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Friday, June 28, 2013
WeAreSC recruiting mailbag

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.

David Bessin, via @DavidBeTrojan: Will the current lineman commits be able to compete against the stronger lines USC will face? Notably Stanford.

WeAreSC: Of the three current defensive line commits, juco defensive tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) might be the most prepared to compete right away. He is on track to arrive on campus by the start of spring ball, so he’ll have that advantage, as well as being older and more mature.

Fellow commits Austin Maloata (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central) might need some more seasoning, but they certainly could make noise upon their arrival. With 20 available scholarships in this cycle, the Trojans theoretically could take five or six defensive linemen after signing only Kenny Bigelow in the 2013 class, which means assistant coach Ed Orgeron has some flexibility to work with in terms of recruiting for the new 5-2 defensive front.

Kevin, via @Skenio91: USC is considered the favorite to land D.J. Calhoun, correct?

WeAreSC: It’s down to Cal, UCLA and USC for the four-star linebacker, who will announce next week at The Opening. Calhoun has said he’s looking to leave the Bay Area and implied he’d prefer to attend college in Los Angeles, which suggests this will be a USC-UCLA battle until the end. At this point I’d give a slight edge to USC, where his older sister plays on the women’s basketball team.

David Capela, via @DevinRitchie: Why would you ever need a “top five” when you are “committed” already? We need a new word that expresses vague interest.

WeAreSC: You share the sentiment with many fans of college football. Recruits, perhaps more so now than ever before, are keeping the door ajar even after committing. It’s an understandable choice, but commitments are often perceived as “reservations” now. Smallwood and Maloata are the two USC commits guilty of this, but it happens across the country.

Via Twitter: With Naijiel Hale announcing his commitment at The Opening as well without an offer, does that take USC off the table?

WeAreSC: Yes. Hale will choose between Arizona, Arizona State, Cal, Utah and Washington State. The Trojans could enter the picture later, but Hale has pretty much waited as long as he could. USC, on the other hand, might land a commitment from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco teammate Jaleel Wadood next week at the same event.