Early spot creates recruiting urgency 

December, 13, 2013
Upon arriving in Los Angeles last week, USC head coach Steve Sarkisian and his assistants were faced with the difficult task of filling four mid-year enrollment slots. The commitment of ESPN JC 50 defensive tackle Claudeson Pelon (Orlando, Fla./Mesa Community College) earlier this week alleviated some concerns, but the Trojans head into their first big on-campus recruiting weekend in search of at least one more worthy prospect who is eligible for early enrollment.

If that carryover spot from the 2013 class were to go unused, USC would not be able to regain it. Two early enrollees and two uncommitted targets make up the list of expected visitors this weekend. A look at who will be on the USC campus:

No. 8 OG Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) - Lobendahn listened to other schools when the firing of Lane Kiffin created some uncertainty, but his spot in USC’s recruiting class never was truly in doubt. The 6-foot-3, 295-pound lineman toyed with the idea of visiting other schools, but the turnaround under former interim head coach Ed Orgeron was enough to convince him to stay close to home. There were even some concerns that UCLA's hire of Kennedy Polamalu, a former Trojans assistant and respected coach in the Polynesian community, would give Lobendahn something to think about. But Lobendahn’s commitment to USC and early enrollment status was never in jeopardy, even with the coach who began recruiting him three years ago now at the rival program. Lobendahn was the first prospect to receive an in-home visit after Sarkisian arrived from Washington, and the official visit this weekend could essentially be viewed as a victory lap.