Illinois running back Ty Isaac, one of the top backfield prospects in the country, committed to USC on Tuesday, giving the Trojans their sixth commitment of the 2013 recruiting season and arguably their most important.
Here's why: Isaac, ranked sixth at his position by ESPNU and 68th overall, is the first top-flight running back prospect to commit to the Trojans since D.J. Morgan in the class of 2010. Well, there was Amir Carlisle in 2011, but that ship has sailed.
Simply enough, USC direly needed a back in this class to provide some actual depth at the position once Curtis McNeal leaves. Actually, the Trojans needed two -- and they might get another later this week, when Northern California prospect Justin Davis makes his college announcement.
But Isaac's even better than the typical four-star prospect -- at least for USC -- because he's a legitimate big back, one who would ideally work in tandem with Morgan upon his arrival in Los Angeles. The Trojans tried to get one of those under the radar in Buck Allen in 2011 but realized this spring he's more of a standard-sized runner than anything else.
At 6-3 and 215 pounds in his junior year of high school in Joliet, Ill., Isaac is definitely a big back.
He becomes the third skill-position player to commit to the Trojans in the last six weeks. Highly-touted quarterback Max Browne (Sammamish, Wa./Skyline) committed last month as an early enrollee and receiver Eldridge Massington (Mesquite, Tex./West Mesquite) committed earlier this month.
Defensive end Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley) and cornerback Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) also committed in April. Defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian) became the first member of the 2013 class when he committed last November.