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Friday, October 4, 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.

@godsoldier2k3: Hey, guys. How are we looking at picking up defensive backs that cover. Seems that other than defensive tackles, we need some long, athletic corners.

WeAreSC: Surprisingly, not many offers have gone out to cornerbacks in California, even with the high need. Four-star prospect Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) was a top priority and might still be worth pursuing, but he seems set on his UCLA commitment. The other obvious target is five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), though he wants to be a receiver in college. USC will get itself some cornerbacks in this class, but if it hopes to land some of the better ones locally, some minds will have to be altered. Right now, Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) is committed to Washington, Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) to Arizona and Denzel Fisher (Compton, Calif./Centennial) to UCLA. They would be very good candidates given that offers from the Trojans would likely give them something to think about. Out of that group, Lockett is the fastest, Hale is the most physical and Fisher is the longest. Then there’s the pursuit of Cal commit Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), though at this moment he intends to leave the area for school.

@louisakatiger, via Twitter: With new head coach Ed Orgeron, how do you see USC recruiting? Does it get better or stay the same? Which recruits are USC going after harder now with Coach O and which recruits should USC look at and offer?

WeAreSC: It will undoubtedly get better before it gets worse for USC with its ace recruiter at the helm. We’ve already started to see the Trojans pursue some prospects it was no longer in on with Lane Kiffin as coach. Assistant coach Tee Martin is scheduled to visit Gardena (Calif.) Serra for its game next week and we’ve heard the Trojans might pursue four-star outside linebacker Dwight Williams. USC was also scheduled to visit with Los Angeles Salesian earlier this week to see Arizona commits Jamardre Cobb and Marquis Ware, among others. As far as which recruits USC should offer, quarterback Brad Kaaya (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade), defensive tackle Ainuu Taua (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc), and wide receivers Alex Van Dyke (Elk Grove, Calif./Cosumnes Oaks) and Erik Brown (Fontana, Calif./Summit) are more than deserving.

D. Courtois (South Bay): Will USC sign a better recruiting class this year or will it be worse than last year?

WeAreSC: Tricky question to answer, but it could be better and worse. This year’s class could be better in a sense that USC figures to sign the allotted 19 (as opposed to bringing in only 12 in the 2013 group), yet worse since it’s difficult to imagine the staff bringing in the same amount of highly-rated talent. In terms of quantity, it will be better and good for depth. But in terms of quality, it might not come close to what the Trojans accomplished last February.