USC football’s No. 1 recruiting class: 2003
Grade: 10/10 Class Ranking: 2nd nationally | 1st in Pac-12 Class Composition:
2 ★★★★★ 12 ★★★★ 11 ★★★
Unquestionably the greatest recruiting haul in USC history, the 2003 class hit on nearly every level.
Reggie Bush warranted every bit of his five-star rating as a once-in-a-generation prospect, winning the Heisman and establishing himself as one of the most exciting players to ever wear pads.
Four-star offensive lineman Sam Baker, defensive lineman Sedrick Ellis, running back Lendale White and wide receiver Steve Smith were all-time USC greats at their positions.
Three-star lineman Ryan Kalil won the Morris Trophy and All-American honors. Defensive lineman Fili Moala was a three-year starter, second-team All-American and a second-round draft pick.
Defensive lineman Lawrence Jackson, a four-star, started for four years, was a two-time All-Pac-10 first-teamer and second-team All-American.
A three-star, Terrell Thomas transitioned from safety to cornerback and became a two-year starter, two-time All-Pac-10 second-teamer and second-round draft pick.
Running back Chauncey Washington took a little while to deliver on his four-star rating but led USC in rushing in 2006.
Another four-star, defensive back Will Poole became an All-Pac-10 first-teamer while Thomas Williams served admirably as a utility linebacker and special teams ace. Drew Radovich started for two years at guard.
In a class full of success stories, Whitney Lewis stands out as one of the biggest recruiting busts in USC history. The all-everything five-star receiver was moved around as a freshman, sat out his second year due to academics, failed to catch a pass in 2005 and transferred away.
Injuries resulted in a disappointing career for three-star Desmond Reed after a promising sophomore campaign at running back. Likewise, injuries and shifting from the defensive line to tight end and back limited four-star Chris Barrett’s career.
Sadly, four-star linebacker Drean Rucker never got the chance to live up to his ranking as he drowned the summer before joining the Trojans.