<
>
Insider

USC's most important targets Nos. 1-5

12/29/2011

5. CB Kevon Seymour (Pasadena, Calif./Muir) -- The need for cornerbacks in this class has been documented, as the unit could be hit by departures after this season. Seymour is one of the top two cornerbacks in the state and grabbing him out of UCLA's backyard would be doubly sweet for the Trojans, as the Bruins' new staff has made him one of their priorities.

4. OT Andrus Peat (Tempe, Ariz./Corona Del Sol) -- Left tackle is a huge need for the Trojans, and they don't come much better in this class than Peat. USC has done well in Arizona recently, and grabbing the state's top player would send a message to the rest of the conference. Peat has the ability to play right now for the Trojans and possibly step into the spot vacated by Matt Kalil.

3. DE Arik Armstead (Elk Grove, Calif./Pleasant Grove) -- The unfortunate thing about Armstead ranking this high is that it looks like an absolute certainty that the Trojans won't land him in this class. There is no way to ignore how big of a hit that is, considering he was locked into becoming a Trojan just four months ago, and he is an impact player at a position where a starting spot could be open.

2. OT Kyle Murphy (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) -- The last of the three big-time local offensive linemen, Murphy appears headed to a choice between Stanford and USC. The Trojans already have received commitments from Jordan Simmons and Max Tuerk and would love to make it a clean sweep. The toughest thing about Murphy possibly heading to the Cardinal is that it would signal a shift between the Trojans putting together a dream of an offensive line class to Stanford possibly doing the same, with it possibly adding Peat and Joshua Garnett as well.

1. DT Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif./Monrovia) -- The no-brainer top-of-the-list guy, McCarthy has been arguably USC's top recruit for this entire recruiting cycle. Defensive tackle is a huge position of need in this class, and McCarthy is simply a huge defensive tackle. His other finalists all reside in the Pac-12, and if the Trojans aren't able to lock him up, there's a fairly good chance he could head across town to become the first major recruit of the Jim L. Mora era at UCLA. When Pete Carroll was hired at USC, he was able to come in and secure a commitment from defensive tackle Shaun Cody, who became one of the focal points of USC's resurgence over the following years. Mora certainly would like to follow a similar path in scooping up McCarthy as part of his initial class.