USC football’s No. 15 recruiting class: 2016
Grade: 4/10 Class Ranking: 10th nationally | 1st in Pac-12 Class Composition:
2 ★★★★★ 12 ★★★★ 6 ★★★
USC’s class of 2016 looked like a potential juggernaut of a class, but transfers decimated the group.
Two of USC’s Top 100 talents more than panned out.
Michael Pittman Jr. turned into a monster of a playmaker, completing his career with 171 catches and 2,519 yards while securing All-Pac-12 first-team honors and the Pop Warner Award.
Fellow four-star receiver Tyler Vaughns will finish out his Trojan career in 2020 but is well on his way to all-time status. He stands on the verge of USC’s career receiving records.
Four-star running back Vavae Malepeai is the next-most productive player in the class behind Pittman and Vaughns. He has made eight stats with 1,265 yards and 14 touchdowns to his name entering his final campaign.
Three-star linebacker Jordan Iosefa has maintained a role as a regular, though unspectacular, contributor.
Four-star linemen Frank Martin, on offense, and Connor Murphy, on defense, have largely served as backups. They will have wanted more from their careers but a final hurrah is on the table in 2020.
As for three-star quarterback Matt Fink, he’ll always have the Utah upset.
Where to begin…
USC had eight Top 200 players in the class. Only two of them are set to finish out productive Trojan careers.
No. 15 Oluwole Betiku and No. 19 Jack Jones, both five-stars, transferred away, along with four-star offensive tackle E.J. Price. He opted to transfer shortly after the 2016 season began. Four-star safety Jamel Cook and four-star wide receivers Trevon Sidney and Josh Imatorbhebhe also left for other programs.
Moving outside of that group of players, more departures culled the class. Four-star tight end Cary Angeline left for NC State and four-star safety C.J. Pollard took the graduate transfer route to Utah State.
Four-star tackle Nathan Smith medically retired while three-star athlete Keyshawn Pie Young left the team. Three-star wide receiver Velus Jones Jr. transferred to Tennessee after serving as USC’s primary kick returner.