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Friday, August 23, 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.

@dad21024, via Twitter: What will be the biggest need next year? Depth at defensive line, linebacker, running back, receiver and cornerback?

WeAreSC: USC has already started to address some concerns, primarily in the trenches with verbal commitments from three defensive linemen and three offensive linemen. In the 2013 recruiting class, the Trojans signed only one prospect at defensive tackle, receiver and cornerback, so those appear to be priorities in this cycle. If I had to pick the biggest need, though, it would be to land the top athletes in the state, including Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central) and John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly). That will be crucial to how this class is perceived.

James Jarquin, via @jarquin_james: Are we recruiting Ryan Izzo hard? Details? With Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer possibly moving to the NFL, we need tight ends.

WeAreSC: USC offered the Sparta (N.J.) tight end in late May, but Izzo has since cut the Trojans from his list, recently naming Florida State, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin as his finalists. Izzo unofficially visited USC in late June and enjoyed his trip to Los Angeles, but apparently not enough to further consider the Trojans.

USC didn’t sign a tight end in the 2013 class and will presumably look to add one, maybe two, in this cycle. Four-star prospect Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure), who, this week, said he has “very high interest” in the Trojans and has subsequently become a top priority. Juco tight end Jean Sifrin (Torrance, Calif./El Camino College), who is originally from Miami (Fla.), also holds a USC offer.

@kingrmo, via Twitter: With all the recruits that have come by lately, who would SC have the best chance of flipping on signing day?

WeAreSC: That’s an interesting question. Of the recent visitors, Miami (Fla.) quarterback commit Brad Kaaya (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) and Cal athlete commit Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) were the two most notable. Kaaya doesn’t have a USC offer, but Wadood does, so at this point I would have to say Wadood is more likely to flip. He wants to leave Los Angeles for college, though, so I wouldn’t necessarily say the chance of a flip is very high. I’d also expect four-star offensive guard Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial), who is committed to Alabama, to visit the Coliseum at some point this fall. If the Trojans are able to land his good friend Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and perform well on the field this year, I could see Talamaivao at least weighing the USC offer a bit more.

@louisakatiger, via Twitter: Why does USC not go after Kaleb McGary? He is a solid lineman with good footwork, great size and we need as many O-linemen as we can get. USC needs to get Damien Mama. He is a key for us.

WeAreSC: The Trojans have offered McGary and he’s considering an official visit to USC, though he doesn’t appear to be anywhere near a decision. And, yes, Mama would instantly catapult USC’s class of linemen to the top of the Pac-12 rankings.