The first big USC football recruiting weekend of the new year has arrived, with several key players taking official visits to Los Angeles.
Coaches across the country only have three more weekends to make strides in the 2017 recruiting cycle and USC football’s coaches are no different, gearing up for a major weekend of official visits.
A number of top targets for the Trojans are due to be on campus as Clay Helton and company charge towards a strong finish.
USC defensive backs coach Ronnie Bradford woke up on Friday morning in the mood to get work on the recruiting front.
So here’s a look at how the big official visit weekend is playing out via social media:
Isaiah Pola-Mao | Safety
Pola-Mao is a four-star safety out of Mountain Pointe in Phoenix, Arizona. The Trojans are hoping to add another big, physical safety to the mix with Pola-Mao at 6-foot-4, 190 pounds.
The 247Sports crystal ball gives Washington the edge for his signature, but USC is pushing hard for the nation’s No. 14 safety. Both of Pola-Mao’s parents have joined him in Los Angeles for the critical official visit, which will help him decide between his top three of USC, Washington and Arizona State.
Bubba Bolden | Safety
The four-star safety committed back to USC at the U.S. Army All-American game, but a late push from ASU on the even of his re-commitment makes the official visit matter that little bit more as the Trojans work to lock in his signature.
Aubrey Solomon | Defensive Tackle
Given USC’s depth concerns on the defensive line — accentuated by key departures like Stevie Tu’ikolovatu and Noah Jefferson — landing a big time prospect like Solomon would be huge.
The five-star defensive tackle is the nation’s No. 2 player at his position and would represent a major recruiting victory for the Trojans since he hails from Georgia and recently named Alabama as his favorite.
The Trojans have to hope Los Angeles makes a big enough impression on the big man, with the promise of immediate playing-time perhaps winning out.
Neil Farrell | Defensive Tackle
Farrell, a three-star prospect, is committed to Ed Orgeron’s LSU, which he will visit next week, but the Trojans have a chance to sell him on the greater opportunities available at USC because of the Trojans’ depth problems.
Javon Kinlaw | Defensive End
Kinlaw is the nation’s top strongside defensive end coming out of the JUCO pool and at 6-foot-6, 305 pounds, he would be an instant contributor if USC could entice him away from staying in the south with South Carolina.
The Trojans can certainly offer the four-star recruit immediate playing time and a road map to the NFL, but it remains to be seen if he’ll take the plunge and move out west. If nothing else, USC knows they’re competing with just one SEC program for Kinlaw’s signature, as he dropped plans for an official visit to Alabama.
Je’Quari Godfrey | Cornerback
The three-star cornerback has been committed to Cal since last May, but the Bears’ coaching change has given USC the opportunity to get in with the Oakland-product.
The Trojans are in need of reinforcements at cornerback with Adoree’ Jackson’s likely NFL departure. Godfrey stands 6-foot-2 and would add some height to the group, if USC can manage to flip his commitment.
Jalen McKenzie | Offensive Lineman
Three-star lineman Jalen McKenzie announced he would be on campus for an unofficial visit this weekend shortly after he received an offer from the Trojans a week ago.
The 6-foot-4, 307-pound prospect would help beef up USC’s offensive front if he decides to commit.
Jacob Lichtenstein | Defensive End
Lichtenstein committed to USC back in August, but the three-star out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida is getting the chance to see his future home in person this weekend.
Considering USC’s need for defensive linemen, sealing the deal on the out-of-state commit is key.
A photo posted by Gretchen Lichtenstein (@gretchenlich_ifbbpro) on Jan 13, 2017 at 4:42pm PST
Josh Falo | Tight End
USC has done a nice job rebuilding the tight end group over the past couple of years and they’d like to continue that trend by impressing four-star tight end Josh Falo on his official visit.
The Trojans already have three-star prospect Erik Krommenhoek committed for this class, but it would be the more, the merrier to add Falo to the mix.
Stay tuned for more updates as recruits on their official visits post updates on social media and more official visits are confirmed.