Tuesday, March 25, 2014
USC recruiting target tracker
By Blair Angulo
Considering how deep the Class of 2015 is on the West Coast, much of USC’s success on the recruiting trail this cycle could hinge on how head coach Steve Sarkisian fares in California.
With that in mind, here’s a glance at 10 of the Trojans’ top in-state recruiting targets:
FS Marvell Tell
6-foot-1, 175 pounds
Position rank: No. 3 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 33
The latest: Tell landed some major offers recently, with Oklahoma being a notable one, and raised some eyebrows by taking a trip to Washington State earlier this month. The free safety said he is open to leaving the area for college, but USC and UCLA could be tough to overcome. He wants to commit on national signing day at the local park where his journey began.
DT Rasheem Green
6-5, 269 pounds
Position rank: No. 6 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 35
The latest: Green unofficially visited UCLA two weeks ago with his parents, giving the school that his mother graduated from an opportunity to woo him. USC hosted him the weekend before national signing day, and he said new defensive line coach Chris Wilson made a major impression on him. However, Green does not plan on committing anytime soon.
CB Iman Marshall
6-1, 195 pounds
Position rank: No. 4 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 41
The latest: “Biggie” earned an invite to The Opening for the second consecutive year and hopes to use the event as a platform to prove that he’s the top cornerback in the country. Marshall has visited UCLA twice since national signing day, but USC should feel good about its chances moving forward.
OLB John Houston Jr.
6-3, 198 pounds
Position rank: No. 5 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 51
The latest: A Twitter account posing as Houston committed to USC on Monday night, stirring quite the reaction across the social media site. The real four-star prospect, though, intends to announce at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January, and USC figures to remain in the conversation given its success at the local pipeline.
DT Jacob Daniel
6-4, 300 pounds
Position rank: No. 10 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 61
The latest: USC is firmly in Daniel’s top three along with Arizona and Notre Dame, but the Trojans could be considered the frontrunners given that he committed to the staff previously when it was at Washington. Daniel has bought into to what Wilson is selling, and it would not come as a surprise if the Carson native stayed home to play his college ball.
DE Keisean Lucier-South
6-4, 200 pounds
Position rank: No. 9 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 65
The latest: Lucier-South was perhaps the biggest name missing from the list of prospects that visited USC for Elite Junior Day in early February. It wasn’t for lack of interest, though, as the two-sport standout was tending to basketball obligations. Lucier-South, the defensive line MVP at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp earlier this month, plans to swing by campus in the near future.
WR Kanya Bell
6-0, 160 pounds
Position rank: No. 9 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 104
The latest: A knee injury cut Bell’s junior season short, but his recruitment has remained steady. There is plenty left to prove, especially with former sidekick Cordell Broadus now at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman, but Bell could be labeled as an early USC lean.
ILB Cameron Smith
6-2, 240 pounds
Position rank: No. 2 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 110
The latest: Linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator Peter Sirmon nearly bagged a verbal pledge from Smith at Elite Junior Day, when the Trojans extended the scholarship offer to the state’s top inside linebacker. At the time, Smith said USC was the leader for his signature, but his tone has since changed. The Trojans are undoubtedly among the favorites, but Smith admitted at the Pylon West Coast Regional 7-on-7 tournament in Las Vegas that he hopes to assess every option.
WR Equanimeous St. Brown
6-4, 190 pounds
Position rank: No. 12 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 115
The latest: St. Brown picked up an offer from Notre Dame recently and has USC on his short list -- perhaps in the top three -- but the elite receiver might not be any closer to narrowing his list. He has said he wants to commit sometime this summer after taking unofficial visits to schools in the Midwest.
CB Stanley Norman
5-11, 155 pounds
Position rank: No. 10 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 171
The latest: USC, which didn’t heavily recruit Norman last year, is back in the picture after the staff reassured him at Elite Junior Day that he will be a priority in the coming months. Norman has taken a liking to UCLA, which is recruiting him at both cornerback and receiver, but the Trojans don’t figure to let him go that easily.