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Thursday, August 22, 2013
The Early Offer: USC still force in SoCal

By Jeremy Crabtree

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: The Trojans are in great shape to land ESPN 300 defensive end Malik Dorton and remain a viable option for top California talent, what one SEC recruiter thinks LSU’s chances are with Clifton Garrett, and a busy September is on tap for the Huskers with official visits.

USC still appealing to recruits
Four-star defensive end Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) will announce his decision at 3 p.m. ET Friday and all signs point toward USC being the school the nation’s No. 212 player will select. Earlier this spring, UCLA was the front runner, with Nebraska and Ole Miss also a factor. But then USC offered and everything changed. Despite all the ups and downs Lane Kiffin has faced and the NCAA sanctions placed on the Trojans, it’s hard to deny the lure of playing at USC. Like it or not, USC is still Los Angeles’ “it” school and when a player in the Southland gets an offer, he’s going to take a long look at the Trojans. If Kiffin can get USC on the winning track this season and the talk about him being fired goes away, the Trojans will be a legitimate threat for the top spot in the Pac-12.

LSU firmly in driver’s seat
Clifton Garrett, the four-star linebacker from Plainfield (Ill.) Plainfield South, has long been considered an LSU lean. Despite having scheduled official visits with other schools such as Florida, Ole Miss and Tennessee, one SEC recruiter believes the race is all but over for Garrett. “He’s an LSU lock,” the source said. “We’ve heard that his relationship with the players and coaches down there has grown a lot this summer.” Garrett will visit Florida on Sept. 20, Tennessee on Oct. 4 and Ole Miss on Oct. 18. He’ll be Baton Rouge on Nov. 23 for the Tigers’ game against Texas A&M and then return for an official visit some time in December.

Nebraska hopes for big September
Nebraska has 11 commitments but hopes that number increases after a busy September of hosting official visitors on game weekends. Recently added to the Sept. 6 list are three-star running back Madre London (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) and three-star safety Josh Kalu (Alief, Texas/Taylor). Scheduled for Sept. 20 is three-star safety Deandre Scott (Philadelphia/Imhotep Institue), but also don’t be surprised if some of Nebraska’s priority recruits pop up on the list for Sept. 14 when the Huskers host UCLA in a nationally televised ABC game. Nebraska has one of the best home-field environments in the country, so it’s no surprise Bo Pelini wants to expose that atmosphere to recruits.