The 2017 USC football recruiting class only has a few more weeks to come together, making upcoming official visits key for the Trojans.
When it comes to recruiting, coaching staffs look at it as their best chance to sway undecided young men to their campus for the foreseeable future.
The “official visit.”
Two words used to gauge the interest of premier high school players and an opportunity for an institution of higher learning to put its best foot forward.
For USC in the 2017 class, the list of those players who will trek to Southern California represent those who are most likely to don the cardinal and gold for the upcoming year and beyond.
Although many recruits will give a program such as USC a verbal commitment sight unseen because of its prestige, those of a more discerning frame of mind will wait until they get to view the campus and program for themselves.
And while a visit certainly doesn’t guarantee a signature on Feb. 1 when recruits can officially sign their letters of intent, it does represent a large step in the right direction.
Which brings us to this year’s list of prospective Trojans who will take that official visit to USC before deciding on their college of choice.
Kendall SheffieldCB****Nov. 5Brandon PiliDT***Nov. 26Myron TagovailoaDE/DT***Nov. 26Austin JacksonOT****Nov. 26Javon KinlawDE/DT*****Jan. 13Aubrey SolomonDT****Jan. 13K.J. JarrellS****Jan. 13Josh FaloTE****Jan. 14Jay TufeleDT****Jan. 20Levi JonesLB****Jan. 20K’Lavon ChaissonDE****Jan. 27
*Star ratings per 247Sports composite
While most of the players’ interest level can be deemed as “warm,” realistically, don’t look for Kendall Sheffield to become a Trojan in 2017. In fact, he committed to Ohio State on Tuesday.
The next category of recruits can be thought of as “possible” and they include Jay Tufele, K.J. Jarrell, Levi Jones and Josh Falo.
Which leaves us with a “likely” list of Trojan signees such as Brandon Pili, Myron Tagovailoa, and Austin Jackson.
What about Javon Kinlaw, Aubrey Solomon and K’Lavon Chaisson you might wonder?
Those three players represent the “head scratchers,” and their interest in USC is truly mysterious.
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Solomon will likely end up in the SEC but keep an eye on Kinlaw—who surely must be aware of Trojans need for interior defensive linemen—and Chaisson who will be making his last visit to USC.
Of course, how this plays out won’t be determined until Feb.1—and perhaps even beyond for those players who just can’t quite decide where to ply their football trade.
All of which means little since trying to read an 18-year-old’s mind as to where they will wind up is truly an exercise in futility.
For those who follow this process, it begs one question: Isn’t recruiting fun?