Michael Hutchings, a 4-Star outside linebacker recruit out of Concord Del La Salle has officially committed to the USC Trojans for the Class of 2013, as word of his silent commitment was leaked on the internet last night.
Officially committed to the USC Trojans! Finally apart of the Trojan Fam. Fight on! Let’s make this memorable
— Michael Hutchings (@CaliHutch_17) July 1, 2012
Hutchings, the top linebacker in California, is built perfectly in the mold of the new prototype for USC linebackers under Monte Kiffin. Much like Dion Bailey, Hutchings is an undersized linebacker by traditional standards, and a player than can play safety due to his physical intangibles in addition to his ability to defend the pass.
In watching film from his junior season at De La Salle, it’s easy to see how Hutchings would project in Kiffin’s defensive, as his versatility is right in line with Bailey and Pullard, and should mesh well with Cravens playing behind him as the free safety in the Tampa-2.
Hutchings played all three linebacker positions as a junior, showing the ability to not only aid the secondary in pass defense, but stopping the run and wrapping up ball carriers with a display of the traditional De La Salle set of fundamentals. It’s not often that DLS gets a recruit with the talent of a Hutchings, but his talent combined with the smart, fundamental play that coach Bob Ladouceur preaches is huge selling point, and one that USC bought into with their recruitment of Hutchings.
At the 3:10 mark of his film, Hutchings shows a mix of speed and awareness by zoning in on a running back out the secondary, dodging a screen in the process. However, the following play could be the most impressive display of vision by Hutchings, as he eludes a block from a diving tight end, then twists and follows through his assignment to tackle the opposing back with solid wrap up to the torso.
That vision and talent just isn’t taught, and while Hutchings may be only the latest commit for USC, it’s hard to find a player better suited for the style of play at USC than Hutchings, including Max Browne and Su’a Cravens.
With Hutchings on board, the Trojans can now look ahead to 2014, when they can field a linebacker corps with the likes of Jabari Ruffin, Scott Starr and the man of the hour, Michael Hutchings. For a squad that fell off significantly in talent after the last flock of NFL Draftees in 2009, it’s probably safe to say that USC will be better prepared to reload this go around.
Since USC stands at 11 commits for 2013, most being at positions of need, the Trojans can now start to look towards the offensive line. Nico Falah is rumored to be a silent commit to USC after the Rivals Rising Stars camp on campus this past week, but with three upperclassmen starting on the line going into 2012, and Aundrey Walker being a potential first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, getting deeper in the trenches is a needed luxury for USC.