Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

USC Ranked No. 18 In ESPN's Post-Signing Day Top-25

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.

Complete rankings:
1. Florida State
2. Alabama
3. Oregon
4. Michigan State
5. Oklahoma
6. Auburn
7. Ohio State
8. Georgia
10. Baylor
11. Stanford
12. South Carolina
13. LSU
14. Wisconsin
15. Texas A&M
16. North Carolina
17. Notre Dame
18. USC
19. Iowa
20. Clemson
21. Michigan
22. Texas
23. Florida
24. UCF
25. Washington

Where do you believe USC should be ranked post-signing day?

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Tags: Football USC Trojans

  • TrojanChuck

    Sounds fair to me. If these freshmen can produce right away, they’re going climb the polls and win games. If they play like freshmen, then the season is going to struggle and down and out of the polls they’ll fall, naturally. Decent spot, no complaints.

    • Matthew Moreno

      I think they’re maybe a No. 15 or 16 team. But that’s splitting hairs at this point.

      • Alicia de Artola

        There are too many unanswered questions about this team for me to say 16-20 isn’t the right spot. Like Chuck said, there’s a high ceiling with the players USC has, but no guarantees they get the most out of young talent right away.

  • Hank Shaw

    I can’t see Notre Dame being ranked higher. They lost a ton of guys on both sides of the ball, especially on the defensive line where they won games. But really, it looks like a fair ranking to me.

    • Michael Castillo

      Agreed on all accounts.

  • Brandon Ginos

    i think its great that our guys play with a chip on their shoulder…

  • Ron4usc

    Every part of the team is important, but it all starts with the O-Line. The bad news is that’s where USC has the most questions. The good news is that the recruiting for the O-Line was great and the recruits have good potential to contribute right away – either as starters or by adding depth. If the O-line excels, the other pieces are there and USC is a top 10 team, maybe even a top 4 playoff team (we can dream). If not, that 16 to 20 prediction sounds about right.

    • Matthew Moreno

      USC qualifying as one of the four playoff teams next season would certainly be a shock. But, it wouldn’t be completely unheard of — look at 2011. If the offensive line is able to play well, then the Trojans could sneak into the top 10 before it’s all said and done.

      However, as imperative as it is for the offensive line to improve, I would argue the most important factor for next season is health.

      • Ron4usc

        No argument with that Matthew. We, as all teams do, will have injuries. We need to be lucky and not have too many and lucky enough to have them at the positions where we are deep. We have 5 quality TBs for example. If 2 or even 3 of them are injured at any one time, we are okay. We might even be okay with an injury at QB if Max Browne proves to be as good as we think he is. On the other hand, injuries in the either the DL or OL would really hurt.

  • Rick

    There is no need to “dream” of SC being a top 4 team, anyone who saw the first half of the Las Vegas bowl saw the Trojan future !

    80% of that team will be back for the up coming 2014 season and Cody Kessler “should” have vastly improved after this Spring/Summer (Or play full-time the way he played in the first half in Vegas, 4 touchdowns)

    Beat Stanford on Sept. 6 and USC could run the table !

    No. 18 ?

    What a joke !

    The entire nation will eat crow on that one !!!


    • Matthew Moreno

      What if Kessler isn’t the starting quarterback?

  • Rick


    No one will have a better defense in 2014 than the Trojans !

    As good, ya probably ?

    But better, NO !!