Tuesday, June 18, 2013
ESPN 300 targets: USC
By Blair Angulo
With this week's release of the ESPN 300, here's a look at 10 of USC's top targets in the 2014 class, ranked in order of their likelihood to commit to the Trojans.
1. OG Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) 6-4, 352 ESPN 300 Rank: 67
Of the ESPN 300 targets USC is pursuing, OL Damien Mama could have the best chance of committing to the Trojans.
Why they want him: Limited scholarship numbers forced USC to sign only one guard prospect, Khaliel Rodgers, in 2013. Mama would add another body to the mix, to go along with commit Toa Lobendahn.
Who else wants him: Alabama, Cal, Florida, Florida State, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Ole Miss have also offered.
Odds they get him: 50 percent
2. TE Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada) 6-3, 243 ESPN 300 Rank: 37
Why they want him: The Trojans didn’t take a tight end in the 2013 class and Luatua is rated No. 1 at the position. His blocking abilities make him even more appealing for USC, which hopes to become more physical under new running game coordinator Mike Summers.
Who else wants him: Alabama and Notre Dame also spearhead Luatua’s list.
Why they want him: Securing the top players in Southern California is always important and Smith is certainly one of those this year. He’s shown flashes at receiver and safety, and the Trojans would surely take him wherever.
Who else wants him: SEC schools, including Alabama, have entered a race that also includes Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and UCLA.
Why they want him: Cornerback is perhaps the biggest need in this recruiting cycle and Jackson is the best prospect in the West region. Landing the five-star would also help USC maintain its pipeline at Serra, where talent abounds in classes to come.
Who else wants him: Other standout schools include Florida, Florida State, Illinois, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and UCLA.
Odds they get him: 30 percent
5. ATH Speedy Noil (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr) 6-0, 176 ESPN 300 Rank: 8
Why they want him: The Trojans signed only one receiver, Steven Mitchell, in the last recruiting class. And with Mitchell suffering a season-ending knee injury during voluntary workouts, they’re lacking even more depth. Expect USC to go for at least three receivers in this class.
Who else wants him: Florida, LSU and Texas A&M appear to be the other favorites.
Odds they get him: 30 percent
ESPN 300 ATH Michiah Quick is the kind of dynamic athlete the Trojans need.
Why they want him: Arguably the best pass-catching tight end in the state, Dixon would potentially form a balanced tandem with Luatua if both were to sign with the Trojans. Dixon might also help with a highly coveted teammate down the road, 2015 quarterback Ricky Town.
Who else wants him: Dixon recently said UCLA, Cal, Oregon and Miami (Fla.) also stand out.
Why they want him: It’s essential to sign a quarterback in every class, but it’s especially important for USC this year since there’s a possibility that either Cody Kessler or Max Wittek consider a transfer following the fall camp competition. Chryst has been the No. 1 priority at quarterback for the Trojans.
Who else wants him: Stanford, the hometown school, is believed to hold the edge, but Pittsburgh is also under strong consideration.
Why they want him: USC needs receivers in this class and, so far, the interest has been mutual. Assistants Tee Martin and Ed Orgeron have been successful in the Sunshine State recently and Lane has said he’ll at least take an official visit to Los Angeles.
Who else wants him: Alabama and Miami are considered to be atop the list.
Why they want him: USC had the talented offensive tackle in tow for more than six months and now hopes to regain him. Nico Falah was the only tackle signee in the previous class, so the Trojans hope to land at least two in this cycle.
Who else wants him: Tucker also has offers from the likes of Arizona State, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Stanford and Texas A&M.