USC football’s No. 7 recruiting class: 2008
Grade: 7/10 Class Ranking: 4th nationally | 1st in Pac-12 Class Composition:
2 ★★★★★ 10 ★★★★ 7 ★★★
USC’s offensive line haul in 2008 was truly impressive, but NCAA sanctions gutted the class in the end.
Matt Kalil progressed nicely from five-star prospect to All-American and Morris Trophy-winning left tackle while four-star Tyron Smith also delivered on the right as a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and Morris Trophy winner.
The Trojans also developed some important three-star players in running back Curtis McNeal and Jurrell Casey.
McNeal rushed for 1,739 yards as a Trojan, averaging 6.5 yards per carry, which is the third-best mark ever at USC.
Casey started 26 games at nose tackle, earned All-Pac-10 first-team honors and was USC’s team MVP as a junior.
The success of USC’s 2008 offensive line haul didn’t end with Kalil and Smith, as four-star center Khaled Holmes became a dependable three-year starter and All-Pac-12 first-teamer.
Four-star defensive linemen Nick Perry, Wes Horton and Armond Armstead also became starters.
Perry excelled and earned an All-Pac-12 first-team nod while Horton started 32 times at defensive end. Armstead logged 17 career starts before injuries derailed his career.
Five-star tight end Blake Ayles was joined by a squad of four-stars like cornerback T.J. Bryant, receiver Brice Butler, running back D.J. Shoemate and linebacker Uona Kaveinga, along with three-star Malik Jackson, in transferring out of USC on the back of NCAA sanctions.
None had distinguished careers at USC before their transfers, though Jackson found great success at Tennessee.
Four-star offensive tackle Matt Meyer retired from football due to injury.