USC Trojans All-Time Lists

What is the greatest USC football recruiting class of all-time?

Jul 14, 2020, 11:00 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES - DECEMBER 6: Wide receiver Mike Williams #1 of the USC Trojans celebrates a touchdown reception against the Oregon State Beavers on December 6, 2003 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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USC football recruiting has produced top-ranked classes since 2002, but how did those actually turn out?

Every year the race to sign the best possible recruiting class fixates the college football world.

USC football recruiting classes have achieved consistently high rankings since the era of recruiting services began, but have those classes lived up to the hype consistently?

For the Trojans, as with all schools, it’s a mixed bag of success stories and disappointments.

There have been 15 “completed” recruiting classes in the era of internet recruiting databases going back to 2012. Reign of Troy set out to rank each one.

But before we get to that, let’s consider where the classes of 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 currently stand.

The class of 2017 ranked No. 4 nationally and No. 1 in the Pac-12, per the 247Sports composite. It included two five-stars, 12 four-stars and nine three-stars. While Austin Jackson, Jay Tufele and Alijah Vera-Tucker have panned out, the Trojans have also lost the likes of five-star receiver Joseph Lewis, four-star safety Bubba Bolden and four-star linebacker Levi Jones. The fate of the class hangs in the balance in 2020.

The class of 2018 also ranked No. 4 in the 247Sports composite, headlined by four five-star prospects. Amon-Ra St. Brown, Palaie Gaoteote and Olaijah Griffin should all feature as starters going forward even if JT Daniels has transferred to Georgia. An addition transfer for four-star receiver Devon Williams was a bummer, but the built of the class which included 12 more four-stars is intact and set up for success in coming years.

USC’s recruiting weight dipped quite a bit in 2019 with a class ranking 19th nationally. However, that class is already punching above their weight with quarterback Kedon Slovis, defensive end Drake Jackson, receiver Drake London and Kenan Christon providing serious contributions as true freshmen.

As for the class of 2020…the No. 55-ranked class is going to have very few expectations so exceeding them should be simple enough.

Now let’s get into the classes that have already made their mark at USC. How did they ultimately grade out?