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1st & 10:
The Home Stretch… As the weekend approaches, the college football world enters the final stretch of the long and tiring recruiting season.
The plus side for USC fans is that this year, following in last year’s footsteps, appears to be relatively drama free.
There are four spots (perhaps more, if blue shirting comes into play) available and four specific targets to fill them: Iman Marshall, Rasheem Green, Porter Gustin and John Houston.
Last year, Steve Sarkisian’s staff batted .1000 in the final week, securing the signatures of JuJu Smith, Adoree’ Jackson and Damien Mama on the final day.
This year feels much the same, with the Trojans favored to land the big four.
The biggest questions revolve around Urban Meyer’s strong final push for Gustin and even then, losing Gustin to Ohio State would only be a minor stain on this class.
Compare that with the 2013 class, which featured three major defections in the final weeks: Jalen Ramsey to Florida State and Eddie Vanderdoes and Max Redfield to Notre Dame (though Vanderdoes has since made his way to another USC rival in UCLA).
By the end of it all, USC had still signed five five-stars, but fans were also left looking back and wondering what could have been.
Since that class, it has been smooth sailing for the Trojans on the recruiting trail, and that easy ride looks set to continue through the weekend and Signing Day.
In Other News…
- Four-star linebacker target Porter Gustin has revealed that he will announce his college decision the day before Signing Day. (Reign Of Troy)
- Justin Davis says he should have taken all five visits allowed during his recruitment period, not so he could have explored other schools, but for the food. (LA Times)
- Cody Kessler checks in at No. 3 on ESPN’s Pac-12 Blog quarterback power rankings for 2014. (ESPN)
- USC found fertile hunting ground in Texas this recruiting season, at least in the way of running backs. Johnny Curren examines the potential impact of Ronald Jones II and Aca’Cedric Ware. (ESPN)
- JayJay Wilson was all set to decide between Utah, Arizona State and Colorado before USC sent a late scholarship offer his way. Now he’s got some thinking to do. (Fox Sports)
- Hayes Pullard may have already reached his max potential, limiting his ability to start in the NFL according to Andrew McKagan’s scouting profile. (Conquest Chronicles)
- Hailey Tucker describes the Carroll vs. Belichick match up as a battle between good and evil. (Neon Tommy)
- Is USC basketball improving despite a four game losing streak? Michael Lev thinks tonight’s game versus Colorado could prove or disprove that theory. (OC Register)
- Here’s something you don’t see every day. USC nabbed a big-time women’s soccer transfer…from Notre Dame. Morgan Andrews led the Irish in scoring her freshman and sophomore years before swapping navy for cardinal. (Daily Trojan)
- Friends of radio, fear not, USC has signed a contract extension with ESPNLA keeping them the home of Trojan sports in Los Angeles through 2019. (Reign Of Troy)
Reign Of Troy Radio:
The latest episode of Reign Of Troy Radio features host Michael Castillo, Reign of Troy editor Alicia de Artola, Trenise Ferreira of the Pac-12 Network and Josh Webb of USCFootball.com and BarkBoard.com tackling Signing Day prospects, reflecting on NFL early entrants and debating the value of a pair of wide receivers named Smith.
Stat of the Day:
Despite missing out on Ramsey, Redfield and Vanderdoes, USC’s 4.42 average star ranking in 2013 was the highest in Rivals history.
Tweets of the Day:
More from Reign of Troy
- Markese Stepp enters transfer portal intending to leave USC football
- USC football’s Alijah Vera-Tucker declares for NFL Draft
- USC football adds Xavion Alford as transfer from Texas
- USC Podcast: RoT Radio Ep. 396 on the Football Season’s Fallout
- Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers