For the second year in a row, both USC and UCLA can count themselves among the big winners on signing day. The Trojans and Bruins went into the day with the Nos. 16 and 19 recruiting classes, respectively. But after a handful of new additions for both programs, they each jumped five spots in the class rankings, and USC took over as the top class in the conference.
USC added four ESPN 300 prospects on Wednesday, as safety Jamel Cook, offensive tackle E.J. Price, cornerback Jackie Jones and wide receiver Keyshawn Young joined the Trojans' class. Not only are they talented prospects, but they fill need spots for USC, as Price adds a third body along the offensive line and the three others are potential impact players in the secondary. The Trojans also raided Oregon's class for four-star running back Vavae Malepeai, who becomes USC's lone running back in this class. USC also needed someone capable of providing immediate depth along the defensive line and reeled in high three-star defensive end Connor Murphy and junior college defensive tackle Josh Fatu. USC finished with 13 ESPN 300 prospects.
The Trojans missed out on ESPN JC 50 defensive end Jonathan Kongbo, who signed with Tennessee, and ESPN 300 tight end Devin Asiasi, who signed with Michigan. But from where things stood a few days ago, as USC fans were worrying that the Trojans wouldn't have the same closing ability with Clay Helton at the helm as they've shown with proven recruiters Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin, this is a tremendous finish to the class.
Across town, it's virtually all smiles at UCLA as well. UCLA actually got a head start on the day, as ESPN 300 safety Brandon Burton committed to the Bruins the night before signing day. The Bruins then added the top two prospects in their class on Wednesday, as linebacker Mique Juarez and Boss Tagaloa -- both top-100 prospects -- signed with UCLA. ESPN 300 wide receiver Audie Omotosho gave UCLA another big win in Texas and he was joined by former Stanford running back commit Brandon Stephens. UCLA also flipped offensive tackle Francisco Perez from Cal, and landed a commitment from junior college defensive lineman Chigozie Nnoruka. UCLA finished with nine ESPN 300 prospects.
ESPN 300 athlete Aaron Hansford signed with Texas A&M over UCLA and, like USC, the Bruins missed out on Asiasi with his commitment to Michigan, but there won't be any tears shed over this terrific class headed to Westwood.