USC Football Recruiting: Signing Day 2013 Primer


National Signing Day is about to be a reality for thousands of high school football prospects and Lane Kiffin’s Trojans are right in the thick of things. USC’s Class of 2013 currently is ranked seventh in the nation according to Rivals, and with five-star prospects like Eddie Vanderdoes and Matt Thomas considering the Trojans, that certainly could change before Wednesday is over. Here’s how USC’s class looks going into Signing Day:

In The Clubhouse (13 commitments)

Who’s Enrolled?

  • Kenny Bigelow — DT — Elkton, MD (East Christian)
  • Max Browne — QB — Sammamish, WA (Sammamish)
  • Su’a Cravens — S — Vista Murrieta, CA (Vista Murrieta)
  • Justin Davis — RB– Stockton, CA (Lincoln)
  • Chris Hawkins –CB– Rancho Cucamonga, CA (Rancho Cucamonga)
  • Leon McQuay III –S– Tampa Bay, FL (Armwood)

Who’s Committed?

  • Nico Falah — OL — Bellflower, CA (St. John Bosco)
  • Jason Hatcher — DE — Louisville, KY (Trinity)
  • Michael Hutchings — LB — Concord, CA (De La Salle)
  • Ty Isaac — RB — Joliet, IL (Joliet Catholic)
  • Steven Mitchell — WR — Mission Hills, CA (Bishop Alemany)
  • Torrodney Prevot — DE — Houston, TX (Alief Taylor)
  • Jalen Ramsey — DB — Nashville, TN (Brentwood Academy)
  • Khaliel Rodgers — OL — Elkton, MD (Eastern Christian Academy)

The Battleground (4 open scholarships)

Who’s Likely?

  • Quinton Powell — LB — Daytona Beach, FL (Mainland) – Powell visited USC on January 18th and shut down his recruiting. He visited Florida back in December and will make his decision live during ESPN’s National Signing Day coverage.
  • Eddie Vanderdoes — DL — Placer, CA (Placer) – Vanderdoes will make his decision live on at 5 p.m. Pacific time on Signing Day. He visited USC back on January 18th, followed by his two final trips to Notre Dame and Alabama.

Who’s a Longshot?

  • Kylie Fitts — DE — Redlands, CA (East Valley) – Fitts de-committed in early January when USC decided to defer his scholarship to the fall, as opposed to being an early enrollee. Since then, Fitts has visited UCLA, Notre Dame and Utah.
  • A’Shawn Robinson — DT — Fort Worth, TX (Arlington Heights) –  Robinson visited USC in December along with the Fitts and other early enrollees, spurning a Texas banquet in the process. He visited Austin on January 26th and has made it clear that he’s committed to Texas.
  • Matt Thomas — LB — Miami, FL (Booker T. Washington) –   Thomas came to Los Angeles to visit USC on January 18th and is considered to be a strong Miami lean after his Florida State recruiter, James Coley, took the offensive coordinator role at Miami.

Three Storylines to Watch:

1 . Can Lane Kiffin close strong? The Trojans’ recruiting class had as many as 18 commitments back in the summer, which was one over the limit of 17. But since then, six have de-committed, including Jason Hatcher, who re-committed earlier this week. Kiffin and the Trojans have been saddled with a narrative tied to USC’s 7-6 record and Sun Bowl loss, but if they can close by signing Eddie Vanderdoes or Kylie Fitts, they’ll go a long way towards repairing that image.

2.  Just where will the average-star rating finish? Despite being saddled with sanctions that limit USC’s class to 15 scholarships(plus two carryover initials for early enrollees), the Trojans don’t have a single commitment from a three-star player. Dating back to 2002, USC has topped out with an average-star rating of 4.22 in 2007 and 4.20 in 2010, a record they will seemingly shatter in 2013, as they stand at 4.43. Should USC add three five-stars on Signing Day without losing a commit (Vanderdoes, Thomas and Robinson) they would max out at a Rivals rating of 4.53, in addition to setting a record with nine five-star commits. That seems to be a longshot, but that’s quite the ceiling for a 7-6 team in the middle of sanctions. Click here for more on USC’s star rating.

3. Can USC keep Ramsey and Prevot on board? Five-star corner Jalen Ramsey has been tied to the Florida Gators for months and rumors and pundits see him landing either in Gainesville or Tallahassee, with the rival Florida State Seminoles, including Mike Farrell of Rivals. For Prevot, multiple visits to College Station to visit Texas A&M may be concerning for the Trojans, even if the Aggies have 92 players committed to their class. Well, not quite 92. UPDATE: Ramsey de-committed late Monday night.