USC Football Recruiting: Setting the Offense of the Future


Yesterday, we looked at the defense of the future. Today, we turn the tables and break down the offense, using solely players from the Class of 2012 and the Class of 2013. It would be easy to plug Cody Kessler or Max Wittek at quarterback, but with the idea of the ‘future’, it just makes more sense to get a look at players who have yet to have a season’s worth of practice under their belt.


Max Browne is the highest rated quarterback recruit to commit to USC since Matt Barkley four years ago. While that’s not saying much in terms of a lack of a drought, there’s something to be said for Lane Kiffin to get a commitment from the nation’s top quarterback while having two quarterbacks waiting in the wings, in Cody Kessler and Max Wittek. USC’s spring camp in 2013 won’t be for a lack of story-lines, as the Trojans should have a three-way battle to replace Matt Barkley.

Browne’s had a busy summer, between the Rivals 100 Five Star Challenge, The Opening, the Rising Stars Camp and the Elite 11 camp that’s taking place today in Redondo Beach. Along with all of those stops around the country however, has come the opportunity to start to build rapport with USC’s three wide receiver commits: Steven Mitchell, Eldridge Massington and Sebastian LaRue.


Nelson Agholor is the center piece of USC’s incoming class this fall. As a receiver/running back combo, his skill set fits in between a range bookended by the Trojans’ Marqise Lee and Oregon’s De’Anthony Thomas. While not as flashy as Thomas, he’s better with the ball in his hands than Lee, and should give the Trojans a weapon that they haven’t had in a while, due to his versatility.

It’s difficult to take a stab at who would be picked between Darreus Rogers, Steven Mitchell, Eldridge Massington and Sebastian LaRue, but Mitchell is probably the best receiver of the bunch. While Massington is a big receiver with plenty of size, LaRue is a position receiver, while Mitchell brings a ton of speed, even as a solid route runner. Because of that, he gets the nod.

At tight-end, Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick gets the start by default as the only tight-end in the field, there’s a reason for that. JCF, as he will likely be called throughout his career, plays a lot like Anthony McCoy. He’s a big kid with speed, and much like Randall Telfer, uses his frame to get every yard he can. Look for him to possibly redshirt in 2012, but he’ll be solid option in both the passing game as the running game as a blocker.


Back in April, we said that Ty Isaac and Justin Davis could be the next ‘Thunder & Lightning’ backfield in USC history. While it was and still is a big moniker to throw around, it really represents the differences in style between Isaac and Davis. Sure, the Trojans had glimpses of that variation with C.J. Gable and Chauncey Washington, and Joe McKnight and Allen Bradford, but they never had the rhythm of Reggie Bush and LenDale White.

With Isaac and Davis, USC gets another chance to rebuild the running game, after the losses of Dillon Baxter, Amir Carlisle, Broderick Green and Emmanuel Moody, and the injuries of Stafon Johnson and Marc Tyler. Hyping up backs with comparisons to Bush and White isn’t necessarily fair, but it’s what the fan base knows.

Offensive Line

The offensive line is easiest to form, given the limited number of recruits and the positions that they play. Zach Banner and Nico Falah will play tackle at USC, and given Banner’s size, he’ll take the famed left tackle spot at USC. Both Jordan Simmons and Max Tuerk will slide into the guard position at the collegiate level, and for Khaliel Rodgers, a move inside to center is also likely. The Trojans’ future offensive line doesn’t have the power of the defensive line that we outlined yesterday, but there’s tons of talent to be sure, even with a guy like Banner, who at the moment is a physical talent as opposed to a technically sound player.