USC Football Roundup: Slow recruiting start worries and more (5/11)

Joe Robbins/Getty Images
Joe Robbins/Getty Images /

The Trojans are off to a slow recruiting start, while the Todd McNair trial is nearing an end. Here’s the USC football roundup for May 10th.

There are still nine months of recruiting on the horizon, but people are starting to notice how slow USC football’s recruiting start has been for the class of 2019.

Chris Hummer of 247Sports dropped the Trojans in the Have Some Work to Do tier of “unusual (for now) recruiting starts” on Thursday, along with Tennessee, Penn State and Stanford.

That’s a fair assessment (for now) as USC ranks 52nd nationally with just three commits in the class.

Hummer acknowledges the Trojans have finished strong in the last few years, but raises a viable concern for the major recruiting power in southern California: Competition in recruiting is only going to get tougher.

Mario Cristobal at Oregon, Chip Kelly at UCLA, Kevin Sumlin at Arizona and even Herm Edwards at ASU all bring a certain amount of juice to the table when it comes to recruiting.

But should USC be worried?

At this point, the staff has proven their worth as recruiters. Plus, as it’s often said, USC recruits itself. Ranking in the Top 10 of recruiting five years running is no fluke.

That’s not to say the Trojans will land everyone they want, but it’s a safe bet that they’ll be a major recruiting presence.

Notable Pac-12 storylines

Sports Illustrated is covering the notable storylines and performances for each Power 5 conference with Joan Niesen breaking down the Pac-12 on Thursday.

Unsurprisingly, USC figures heavily, particularly when it comes to the state of the Pac-12 Champions, whose quarterback battle is the most compelling in the conference this year. There’s also a discussion of whether the Pac-12 has a national contender.

Where’s the smoking gun?

With the Todd McNair trial winding down this week, Garry Paskwietz of asks:

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“Where is the smoking gun from the NCAA? Where is the piece of evidence or statement that you can point to that says ‘here is why we absolutely believed Lloyd Lake over Todd McNair?’ There was a lot of talk during the trial of contradictory statements and decisions that were arrived at without outside influence but a surprising lack of detail when it comes to such an important point.”

That feels like a valid question, especially if you’ve been reading Dan Weber’s coverage over on, which has raised more skepticism over the NCAA’s account of proceedings than McNair’s.

Closing arguments are due on Friday.

More Projan starters

On Tuesday we looked at projected Projan starts in the AFC North and AFC East. Greg Rosenthal of has now updated his projected starting lineups for the AFC South and AFC West.

Uchenna Nwosu gets a mention as a competitor for the starting outside linebacker job with the Chargers, though Rosenthal officially opted to run with a nickel starting lineup.

As expected, Marqise Lee is a projected starter at receiver for the Jaguars.

CHECK OUT: Five USC pros who found success after going undrafted

Meanwhile, the Titans feature a pair of Projan defensive starters: Defensive lineman Jurrell Casey and cornerback Adoree’ Jackson.

Trojan Trivia

USC’s highest winning score was 80-0 against Pomona in 1925. The Trojans’ lowest winning score was 3-0 against the 21st Infantry in 1917.