack (Oregon), Alligator Army (Florida), Conquest Chronicles (USC), Rule of Tree (Stanford), California Golden Blogs (Cal), and Crimson and Cream Machine (Oklahoma).
We mentioned earlier that Inglewood wide receiver Derrick Woods, perhaps the best wideout in all of Los Angeles. He elaborated on the recruiting process with Tara Turnure of Scout, and had this information to reveal.
Oklahoma Sooners: Probably the early favorite to land him. It's one of the top programs in the country, and Woods mentioned their top status (although I wonder if their upset loss to Texas Tech changed things up). Woods is taking an official soon to November 5th to Norman.
Alabama Crimson Tide: Does have family in the South. Didn't mention too much about them, but that they're up there in the final group has to be an encouraging sign.
USC Trojans: Has a good connection with the coaching staff, just like in Oklahoma.
UCLA Bruins: Mentioned as an afterthought compared to the first three. Oklahoma, Alabama and USC seem to be the real leaders in this race.
Jordan Payton has had a fun if abbreviated road on the recruiting trail after decommitting from the USC Trojans. The Oaks Christian wide receiver looked like he was a big favorite to join up with the Michigan Wolverines after an enthusiastic trip to Ann Arbor for September's Notre Dame-Michigan game.
However, it looks as if he isn't quite yet ready to finish the recruiting process quite yet. Payton went to South Bend for the Michigan-Notre Dame contest, and it looks like he had just as much fun there as he did in Michigan.
Payton (who originally said an announcement was coming soon) says he wouldn't be making his decision today, which could mean he could commit tomorrow, or sometime in the near future. But it looks like the race for one of the West Coast's top receivers will be centered among two premier Midwest rivals.
The USC Trojans scored two huge victories this weekend. The biggest was the huge beatdown in South Bend against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. But they also picked up an important win when one of the top offensive lineman on the West Coast verballed to the Men of Troy. Scott Schrader of 247 Sports has more on Simmons's commitment.
Jordan Simmons seemed to always be leaning one way between Oregon and USC, but finally made a decision that favored the Trojans.is considered by many to be the top offensive guard in this class, perhaps even in the whole country. Simmons could help provide that interior push that the Trojans have lacked lately in the run attack.
This somewhat softens the blow of losing Arik Armstead, but I can bet you that USC fans are sure wishing they had both of them right now to start bringing some meat back up front for the Trojans. Still, it's a positive sign for a program that needs all the recruiting momentum it can get.
To discuss Simmons and the Trojans, hit up Conquest Chronicles.
After his decommitment from the USC Trojans, Jordan Payton has gone exploring, and it looks like his eyes have turned to the Midwest. Payton is considered one of the top wide receivers in California, and could be the number one option at many big-time programs the further he develops.
Rght now, it's sounding like the Michigan Wolverines are the team to beat for Payton's services. His announcement could be coming as soon as next week if the recruiting news sites are to believe. Payton used to have a top two of Cal and Michigan, but it looks as if the Maize and Blue pulled ahead after his visit and the Michigan victory over Notre Dame.
Payton does have a top four, with the other three big schools being Arizona State, Cal, and Notre Dame. Payton will be taking his official to Notre Dame this week, and barring something incredible, his commitment could help be one of the cappers to an impressive recruiting class for Brady Hoke.
To talk about Michigan football recruiting, head to Maize N Brew. To talk Notre Dame football recruiting, check out One Foot Down. To talk Cal football recruiting, hit up the California Golden Blogs. To talk Arizona State football recruiting, go to House of Sparky.
Top high school senior defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy might have just shaken things up in the recruiting race. McCarthy said he was going to take five visits to five schools--USC, Cal, Florida, Washington and Oregon. After his first visit to Eugene for last week's Arizona State game, he appears to have found a favorite. Adam Gorney of Rivals tweets:
Oregon has moved to the top spot for five-star defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy after his recent visit.
McCarthy was supposedly high on two schools--the Caifornia Golden Bears and the USC Trojans. Where did Oregon come from? It's not like the Ducks have a history of dominant defensive tackle play either--they've relied on their elite defensive end edge rushing and linebacking play to generate much of their defensive heat. The last great Oregon interior lineman was Haloti Ngata, and he's from another age of Oregon football altogether.
Perhaps Chip Kelly is selling McCarthy as the next dominant Ducks defensive tackle who can help anchor a national championship powerhouse. Anyway, it has to be comforting for Oregon fans that they're starting to enter the race for the top recruits on the West Coast in every category.
For more on Oregon football recruiting, check out Addicted to Quack.
Inglewood wide receiver Derrick Woods might be the top offensive wideout on the West Coast, but he's not looking to stay there, not at least to current rumors. Greg Biggins of ESPN got this news ($) from Woods that Bob Stoops is leading for his verbal commitment to the 2012 recruiting class.
"I take the SAT in two weeks and then I can set some [official visits] up," Woods said. "I would like to visit Oklahoma, Oregon, Alabama and Arizona State and I’m not sure about the last one. I stopped hearing from Oregon and Alabama but I like Oklahoma a lot right now.
Woods has not been contacted much by both Oregon and Alabama lately and is unsure of a future visit to ASU, so you'd have to figure the Sooners are huge favorites to land him. Woods would be the second big wide receiving recruit that Oklahoma has been able to land from the southern California area. Kenny Stills has exploded in his sophomore campaign into an incredibly potent second option for Landry Jones (behind the deadly Ryan Broyles). Woods could help bolster Oklahoma back up to a top ten ranking that would help them chase down Texas in terms of overall Big 12 talent strength.
To talk about Oklahoma football recruiting, head to Crimson and Cream Machine.
Brandon Huffman, of Fox Sports and Scout.com, is reporting that the number one-ranked prospect of 2012, Arik Armstead, has rescinded his commitment to play football for the USC Trojans. Word of this decision comes from Armstead's father, Guss.
The scouting line on Armstead has been exceptionally glowing. It's not often that a prospect comes along with this kind of size and athleticism. Seemingly tailor-made for the offensive tackle position at 6-foot-8 and 280 pounds, he was hoping to play defensive tackle in college, and originally committed to USC with that understanding.
It's a given that a lot more information will be forthcoming in the next few days and weeks, but perhaps his decision has something to do with USC and Lane Kiffin's treatment of Arik's brother and current Trojans player, Armond. Kiffin is reluctant to use players he doesn't need to, particularly in the wake of USC's recent scholarship reductions. Armond is currently taking a medical redshirt season in his senior year, which is lowering his draft value and granting him an extra season at college.
Another possibility is that USC balked at Arik's plans to move to DT or at his desire to be a two-sport athlete in football and basketball.
Whatever the reason, this could potentially be a big loss for the Trojans.
It's early in the recruiting process, and Monrovia defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy clearly has indicated not too much beyond the fact that he's taking five official visits: the USC Trojans, Oregon Ducks, Washington Huskies, California Golden Bears, and Florida Gators. But he might have given another crucial hint as to who he might be liking the most right now.
According to Kevin Carden of Scout, McCarthy's best relationships are currently established with USC defensive line coach and ace recruiter Ed Orgeron, and Cal defensive line coach and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi. Both the Trojans and Golden Bears have a penchant for putting defensive linemen in the NFL, and both Orgeron and Lupoi are known for their passion on the recruiting trail, so it could be that another team might sneak into the mix, but it's starting to look like there's a top two in the pecking order, with the other three schools already deep in the hole in this race.
is a big-time recruit. You look at him and you immediately think "three-year starter". Murphy is an excellent wrestler, something that has helped hone his football technique. He's performed well at every camp, and just seems ready for the next level, almost more than any other major offensive line recruit.
Some big-time Pac-12 programs are really appealing to Murphy right now. Kyle Williams of We Are SC reports in a mostly-paid article that Oregon and Stanford are probable co-favorites, with USC hot on their trail.
This has to be good news to each of these schools, because all three know they need to stay strong up front. Oregon and Stanford are still struggling from offensive line losses, and seem to have lost an offensive step from the dominant teams they put on the football field last season. USC's offensive line is its own mess and has not given Matt Barkley optimal opportunities to step up and make plays. Murphy could be part of the solution.
Defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy is probably the best West Coast defensive prospect (depending on whether Shaq Thompson plays offense or defense on the next level). The Monrovia prospect doesn't look like he'll be trimming his list anytime soon, but he might have come close to hinting at where his interest lies the most.
McCarthy has revealed where he'll be making his five visits this offseason to WeAreSC: The USC Trojans, California Golden Bears, Florida Gators, Washington Huskies, and Oregon Ducks. These have been the suspected top 5 for McCarthy for awhile, but now these official visits do suggest that he's looking at these schools in particular. He hasn't listed particular dates for his visits though.
McCarthy has listed Cal and USC as his favorites in the past, but it's hard to discount any of these five candidates as being out of the race until he narrows the list further. Still, the Trojans have to feel they're in pretty good shape.
For more on USC football recruiting, Conquest Chronicles is where to be.
Chase Eldredge became the third offensive line recruit for the Oregon St. Beavers this offseason, joining Gavin Andrews from Granite Bay and Isaac Seumalo from Corvallis. Oregon State needs big offensive linemen, and they're definitely filling that need with this year's class. Angie Machado of Beaver Blitz has more.
Eldredge is a local boy from Palos Verdes, but isn't as highly recruited as many of the major offensive linemen in the 2011 West Coast recruiting class. His only offer at the time of his commitment was from Oregon State. His tape doesn't reveal him to be an elite athlete; however, there are signs of promise that he could develop into something more.
Eldredge has good burst off the snap and is very good at concentrating his power upward, pushing his man back and down. He's good at keeping his body in place and ensuring defenders don't get past him. There's a lot to like in his technique as a run blocker and he can hopefully develop into a solid pro down the line.
For more on Oregon St. football recruiting, go to Building the Dam.
Shabazz Muhammad, the No. 1 player in the class of 2012, is coveted by just about every program in the nation. The 6'6 wing out of Bishop Gorman High School recently unofficially visited USC and their basketball program. Is there a legitimate interest between the two sides? Possibly, but don't hold your breath.
From The LA Times report on Muhammad and his visit:
Shabazz Muhammad, the consensus No. 1 player in the Class of 2012, enjoyed his unofficial visit to USC enough that he apparently said afterward that he'd like to take an official visit there.
What's rather interesting about his unofficial visit is that USC appeared to be out of the running for Muhammad, at least according to numerous reports.
As my colleague Ben Bolch reported recently, Muhammad's official list, in alphabetical order, included Arizona, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Memphis, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA and Nevada Las Vegas -- but not USC.
UCLA has been rumored to be the favorite for a multitude of reasons, but Muhammad has recently started taking a look at different programs around the country. The article continues:
Muhammad, who can sign either in the fall signing period in November or in the spring signing period in mid-April, has urged outsiders to ignore Internet rumors and he repeated that message again Sunday, emphasizing that he was interested in USC, sources said.
"He likes USC, he's always liked KO [USC Coach Kevin O'Neill," Holmes said.
Does Muhammad end up at USC? Probably not. Unless he is dead-set on playing in Los Angeles and something goes wrong with UCLA, it's tough to imagine the top-prospect playing for Coach O'Neil. It is still something to keep an eye on, though. The rumors have flown left and right surrounding the wing and he could end up anywhere.
The first thing you see when you notice Noah Spence is his solid fundamentals. Oh sure, the defensive end from Bishop McDevitt in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is a physical beast with a high motor, but his fundamentals will be what turn him into a great defender. His technique is well-polished and he's disciplined in his stance, and he should contribute very quickly at the next level.
Spence's dad revealed his top 7 to Mike Farrell of Rivals earlier today. Here are his rankings from the various recruiting services. If we were to go by proximity, you'd have to think Penn State and Maryland are the two likeliest candidates to make further cuts.
Find out more about recruiting from these sites: Alligator Army (Florida), Black Shoe Diaries (Penn State), Carolina March (North Carolina), Conquest Chronicles (USC), Testudo Times (Maryland), Backing The Pack (NC State), and One Foot Down (Notre Dame).
Top basketball recruit Shabazz Muhammad (who has UCLA ranked high on his board) decided to check out the USC campus this week, reported his father to Josh Gershon of Scout. Baxter Holmes of the Los Angeles Times reported that Muhammad attended practice--along with a number of booster-type characters that I'm sure will make plenty of Trojan basketball fans a little squeamish.
USC head coach Kevin O'Neill is technically not doing anything wrong. According to NCAA regulations, recruits are not supposed to have contact with boosters or attend booster events, but a basketball practice does not fall under that jurisdiction. It sure does skirt that imaginary line though, which is why there are apparently three compliance offers in attendances according to Holmes to ensure no contact between Muhammad and boosters. Curious story, and one of those situations where you recognize what a crazy world college basketball recruiting can be.
For more on USC basketball, Conquest Chronicles is where you need to visit.
UPDATE: Shabazz enjoyed his visit to USC, and wants to take an official.
The USC Trojans are sure starting to hand out some peculiar offers. KeiVarae Russell and Byron Marshall were strange enough offers with USC already securing Jahleel Pinner and Kelvin York. Now they're moving into predatory mode by handing an offer off to the already committed offensive tackle Erik Magnuson from La Costa Canyon in Carlsbad; Brandon Huffman of Scout tweeted this news. Magnuson has already committed to the Michigan Wolverines and Brady Hoke.
USC might soon be facing difficult problems with both their lines likely to suffer from a lack of noticeable talent up front. Offensive line and defensive line talent has been the cornerstone of successful Trojan football the past decade, and they need players up front soon or else the attrition from scholarship losses will be too much to handle. Perhaps Lane Kiffin felt that he could dangle the carrot of early playing time for Magnuson, although he's likely to see early playing time in Michigan.
In any case, it doesn't look like Magnuson will be decommitting anytime soon (reports Josh Helmholdt of Rivals), making this a bit of a waste of an offer for the Trojans.
For more on USC Trojans recruiting, go to Conquest Chronicles.
KeiVarae Russell from Mariner, WA had his top three down: the Washington Huskies, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the California Golden Bears. Everything was so simple, and he was going to come to a decision at some point in the near future.
KeiVarae Russell 2010 Recruiting Video (via DickKalla)
It's not often that I say it, but this is a really strange offer from USC. The Trojans already have D.J. Morgan, Curtis McNeal, Dillon Baxter and the suspended Marc Tyler in their rotation. They have Amir Carlisle coming in with the 2011 recruiting class, and they've already signed two additional running backs for the 2012 class in Jahleel Pinner and Kelvin York.
With only Tyler in his senior season, that leaves USC with SIX running backs for next season, and probably four or five in what would be Russell's redshirt freshman season. Unless USC is planning on losing tailbacks or rescinding scholarships from current verbals, it's hard to figure out this move, particularly with the Trojans low on scholarships and likely to become deficient in other areas.
PS: To put a corkscrew on all of that, Russell also lists Boise State in his top five along with USC and his original top 3. Might as well sit back and wait this one out, because it doesn't look like Russell is coming to a decision anytime soon.
For more on USC Trojans recruiting, go to Conquest Chronicles.
Kevin O'Neill and the USC Trojans basketball team have been relying too much too recently on transfers and junior college recruits to try and reconstruct their way back to the top, and it eventually cripples the depth in their depth chart. USC needs to start winning some recruiting battles, and they need to do so in a hurry.
Some preliminary good news comes from an interview Coast 2 Coast Hoops did with Ikenna Iroegbu, perhaps the best point guard in the West Coast (or at least was the West Coast, as he apparently is transferring to Oak Hill Academy in the east) in 2013. Here's his highlight reel.
Ike Iroegbu Mix... Nicest 2013 PG on West Coast? (via Yayareasfinest2006)
Iroegbu had nothing but good things to say about USC and how hard they were recruiting him. Iroegbu has offers from USC and the Oregon St. Beavers according to Rivals, and according to the interview the Washington St. Cougars offered as well.
Interviewer: Any schools starting to come at you harder?
Iroegbu: Uh, USC, they're at all my games at the All-West Camp and when I played a little bit in LA. USC and Pac-12 really.
Interviewer: Who would you say is coming at you the hardest?
Irogebu: Uh, USC and Washington State. Those two are coming hardest right now.
Unfortunately, this might be a strike against the Trojans.
Interviewer: So what are you looking for in a school when you do make a choice?
Iroegbu: The facility, how the coaches treat the players, and just how the fans are... if the fans are real crazy, then I want to go to that school.
USC basketball has had the worst attendance in the Pac-10 the past couple of years, and O'Neill can be a bit abrasive with his players. The Trojans will probably need to step it up on the court the next couple of years if they want to attract the attention, and O'Neill might have to settle it down.
For more on USC basketball recruiting, check out Conquest Chronicles.
Check out the full interview!
C2CHoops.com: Ikenna Iroegbu Interview (via Coast2Coasthoops)
The California Golden Bears and Wake Forest Demon Deacons are looking for a reliable power forward in 2012. Cal has already received a commitment from Kalieb Rodriguez and Wake Forest found a center from Andre Washington. Both of them have cast their eyes to another big man starting to emerge from North Hollywood, California.
Both Cal and Wake Forest have offered Zena Edosomwan from Harvard Westlake, reports Josh Gershon of Scout. Edosomwan already has offers from schools like Arizona State, Colorado, Gonzaga, Harvard, Maryland, Missouri, USC, and Washington State.
Here are the rankings from the major recruiting services.
Did Cal and Wake Forest wait too long to get into the game? Edosomwan doesn't have a leader right now, so he might have an open mind, but I'd imagine the Trojans would love to land him. His defensive mindset and rebounding ability fit right into Kevin O'Neill's system.
For more on USC basketball recruiting, go to Conquest Chronicles.
The USC Trojans have some good news with the commitment of Pio Vatuvei, but there might be bad news incoming. Jaydon Mickens committed early to Southern California back during his junior campaign, but his commitment has always been rather soft. He might very well be changing things up soon. It would be the second decommitment by a USC wideout, following Jordan Payton from Oaks Christian.
The California Golden Bears provided Mickens with a new offer this past weekend. It's unlikely that Mickens would be receiving a new offer if he wasn't wavering in his commitment. Mickens has great talent and can play multiple positions; both Cal and USC are looking at Mickens primarily as a receiver.
Unfortunately, we have conflicting reports about this. Scott Wolff of Inside USC claims that Mickens has decommitted. Ryan Abraham of the USC Rivals site counters that report; Mickens told Abraham that he had not decommitted.
Patterson defensive end Pio Vatuvei has always wanted to be part of the USC Trojans football fraternity ever since he was a kid. Even when he started receiving offers from Pac-12 schools (particularly Cal), he made it clear that if USC offered, he would be joining the Men of Troy. The offer came today, and so immediately did the acceptance. Loel Schrader of 247 Sports with the report.
"I've loved USC ever since I was a little kid," he said. "I even cried when they lost to Oregon State when I was in ninth grade. My mom asked me why I was crying and I said, 'Because USC just lost to Oregon State."
At 6'2", 265 pounds, Vatuvei has pretty solid measurables, but he didn't leap onto the national radar. But he's had a solid rise this offseason. He had the top SPARQ rating among defensive linemen at the Nike combines ($), and performed quite well against the top offensive linemen at the Opening.
At 6-foot-2 he was one of the shorter interior lineman competing. However Vatuvei used every square inch of his body in his reps. His footwork is off the charts quick and his intensity level is second to none.
Vatuvei is not highly regarded by the recruiting services (ESPN grade of 45, 3 stars and 66th best defensive tackle on Scout), but it's likely that the next reevaluation should reflect better on him once more people get a chance to watch him play (plus the USC commitment should help a bit). At first glance on his recruiting tape, he doesn't possess great athleticism, but his speed, motor and pursuit is pretty solid, and his tackling technique is efficient. With USC's depth at defensive end running low, Vatuvei is a much-needed commit for a class that won't have much flexibility.
For more on USC recruiting, Conquest Chronicles is your destination.
Other than maybe Florida or Texas, Southern California always seems to offer the most exciting group of talent every season. There's a lot of great players in the region, and there's always a lot of great talent interested in playing in the region. The former is due to the vast city of Los Angeles and its massive urban sprawl that covers the valleys of Southern California. The latter is mostly thanks to the presence of two of the most nationally relevant programs on the west coast of the country.
We will be following both of the two major schools in the conference: The USC Trojans (particularly with their football moves) and the UCLA Bruins (with their basketball moves) will both be monitored quite a bit. We will also take a look at the aspiring young prepsters in the Southern California region and monitoring where they'd be interested in playing at the collegiate level. Stay tuned to SB Nation Los Angeles for further updates, as well as Conquest Chronicles (USC) and Bruins Nation (UCLA)!
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