Apr 13, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the Southern California Trojans spring game as quarterback Max Browne (4) takes the snap on the USC logo at midfield at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Recruiting: Joe Mixon Names His Top Four Schools

Typically, the top running back in the state of California has USC in the mix, practically by default. But the signings of Justin Davis and Ty Isaac in the Class of 2013, plus the sacking of Lane Kiffin has made it an uphill battle for the Trojans and Joe Mixon.

That battle had been thought to be aided by USC’s hiring of Steve Sarkisian on Monday. Mixon, who sports a five-star rating out of Freedom High in Oakley and is considered the nation’s top back, went to Twitter to voice that the Trojans were back in the mix, as soon as word came out about Sarkisian.

But today’s a different tune, Mixon announced his top four schools this morning and did not include USC. Here’s his top four, in no particular order.

Previously, Mixon had a top tier that included Arizona State, Washington and current No. 1 Florida State. The Wisconsin Badgers, who have become a hotbed for 1,500-yard rushers over the last decade-plus, have long been speculated to be the favorite.

But that could be changing, with UCLA rising to the top. Just last night, UCLA head coach Jim Mora was said to have visited Mixon at his home in Oakley, and the dominating with over USC on Saturday is likely to play a role, as well.

The Trojans’ loaded backfield make the prospects of landing Mixon slimmer than they would be had Davis and Issac not come last year. Right now, it looks like the freshmen duo will be competing with Tre Madden and Buck Allen for reps next year. All four backs are capable of starting and have shown glimpses of star potential moving forward, with all of them being current underclassmen.

Hard to see how Mixon would fit in, and UCLA has more of an immediate need at tailback.

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