National signing day 2014 was exactly one week ago and the USC Trojans finished the day with a resounding success, vaulting up the recruiting rankings with the signings of three of the top four players in California: Damien Mama, JuJu Smith and Adoree Jackson.
Of course, the Trojans have been no strangers to successful recruiting in the internet era, never once dropping lower than #13 in Rivals’ class rankings since the recruiting service began ranking classes in 2002.
So we asked the question, how do those classes rank in relation to each other?
A word on criteria: The heaviest weight was given to overall impact on the field in college. Star ratings and the like were taken into account but the end product took precedent. So too with NFL production. Draft picks and Pro Bowl selections count, but less than All-Americans.
Honorable mention: 2013
The recruiting class of 2013 is still too young to find a place in our rankings, but it is only a matter of time.
Already, Su’a Cravens and Justin Davis proved to be impact players in their freshman seasons. Cravens was an immediate starter and but for an achilles injury Davis was on pace to lead the Trojans in rushing and touchdowns. Ty Isaac also saw playing time in 2013 and his role will only increase as the running back stable gets less crowded. Leon McQuay is penciled in as a starter at safety this year and Max Browne is expected to make a push for the starting QB job in his sophomore season.
In fact, nearly every single player in this class of four and five-star recruits is expected to, at the very least, compete for a starting position or significant playing time in the coming season.