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Friday, June 14, 2013
WeAreSC Recruiting Mailbag: DB plans

By Blair Angulo

WeAreSC recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every week. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it via Twitter @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

Via Twitter - @sean70545817: The DB class is deep in Southern California this year. What is the plan when Adoree’ Jackson and the like do not commit?

WeAreSC: The coaching staff has taken a wait-and-see approach with locals such as Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and John Plattenburg (Corona, Calif./Centennial), though that could change at the Rising Stars Camp later this month. USC is in on some out-of-state cornerbacks in this cycle, and should be considered among the favorites for both Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) and Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco).

Brandon Michaels, via @BMichaelsUSC: Is Nathan Tilford really good? Because offering scholarships to eighth-graders seems strange.

WeAreSC: Tilford has been impressive in the passing league environment, if only because he’s done well against players older than he is. But this offer is not about how good Tilford is now. Rather, it’s about how good Tilford might be four years from now.

USC must have felt that it needed to enter the fray early for the Class of 2017 prospect.

Todd Bauer (Carson, Calif.), via e-mail: Are the Trojans making a run at any other junior college guys? Michael Wyche seems like a steal.

WeAreSC: Yes, the Wyche commitment seemingly came out of nowhere. Other schools, such as Oregon, have dropped by East Los Angeles College to check up on Wyche, so the fact that USC offered quickly after evaluating him is proving to be important.

Elsewhere, juco offensive tackle Jermaine Eluemunor (Scranton, N.J./Lackawanna College) committed to UCLA last week but will visit USC starting on Monday. He has interest from all the big-name programs, including Alabama. Offensive linemen Dontavius Blair (Anniston, Ala./Garden City Community College) and David Hedelin (San Francisco, Calif./City College of San Francisco), and running back Tyreek Hill (Garden City, Kan./Garden City) are three to keep tabs on.

Dan Ortega: We have Toa Lobendahn and Jordan Poland in this class. What is 2015 looking like?

WeAreSC: USC has offered East Coast-based prospects Mitch Hyatt (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett) and Pat Allen (Reisterstown, Md./Franklin), thought it’d be shocking if Hyatt left his region for college. Locally, Reno Rosene (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), Zach Okun (Newbury Park, Calif./Newbury Park) and Tevita Halalilo (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde) have emerged as names to monitor during their ever-important junior seasons this fall.

Mattav12: Blair, what are the percentages SC lands Adoree’ and John “JuJu” Smith? They really need them.

WeAreSC: The Trojans should make the top 3-4 for each prospect, but it really will come down to how USC plays this season -- that's the most crucial factor moving forward, especially with guys like Jackson and Smith. They have interest from some SEC schools and both really like Michigan, Notre Dame and Ohio State in the Midwest, but USC might be able to offset the allure by having a strong 2013 season. Jackson knows the possibility for early playing time exists. Smith knows USC will likely lose Marqise Lee to the NFL. The opportunity to make an immediate impact is there for both.

At this stage, I think it's more likely that Smith, who calls USC his dream school and whose family grew up rooting for the Trojans, ends up at USC than Jackson. But it's far too early to put a percentage on it.