USC: signing day

Late breaking news

February, 3, 2010
2/03/10
10:34
PM PT
With the USC coaching staff at the Galen Center Founder's Room for a recruiting banquet, two big pieces of news have come across the wires.

For one, offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Durham Hall) has not signed his letter of intent, instead waiting until USC appears before an NCAA infractions committee on Feb. 19-21. Henderson announced earlier today he would attend USC, so this development comes as a surprise. The story was first reported by the New York Times' Thayer Evans, who had followed Henderson and his father Sean around for the last week of the recruiting process.

The other development is more positive. USC received a commitment from junior college defensive end Marquis Jackson (Santa Clarita, Calif./College of the Canyons), who told USCfootball.com on Wednesday night that he will sign with the Trojans.

Jackson, committed to UCLA as of Tuesday, decided to switch after complications with the letter-of-intent process with the Bruins. His signing still has not been officially announced by the university, but is expected to come by Thursday.

To close out Wednesday's developments, USC has signed 18 recruits, with two more expected in the next day (Jackson and fullback Soma Vainuku) and one more player committed but without immediate plans to sign (Henderson).

Those 18 signees are, in alphabetical order:
  • WR Markeith Ambles (McDonough, Ga./Henry County)
  • DB Dion Bailey (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood)
  • RB/WR Dillon Baxter (San Diego, Calif./Mission Bay)
  • DB Anthony Brown(Rialto, Calif./Kaiser)
  • OL Giovanni Di Poalo(Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure)
  • TE Xavier Grimble(Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman)
  • DB Patrick Hall (Oxnard, Calif./St. Bonaventure)
  • RB D.J. Morgan (Woodland Hills, Calif./Taft)
  • WR Kyle Prater (Maywood, Ill./Proviso West)
  • LB Hayes Pullard(Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw)
  • DB Nickell Robey(Frostproof, Fla./Frostproof)
  • QBJesse Scroggins (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood)
  • LB Glen Stanley(Thatcher, Ariz./Eastern Arizona JC)
  • TE Randall Telfer(Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga)
  • TE Christian Thomas(Palmdale, Calif./Highland)
  • DT George Uko (Chino, Calif./Don Lugo)
  • WR Robert Woods (Carson, Calif./Serra)
  • DB Demetrius Wright (Corona, Calif./Corona)

Kiffin news conference highlights

February, 3, 2010
2/03/10
5:53
PM PT
USC coach Lane Kiffin just stepped up to the mic, officially announcing the 2010 recruiting class for USC. Here are some highlights:

Comparing this year's recruiting adventure to last year's with Tennessee: "It was a lot harder then. We had to hit the ground running and figure it all out at that point."

When asked how hard it was in the middle of the day when UCLA received consecutive commitments from Dietrich Riley (La Canada, Calif./St. Francis) and Josh Shirley (Fontana, Calif./Kaiser): "Pretty easy, because I kept thinking about that left tackle that might be coming here later in the day."

On how USC's recruiting class measures up to others across the nation: "I can’t imagine there will be as many star players in any class as there will be in ours by the end of the day."

On junior college linebacker Glen Stanley (Thatcher, Ariz./Eastern Arizona JC): “This is someone who’s played before in Division I and will be able to help us. He was a little bit like Lofa [Tatupu]."

On the three — or four, depending on where you position Dillon Baxter — wide receiver recruits and their potential for playing in 2010: "We’ve done it before. Mike Williams came in and caught 81 balls as a true freshman, Dwayne Jarrett caught 55."

On signing fewer prospects than most top schools but still finishing near the top of most recruiting service rankings: "It’s a very powerful message to not sign that many kids in your class and still finish second in the nation."

More to come on the rest of USC's official signing announcements.

Signing Day preview

February, 3, 2010
2/03/10
12:34
AM PT
It's officially National Signing Day. There will be lots to talk about in the coming day, so let's get some of it out of the way here. Here's what we know about who's going where:
  • Linebacker Hayes Pullard (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw) has told ESPN Rise's Greg Biggins he will be a Trojan. A week ago, this would have been a sizable surprise, but rumors pointed the 6-foot, 220-pound Pullard toward Troy in the last 48 or so hours. UCLA has signed many prominent Crenshaw products in recent years, so Pullard's signing will represent a significant coup for the Trojans — especially when it comes to 2011 prospect De'Anthony Thomas. Thomas, a likely five-star recruit, has both USC and UCLA high on his list now. Plus, Pullard is USC's first signing at linebacker.
  • Nickell Robey, a cornerback from Frostproof, Fla., is also coming to USC, his father said Tuesday night. Robey was recruited by USC coach Lane Kiffin when he was at Tennessee, and his interest in the Kiffin regime carried over to USC. He's small at 5-8, 165 pounds but ultra speedy. His stature and home state will remind some of current sophomore cornerback T.J. Bryant.
  • The players who are expected to fax their letters of intent to Heritage Hall on Wednesday without much debate include receiver/athlete Robert Woods (Gardena, Calif./Serra), quarterback Jesse Scroggins (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood), and defensive tackle George Uko (Chino, Calif./Don Lugo). The full list, as it stands now, has 10 solid verbal commitments — plus two early enrollees in Kyle Prater and Dillon Baxter.
  • We also know that USC will not sign offensive lineman Arie Kouandjio, who will sign with Alabama. Kouandjio officially visited campus last weekend but had long been interested in the Crimson Tide. USC lost a commitment in punter Matt Darr earlier this week when Darr switched to Fresno State.

Now, for the players who still have decisions to make:
  • It starts with juco linebacker Glen Stanley, who will make his announcement in his hometown of Ocala, Fla., at 5:30 a.m. PST. Stanley will likely decide between USC and Tennessee. He's currently committed to the Volunteers.
  • Safety Dietrich Riley (La Canada, Calif./St. Francis), profiled in the Los Angeles Times this week, has wavered between USC and UCLA all throughout the process. It's also possible he could decide on another high-profile school like Notre Dame. His announcement comes live on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m.
  • The ever-popular Seantrel Henderson (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham)will announce his decision on CSTV at 12 p.m from New York City. Henderson has not given any inclinations to where he will sign, although recent reports have him pegged as a Trojan. We won't know until he says for sure, but Henderson is surely a physical specimen at 6-8, 300 pounds. He plays basketball too.
  • Two more players who will decide between USC and UCLA, linebacker Jordan Zumwalt (Huntington Beach, Calif./Edison) and Giovanni Di Poalo (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) will not make formal announcements. Instead, both Zumwalt and Di Poalo will just send their letters to the schools and let them spread the word.
  • Other announcements will come from Sean Parker (Harbor City, Calif./Narbonne) at 6:45 a.m., Florida product Chaz Green (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic) at 12:30 p.m., and Josh Shirley (Fontana, Calif./Kaiser) and Christian Thomas (Palmdale, Calif./Highland) at 1 p.m. Georgia product Markeith Ambles (McDonough, Ga./Henry County) is scheduled for an 8 a.m. announcement, but some reports have him holding off on a decision. Ambles, deciding between North Carolina, USC, and Tennessee, tweeted Tuesday night: "who will i be tomorrow a vol, trogan, or tar heel!!!!!!" Yes, he mispelled "Trojan." And he's wearing a UNC hat in his Twitter background.
  • Faxes can begin to arrive at Heritage Hall as early as 4 a.m. PST. We'll have frequent updates on the blog throughout the day, but the official USC blog will have real-time updates — and humorous late-night posts, like this one.

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