USC No. 18 in newest ESPN recruiting rankings 

January, 12, 2012
The USC Trojans held steady at No. 18 in the newest ESPN team football recruiting rankings released Thursday. As expected, the biggest mover in the rankings was California, jumping into the top 10 at No. 8 and to the top of the Pac-12.

USC checks in as the No. 2 team in the Pac-12, just ahead of Stanford (No. 19) and Oregon (No. 21).

The Trojans have fewer verbal commitments than any team in the top 25, but could be poised to make a run up the rankings in the coming weeks, as they could be in the mix for some of the country's top recruits between now and signing day. While USC has a shot to catch California, especially with defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy (Monrovia, Calif./Monrovia) still a top target for both schools, Alabama may have separated itself from the pack in terms of the top spot.