Thursday, December 19, 2013
Breaking down USC's '14 class by position
By Blair Angulo
A recent string of commitments heading into the dead period has left USC with only five remaining slots in its 2014 recruiting class. The Trojans have 19 total spots to use, as long as four of them are mid-year enrollees.
Here's a position-by-position look at how USC could allocate those empty spots, with a projection of how many players at each position the Trojans will try to sign:
Offensive line: 6
The Trojans hold five commitments on the offensive line, two of those from mid-year enrollees who already have signed financial aid agreements. They might not be done, though, as a big fish is still out there and possibly leaning toward signing with his childhood favorite. If the coaching staff decides a scholarship would be more important at another position, the Trojans might have to part ways with a prospect from this bunch.
Juco defensive tackle prospect Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) and ESPN 300 member Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central) decommitted earlier in the year, and position coach Ed Orgeron resigned after learning he would not be retained as head coach, but new coach Steve Sarkisian did well by locking up two mid-year enrollees. Given that there currently are five commitments here, there is a sense that USC might have to do some reshuffling.
The arrival of defensive backs coach Keith Heyward from Washington paid immediate dividends with the commitment of a local standout, but the Trojans still have some work to do at the position in these final seven weeks before national signing day.
There are a couple of defensive end prospects already on board who ultimately could make the full-time switch to outside linebacker, so the fact there is only one commit is not alarming. This position is littered with targets who are committed elsewhere but still are keeping an eye on the Trojans.
With pocket-passer Max Browne in tow and 2015 signal-caller David Sills committed, USC could decide to bring in a quarterback in 2014, but it's not the most urgent need. It might make more sense to use the scholarship at another spot.
Justin Davis and Ty Isaac both showed glimpses of brilliance, and the emergence of Buck Allen was another pleasant surprise, which means the Trojans don't necessarily need to bring in a running back in this class.