Thursday, February 3, 2011
USC recruiting wrap
By Ted Miller
The 2011 class
Recruits: 30, which includes eight early enrollees. The Trojans added 21 high school football players and one junior college player Wednesday.
Top prospects: Take your pick. George Farmer is the nation's No. 1 receiver. Antwaun Woods was the No. 5 DT. Cyrus Hobbi was the No. 1 OG. Max Wittek was the No. 3 QB. Ten of the signees were ESPNU 150 members.
Needs met: The biggest need: Numbers. And the Trojans clearly hit that. Five high school players and three junior college players already enrolled at USC in January and will participate in spring practices. The class includes five defensive linemen, four offensive linemen, four linebackers, three receivers, two running backs, two defensive back, a tight end and a punter. The Trojans stocked up on linemen -- depth on both sides of the ball was an issue -- and at linebacker, another need. There's also enough speed to fortify the secondary, which struggled in 2010.
Analysis: The class was ranked fourth in the nation by ESPN Recruiting. Said coach Lane Kiffin: “This may be the most critical class that ever signed at USC." The reason for that is the Trojans restocked their numbers while they wait for the NCAA to rule on their appeal of severe sanctions. Even if they don't get relief, getting to a full 85 scholarships this fall will make things easier over the next three years when scholarship reductions are in place, particularly the increased numbers on the line, where players typically need more time to develop.
ESPN recruiting grade: A