Signing Day 2016 is just a day away, and USC enters with only 13 commitments under new coach Clay Helton. The SCliff Notes take a look at the class size, along with more internet buzz.
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1st & 10:
First Take… Why is USC’s 2016 recruiting class so small?
With just 13 commits so far and 20 rides total available, many Trojan fans have expressed worry about the class and what it means for USC going forward.
Though there is certainly room to all sorts of things into the way this recruiting cycle has played out, the simplest –albeit boring– explanation is that this is sometimes the way classes pan out.
Given the wealth of recruits USC brought in last year on the defensive line, at linebacker, running back and quarterback, the chances of this year’s haul being make or break is quite limited.
The unit with the most gems to mine in 2016 was receiver and the Trojans have arguably the best class at that position in the country with the likes of Tyler Vaughns, Trevon Sidney, Josh Imatorbhebhe, Michael Pittman and Velus Jones already in the fold.
There is valid worry about how USC will fair in big local recruiting battles on Wednesday, considering Devin Asiasi and Boss Tagaloa appear to be UCLA leans, while the Bruins also have to inside track to sign Mique Juarez.
However, the Trojans landed Oluwole Betiku and seem set to bring in five-star cornerback Jack Jones so the local front is no disaster either.
As for the size of the class, that comes down to scholarship math.
Last year’s class was 30 strong when you count the transfers and blueshirts added for the 2015 season, which has reduced the 2016 class’s overall numbers.
Even if Clay Helton’s staff finishes with only 18 signees on Wednesday, the total number of players brought in over the past two years would still even out to 24 per year.
And Ten USC Football and Basketball News Links…
- Fox Sports: Stewart Mandel debunks three myths about college football recruiting, with some interesting info on recruiting rankings as a predictor of future success. (Spoiler: USC is an underachiever)
- LA Times: Lindsey Thiry’s Monday Mailbag was full of recruiting questions and answers.
- Reign of Troy: Four-star safety Brandon Burton will announce his commitment on ESPN tonight.
- Reign of Troy: Five-star defensive end Rashan Gary eliminated USC from contention for his signature as he trimmed his list down to two.
- Reign of Troy: Kicker Michael Brown committed to USC Monday as a blueshirt, meaning he won’t use up a scholarship from this year’s class but next year’s.
- ESPN: David Lombardi breaks down the 2016 Pac-12 schedules and its no surprise that USC wins (or loses?) for toughest September slate. Adding to the fun, USC’s 2016 opponents were a combined 101-58 in 2015. By comparison, UCLA’s opponents are the second toughest and went 86-67.
- ESPN: Greg Katz muses on how USC’s unique situation this recruiting cycle could provide some good and non-so-good results on Signing Day.
- Athlon Sports: USC landed two of of the three best running backs in the class of 2003, which was rated by Athlon as the best of the modern era.
- Sports Illustrated: Alex Nieves looks back on how the nation’s top recruit for each year fared, including Everson Griffen in 2007.
- OC Register: Justin Wilcox talked about what went wrong at USC during his introductory press conference as Wisconsin’s defensive coordinator.
Stat of the Day:
In 2015, USC had the No. 1 recruiting class according to Rivals, Scout and 247Sports. However the Trojans ranked 3rd by ESPN, with Iman Marshall being the lone signee to garner a five-star rating. Because of that discrepancy, USC ended up finishing 2nd in the 247Sports Composite to Alabama.