- Garry Paskwietz, Publisher, WeAreSC.com
With the news on Saturday that Darrell Daniels (Freedom, Calif./Oakley) had given a verbal commitment to the University of Washington, the wide receiver recruiting picture for the Trojans was narrowed down even more.
It was only a week ago that Daniels was considered a prime target to end up at USC. Daniels -- the top California receiver in the ESPN 150 and No. 54 prospect in the overall rankings -- attended the USC skills camp on June 10 with the intention of giving his commitment to the Trojans, which would have given USC a pair of 6-foot-3 receiver commits if Daniels had been paired up with previously committed Eldridge Massington (Mesquite, Tex./West Mesquite) .
Things didn’t quite go smoothly for Daniels during the USC camp with many observers saying his speed -- or lack of it -- was a noticeable issue compared to other receivers at the camp. In the end, Daniels did not commit to USC that day -- or was not allowed to commit -- but the Trojans did walk away with a verbal commitment from Steven Mitchell from Mission Hills (Calif.) Alemany.
Mitchell offers the speed and big-play ability that Lane Kiffin clearly wants in his receivers. Even the taller Massington is noted as a downfield threat with enough speed to be a high-level state sprinter in track. The Trojans also offered two other players at that camp who could end up at receiver in Sebastian Larue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) and Tyree Robinson (San Diego, Calif./Lincoln).
Daniels wasted no time in seeing that writing on the wall and he committed a week later to Washington. It’s a big pick-up for the Huskies, as Daniels is clearly a talented player and his verbal could have an impact on other players being recruited by both USC and Washington.
It’s known that Daniels and linebacker Michael Hutchings (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) are in contact and the Huskies made a strong impression on Hutchings during his recent campus visit. The Huskies are also targeting wide receiver Demorea Stringfellow from Moreno Valley (Calif.) Rancho Verde, who had received an offer from the Trojans earlier this spring. The USC coaches made it clear to Stringfellow at the camp last week that his offer was still on the table and that he was very much a priority.
With those comments to Stringfellow -- and with the offers to Larue and Robinson -- it would appear as if the Trojans are not going to stop at two receivers in the class of 2013. It’s not a huge shock that they would be looking to take three players at that spot, especially when you consider how important explosive playmakers at wide receiver are in the Kiffin offensive system. With Daniels now off the board, the pool of targeted prospects has shrunk even more and it will be an interesting game of recruiting musical chairs to see which receivers actually end up signing with the Trojans in February.