USC football will have a tough time hitting on top recruiting targets with the fall season canceled.
If USC football manages to pull out a Top 10 recruiting class for 2021, know that it wasn’t done easily.
The Trojans’ recruiting efforts will matter even more for the remainder of the year as they look to hit on their top targets without the benefit of a 2020 season to show progress.
The recruiting cost is potentially huge.
USC football recruiters have their work cut out for them.
The 2021 USC football recruiting class currently ranks eighth in the 247Sports composite team rankings with 18 prospects committed. Those include two Top 100 quarterbacks in Jake Garcia and Miller Moss, a handful of versatile defensive backs and more.
After the class of 2020 had just one Top 300 prospect signed, the Trojans have bounced back with 11 onboard for 2021.
The first job will be holding onto those pledges.
The greatest risk hovers over Garcia, the top-rated player in the class for USC. He has opted to play his senior season of high school ball in Georgia. There he’ll be closer to Miami, a rival for his signature.
The Trojans won’t be able to get complacent on that front.
Even if USC stays solid with their committed players, there will be hurdles to bringing in key targets.
Corona Centennial’s Korey Foreman is the No. 1 player in the class, making him a critical get for the Trojans.
Foreman had committed to Clemson but backed off his pledge and is now favored to pick USC.
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Unfortunately, the Trojans still have a wealth of uncertainty surrounding the program and head coach Clay Helton.
A 2020 season would have given Helton the chance to assuage worries about his job security. With a new defensive coaching staff headed by Todd Orlando and a strong quarterback-OC duo, the potential for a run to the Pac-12 was strong.
Instead, Helton’s status remains frustratingly unclear, and it’ll be that way until after the 2021 class is signed.
How many top prospects will take the chance of committing to a staff which may not be around for another year? It’s a valid question. The negative recruiting pitches write themselves.
The perception of the Pac-12 could also come into play relative to conferences who do push forward with their seasons. The best USC can hope for is recruits and their families are impressed by the Pac-12’s willingness to put player safety first. Mileage on that sentiment will vary.
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On the plus side, USC’s current staff has been bolstered on the recruiting front. Donte Williams is the top recruiter in the conference while the Trojan support staff is bigger than ever before. They’ve already proven their chops by compiling the class in place.
Those steps forward will have to seal the deal on the likes of Foreman, four-star offensive tackle Kingsley Suamataia, four-star lineman Josh Simmons, four-star linebacker Ethan Calvert and the rest of USC’s remaining big-time targets.