Thursday, February 4, 2010
Pac-10 recruiting wrap: USC
By ESPN.com staff
USC's class of 19 -- and one HUGE oral commitment -- ranks seventh in the nation and features 11 players (including said commitment) on the ESPNU 150 list.
That commitment is Seantrel Henderson, the nation's No. 1 offensive lineman, who will wait to sign until after USC meets with the NCAA later this month.
Lane Kiffin's first class after the departure of Pete Carroll was stronger than just about everybody thought it would be.
The Trojans had three top needs. They hit a grand slam at receiver and tight end. They did fairly well at defensive back. They fell short at linebacker.
Top prospects: Robert Woods is the nation's No. 1 receiver. Markeith Ambles was No. 4. Kyle Prater was No. 9. Xavier Grimble leads a list of three top-10 tight ends. Help is coming for quarterback Matt Barkley. Speaking of quarterbacks, the Trojans signed the No. 2 guy, Jesse Scroggins.
Under the radar: Not really a USC category. Fullback Soma Vainuku, recruited as a linebacker by a number of schools, signed as a fullback, perhaps positioning himself as the next Stanley Havili.
Issues? It's hard to quibble with the nation's No. 7 recruiting class, particularly when the school was dealing with a coaching transition to Kiffin from Carroll, but there are two things. First, linebacker was a need area that wasn't sufficiently addressed. Second, the Trojans lost out on a number of prospects to rival UCLA, most notably safety Dietrich Riley and linebacker Jordan Zumwalt
Notes: Kiffin said he expects linebacker Glen Stanley, the lone JC transfer, to play immediately... USC signed players from five states... Kiffin took a shot at the players who picked UCLA over USC in his signing day press conference: "I think, I've been gone three years but much hasn't changed. As you meet the kids there is a sense and I was reminded of the kids that go to UCLA and the kids that come to USC, and to be back here, I watched it over the weekend just to see if it's the same, and it's really still the same. I guess we waste time continuing to recruit them, we know within the first 10 minutes whether they're the type of guys that want to play here or there."