USC Trojans: Missouri Tigers


The Opening presented by Nike Football will take place July 7-10 at Nike World Headquarters in Oregon, with 162 of the nation's top high school football prospects set to compete. With four days of dynamic training, coaching and competition among the best of the best, The Opening is the perfect chance for recruits in the Class of 2015 to make big jumps and shine on the national stage.

Here are five prospects with the most to gain at the prestigious event:

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Many observers of football in Texas agree the SEC’s impact on the recruiting trail in the Lone Star State is going to only grow in the future. However, not every SEC team is making a beeline to Dallas, Houston and East Texas to recruit. Plus, both USC and UCLA did their best to impress one of the nation’s top corners recently.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

1. Back to football on Michael Sam for a moment. Even as SEC Defensive Player of the Year, the Missouri defensive end is projected as a middle-round pick because he hasn’t shown the flexibility or the lateral movement that NFL scouts want at that position. From what I am told of his work at the Senior Bowl, he had trouble changing direction. Sam’s strengths: good hands, which are critical to his demonstrated ability to get off blocks.

2. What a year the California Golden Bears have had: a new coach and a new coaching staff, a 1-11 record, with the victory coming against an FCS team, an average losing margin of 28 points in the Pac-12, a revamped coaching staff, massive debt, dwindling crowds, and all of that pales in comparison to the death of defensive end Ted Agu after he collapsed during conditioning on Friday. It simply has to start getting better.

3. The graduate-and-transfer rule that Jacob Coker (Florida State to Alabama) and Max Wittek (USC to …?) are using is eight years old, and it seems to me that football coaches are finally accepting it. I like what North Carolina State head coach Dave Doeren said when graduate quarterback Pete Thomas decided to transfer. “I have really enjoyed coaching him and want him to be successful as a player and in life. Going forward I will do anything I can to help him through his transition as a transfer.” Here’s hoping Thomas has as much success as the last Wolfpack quarterback to use the rule: Russell Wilson.

2013 was an exercise in patience

December, 8, 2013
12/08/13
9:06
PM PT


Red Smith, the poet laureate of sweat, once wrote that 90 feet between bases is the nearest to perfection that man has yet achieved. The basepath has nothing on the length of college football's regular season, which, with the patience of a kindergarten teacher and the tenacity of Scotland Yard, identified Florida State and Auburn as the two best teams to play for the BCS National Championship.

Tenacity is the lifeblood of a sport that demands physical and mental exertion for 60 minutes. Patience, not so much. Patience in college football is attributed to tailbacks who wait for a hole to appear. But in a sport in which a quarterback may have three seconds to complete a pass without getting his slobber knocked, patience often goes untapped.

Yet patience has never been more important than it has been in 2013, and not just because it was nearly midnight on the final Saturday of the regular season before Michigan State proved that Ohio State didn't have the credentials to play for the crystal football. In a season made predictable only by its unpredictability, patience became the coin of the realm.

Patience rewarded no fans more than at Auburn. It didn't take any patience to appreciate the rapid rise of the Tigers from 3-9 in 2012 to 12-1 this year. But the way that the Tigers waited until the very end to upend Georgia on a Hail Mary tipped pass and defeat archrival No. 1 Alabama on a 109-yard field goal return for a touchdown, focused upon the power of faith no matter what reality promised.

Patience proved critical at Florida State, not because head coach Jimbo Fisher decided to start a redshirt freshman at quarterback. Jameis Winston played with poise and the acumen of an upperclassman as the Seminoles cruised to a 13-0 record (12 wins by at least 27 points). But Florida State fans had to hold their collective garnet-and-gold breath for several weeks before local authorities decided not to charge Winston in a sexual assault case.

Patience paid off at Missouri, which had endured a 5-7, injury-filled debut in the SEC in 2012. Coach Gary Pinkel revamped his training and practice methods, and took advantage of the depth that resulted from playing so many players in 2012. The Tigers won the SEC East and finished 11-2 this season.

To continue reading, click here.

Early Offer: Orgeron building momentum 

November, 19, 2013
11/19/13
2:30
AM PT
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Top recruits out West are starting to like the idea of Ed Orgeron as the next head coach at USC; despite his commitment to Missouri, fast-rising receiver Nate Brown has become a wanted man with two of the top programs in the SEC; and lost in the disappointment of a tough loss to UCLA was the news of Washington landing a pledge from one of the nation's top 2015 prospects.

Trojans red hot on and off field
It could be argued USC is the hottest team in the country after beating No. 4 Stanford this past Saturday. All of the success on the field also has given the Trojans a ton of recruiting momentum. In front of a packed house of recruits, including No. 7 overall prospect Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and Alabama four-star offensive tackle commit Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial), the Trojans put on a show that brought back memories of the glory years of Pete Carroll. The victory generated a lot of positive comments from recruits, and now it's cool to have USC on your list again. It will be interesting to see how seriously USC looks at Ed Orgeron as a candidate for the Trojans' coaching position, because recruits certainly are warming up to the idea. "If Coach O isn't there, then I'm not looking at USC anymore," one top prospect said. "I would follow that guy anywhere."

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Coveted OLB names a top five 

March, 14, 2013
3/14/13
6:05
AM PT
ATHENS, Ga. -- Outside linebacker Jacob Pugh (Tallahassee, Fla./Godby) isn’t exactly sure of how many offers he has. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound junior has not counted them. Once he had received over 30 offers to the top programs in the nation, there really seemed no point in doing so. Pugh is more concerned about the five that he has on top.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

2014 ATH Clark surprised by USC offer 

October, 25, 2012
10/25/12
5:30
PM PT
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- When Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera) found out he had received a scholarship offer from USC this week, he asked his coach, "USC who?"

"The Trojans," his coach said. Even Clark, who already has offers from Alabama and Auburn, was surprised that a school as far away as USC knew of him.

“That’s cool because that’s one of the top recruiting teams in the country,” Clark said. “To get an offer from USC, way out there in California, that’s neat. I wouldn’t think that they would even look at me, but knowing they offered me, I was shocked.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

USC offers 2014 DE Allen-Williams 

October, 14, 2012
10/14/12
5:45
PM PT
Fast-rising Class of 2014 defensive end Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove) bagged his ninth scholarship offer on Saturday, adding one from USC assistant coach Ed Orgeron.

"That was a big moment," the 6-foot-3, 233-pound Allen-Williams said. "USC is one of the greatest educational institutions in the country. The football program has one of the biggest traditions. I don't have top list of schools right now but if I did, USC would be up there. Being from Georgia, USC is appealing. It's right in L.A. It's glamorous."

The Trojans have three commitments in next year's class -- offensive linemen Toa Lobendahn (Lakewood, Calif./Lakewood), Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School) and Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton) -- hypothetically leaving them with only 12 remaining spots.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Class of 2014 ESPN Watch List defensive end Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy) received a phone call from his high school coach Monday and immediately did a double-take.

Williams was offered by USC, and it was nothing short of surprising.

"It means a lot, it really does," the 6-foot-4, 231-pound Williams said. "I was really surprised. I didn't think USC recruited guys down here. I've been watching them a lot this year and I've been impressed. The tradition and the way they run their defense, I'm really interested."

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

DT Maquedius Bain ready to visit Sooners 

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
1:59
PM PT
ESPN 150 defensive lineman Maquedius Bain (Davie, Fla./University School) will be taking a trip to Norman, Okla., this weekend to visit the Sooners pending some ACT paperwork.

"I just needed to get a couple of things in hand and I'll be visiting Oklahoma this weekend," Bain said. "They reached out to me back in July and I'm looking forward to the visit."

The 6-foot-3, 285-pound Bain, who committed to Florida State as a junior and re-opened his recruitment earlier in the year, appears to be leaning towards a future playing outside of the Sunshine State.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Watch: College Football Final (Week 2)

September, 9, 2012
9/09/12
7:34
AM PT
video
Jim Basquil and the ESPN.com College Football team deliver the highlights, analysis, and interviews from an exciting Week 2 of College Football.

Kennard Swanson adds SEC offer 

March, 14, 2012
3/14/12
2:41
PM PT
Lake Gibson (Lakeland, Fla.) defensive lineman Kennard Swanson added an offer from Missouri on Tuesday, according to Lake Gibson assistant coach Robert Whitaker.

The 6-foot, 250-pound junior already has offers from Ole Miss, USC and South Florida.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Lawson wants to prove he's versatile 

February, 19, 2012
2/19/12
4:47
PM PT
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Defensive end Carl Lawson of Alpharetta (Ga.) Milton High School wants to make one thing clear: He isn't just a hand-on-the-ground player.

The 6-foot-3, 240-pound junior has been working on dropping into coverage and rushing the passer from an outside linebacker spot, and he said it's something he's eager to prove he's capable of doing in summer camps and throughout his upcoming senior season.

"I know people have misconceptions about me whether or not I can stand up or possibly play that outside linebacker position," Lawson said after participating in Florida's junior day. "I've been practicing."

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

ESPNU Signing Day Times

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
1:00
PM PT
ESPNU's national signing day coverage kicks off at 9 a.m. ET. Here's the list of the announcements and time for some of the top prospects.

NOTE: Bold names are announcements, all others are interviews.

ESPNU Signing Day Times

January, 30, 2012
1/30/12
9:48
AM PT
ESPNU's national signing day coverage kicks off at 9 a.m. ET. Here's the list of the announcements and time for some of the top prospects.

NOTE: Bold names are announcements, all others are interviews.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12