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Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Recruiting: USC in-state 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 our monthly glance at 10 of the Trojans’ top in-state recruiting targets:

DT Rasheem Green
6-foot-5, 289 pounds
Position rank: No. 4
ESPN 300 rank: No. 17
The latest: Green called USC a “top school” for him, citing proximity, prestige and his blooming relationship with new defensive line coach Chris Wilson, whose son, Caleb, is a quarterback and teammate of Green's at Gardena (Calif.) Serra. The dominant lineman visited Pac-12 North rivals Oregon and Stanford this spring, but it’s clear that the Trojans could still be considered the front-runner.

DE Keisean Lucier-South
6-5, 218
Position rank: No. 6
ESPN 300 rank: No. 18
The latest: Lucier-South drew a visit from USC just before the end of the spring evaluation period and it certainly sounds like the Trojans have some work to do if they are to pull the top recruit from Orange County in this cycle. He has worked extensively at outside linebacker this spring in hopes of improving his footwork and hasn’t shied from naming UCLA and Michigan as his top choices at the moment.

Iman Marshall
Defensive back Iman Marshall, ranked No. 20 in the ESPN 300, seems intent on taking several visits before making a decision.
CB Iman Marshall
6-1, 195
Position rank: No. 3
ESPN 300 rank: No. 20
The latest: Marshall landed an offer from Texas recently and the sense is that he wants to use all five of his official visits to see out-of-state programs, similar to what former teammate and USC incoming freshman John “Juju” Smith did last fall. Still, Marshall holds the Trojans in high regard and should be a regular at the Coliseum this fall.

WR Equanimeous St. Brown
6-5, 205
Position rank: No. 8
ESPN 300 rank: No. 52
The latest: A recent offer from LSU was big for St. Brown, who has an upcoming trip to the Midwest on his summer itinerary. USC dropped by his school a couple times during the evaluation period to check on him and dual-threat quarterback Travis Waller.

ILB John Houston Jr.
6-3, 215
Position rank: No. 3
ESPN 300 rank: No. 88
The latest: Track and field obligations limited Houston’s participation in spring football, but that won’t hurt how recruiters view the rangy linebacker moving forward. USC, which added a verbal commitment from inside linebacker Cameron Smith, would like nothing more than to pair him with Houston after missing the cut for top-rated prospect Justin Hilliard.

FS Marvell Tell
6-2, 185
Position rank: No. 5
ESPN 300 rank: No. 97
The latest: According to a source, there might not be a school recruiting Tell harder than Washington State, which he visited in early March. Tell was impressed by the Cougars, but it’s still difficult to imagine his landing spot being anywhere other than USC or UCLA. The safety earned an invitation to The Opening at the Nike Football Training Camp in Oakland.

DT Kahlil McKenzie
6-3, 305
Position rank: No. 13
ESPN 300 rank: No. 112
The latest: As it turns out, McKenzie maneuvers through the recruiting process nearly as quickly as he does against offensive linemen. After trimming his long list to a preliminary top five -- in order, no less -- the powerful prospect announced he would decide between Tennessee and Arizona at The Opening, leaving USC on the outside looking in.

CB Stanley Norman
5-11, 165
Position rank: No. 12
ESPN 300 rank: No. 115
The latest: The buzz has dissipated considerably on Norman, with both local schools dialing back their recruitment of the versatile athlete. Yet with so many prospects at Serra, the USC coaches figure to frequently stop by the local powerhouse in the remaining months, and Norman is hard to miss.

CB DeChaun Holiday
6-2, 192
Position rank: No. 13
ESPN 300 rank: No. 128
The latest: Holiday drew a visit during the spring evaluation period and said he has a strong relationship with assistant coach Keith Heyward, so the Trojans would appear to be in good standing for one of the state’s top corners heading into summer.

TE-Y Tyler Petite
6-6, 223
Position rank: No. 4
ESPN 300 rank: No. 133
The latest: Petite intends to announce a commitment at the end of June following one last unofficial visit to USC. He picked up a scholarship offer from Auburn this week, but said it didn’t impact his recruitment much. Duke, which he visited earlier in the spring, appears to be the other contender, though the Trojans have to feel good about their odds.