Earlier today, we profiled Alex Anzalone, one of USC’s top targets for the Class of 2013. This afternoon, Eleven Warriors, one of the best college sports blogs on the planet, published their update of Anzalone’s recruitment, including some details on his cross-country trips to Pac-12 schools like Stanford, UCLA and USC.
Regarding UCLA, Anzalone said that the “everything was really nice and the campus was beautiful”, but he didn’t get the offer he hoped for as his visit came and went without Jim Mora Jr.’s staff extending an offer. It appears the Bruins aren’t pursuing him that strongly and are now likely out of contention for his services.
The USC visit went better for Alex, where he got to meet Lane Kiffin’s staff in person, calling them “a really good group of guys”. He also got to see the plans for their new facilities which are “going to have some really cool, up to date technology”, and sit in on some team meetings, which he described as “crazy”.
Finally, his Stanford visit may have been the best of his trip out west. Of the trip Anzalone said, “The campus was impressive and extremely nice. The coaches were great and were cool to talk with. The meaning of the degree from that school really stuck out to me. It really is a powerful degree.”
Already, the John McKay Athletic Center is starting to pay dividends for the Trojans. With USC’s vast advantage in terms of facilities over UCLA, the addition of the McKay Center just makes it that much harder for the Bruins to get out-of-state talent over USC.
The in-state recruits are always going to be a battle with UCLA, Cal and Stanford, but with facilities like USC opens with in July, UCLA will have a very difficult time competing nationally in terms of recruiting. Yes, UCLA has a beautiful campus, but in athletics, that only gets you so far when your football field(Spaulding Field) is only 80 yards.
Now, as for Anzalone and his diction, with “cool”, “technology” and “crazy”? Well, Lane Kiffin is a master recruiter in terms of making recruits feel special and stroking their 17-year-old interests. That’s what recruits eat up, and how Oregon has had so much success pushing the Nike brand. Also, recruits love to feel ‘in’ on things, and you have to feel that with Anzalone sitting in on meetings, the Trojans are as serious as can be with him.
With Eleven Warriors noting that the Stanford trip was the best for Anzalone, it again cements the idea that the Pac-12 has come down to a USC vs. Stanford recruiting battle, or at least until Tosh Lupoi can get his voice in there.
Anzalone has made it clear he doesn’t have a top five, but you have to think that right now, there’s at least quartet of schools sitting nicely, including USC, Stanford, Penn State and Ohio State.