With as much fanfare as the USC class received, 2014 National Signing Day quickly came and went and the immediate aftermath resulted in players, coaches and fans moving on and looking forward to the future.
For ESPN, that meant publishing a post-signing day top 25, courtesy of Mark Schlabach. Included in the list are four Pac-12 teams, with Oregon ranked highest at No. 3. The Ducks have been a perennial top-10 team for the last five seasons.
Schlabach has Steve Sarkisian’s Trojans ranked at No. 18, the third Pac-12 team in his standings, and seven spots ahead of the final school from the Pac-12, Washington. Here’s Schlabach’s take on the Trojans:
It didn’t take long for Sarkisian to make his mark on the recruiting trail, as the Trojans did much better than expected on national signing day under their new coach. The Trojans signed two of the country’s most explosive athletes — No. 3 cornerback Adoree’ Jackson and No. 3 athlete Juju Smith — who are fast enough to play on both sides of the ball. Sarkisian and his staff did a good job of addressing USC’s lack of depth on the offensive line, signing three top-10-rated guards: Damien Mama (No. 4), Viane Talamaivao (No. 5) and Toa Lobendahn (No. 8). Sarkisian plans to install a wide-open, no-huddle offense when USC begins spring practice, and Cody Kessler, Max Browne and incoming freshman Jalen Greene are expected to compete for the starting job. Former USC quarterback Max Wittek is transferring and is reportedly eyeing Texas, Hawaii and Louisville as possible destinations. Sarkisian completed his USC coaching staff by hiring former Georgia defensive line coach Chris Wilson.
While the Trojans will be facing question marks along the offensive line and potentially at quarterback, Sarkisian managed to sign a nationally ranked recruiting class, headlined by a trio of elite local prospects, whom Schlabach mentions.
Check out the complete rankings, vote in the poll below and leave comments on where you think the Trojans should be ranked post-Feb. 5.
1. Florida State
4. Michigan State
7. Ohio State
12. South Carolina
15. Texas A&M
16. North Carolina
17. Notre Dame