Steve Sarkisian jumped on the phone with ESPNU shortly after USC closed up the 2014 recruiting class with the commitment of John “Juju” Smith (Long Beach, Calif/Long Beach Poly) and revealed that the Trojans plan to play use Smith on offense.
“We’re going to start him out on the offensive side of the football,” Sarkisian said of his new safety commit, whose skill with the ball has convinced USC coaches that he can make an immediate impact as a wide receiver.
Smith is the nation’s second-rated safety according to Rivals, however, he has always been projected as a potential playmaker on offense. The same goes for five-star cornerback Adoree’ Jackson, who also committed to the Trojans today but could also start his college career on offense.
Sarkisian didn’t remove the possibility that Smith might ultimately end up on defense after all: “There are going to be times and opportunities for him to see time on the other side of the ball as well.”
The Trojan head coach revealed that USC specifically targeted players who could play on both sides of the ball to help combat depth issues. The more players USC has with that kind of versatility, the more equipped they will be to handle injuries wherever they crop up.