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Friday, April 13, 2012
WeAreSC Mailbag

By Erik McKinney

Joe Mathis
A dynamite trip to Michigan might have USC fans worried about Upland, Calif., defensive end Joe Mathis, but there is plenty of time for the Trojans in his recruitment.

WeAreSC recruiting editor Erik McKinney answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it here.

Drew (Monterey, Calif.): Why has USC not offered a scholarship to Eddie Vanderdoes? With the need for four DL recruits from this class, he seems like a natural fit with the size to play multiple positions.

I couldn’t say for certain why Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) does not hold on offer -- only that the staff hasn’t yet seen enough to pull the trigger. He is certainly on the radar and could be in line for an offer depending on how the spring evaluation goes. The thing to keep in mind is that it isn’t as though the USC staff has sprinkled offers all over the state to defensive linemen and Vanderdoes still doesn’t have one. There are two California defensive linemen holding offers right now (Joe Mathis and Kylie Fitts), and Vanderdoes has a realistic shot of being the third.

NJTrojan (Washington Township, N.J.): Erik, Heard Joe Mathis had a great time at Michigan. Is it possible we lose him to Michigan, and will Su'a follow his cousin?

Mathis did have a great time on his visit to Michigan. He will also be at Nebraska this weekend and I fully expect him to have a terrific report from his time there as well. It is possible that Mathis could end up at Michigan, but I don’t know if I’d bet that way yet. There is still a ton of time left for this recruiting class, and the USC coaches have made it clear that he is a priority. Mathis and his cousin, Su'a Cravens (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) have talked about going to the same school, but one isn’t just going to follow the other. They’ll both need their own reasons to go, and at this point, I think it will take quite a bit for a school to pull Cravens away from USC.

Ed (Las Cruces, N.M.): Erik, Do you think SC has a reasonable chance to land either Laremy Tunsil or Vernon Hargreaves out of FL?

The chances are much better with Hargreaves than Tunsil, although based on the in-state talent available, USC fans would likely wish for that to be reversed. Tunsil received a very early offer from USC and expressed interest, but it’s tough to see him heading too far from home. Hargreaves is a possibility, but with the distance and available cornerbacks in California, I wouldn’t say the chances are great at this point. But it’s tough to count out Monte Kiffin working defensive recruits in that Tampa area.

Jonathan Palmquist (Santa Barbara, Calif.): How many WRs do you think we will take in the next class? Does SC have legitimate interest from any of the OOS receivers they have offered so far? Do you think the coaches will offer Steven Mitchell any time soon?

I don’t think taking two wide receivers is out of the question, and there will almost certainly be one. Laquon Treadwell (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) has expressed interest, but is still wide open. It will be interesting to see if any of the Florida trio of Richard Benjamin (Tampa/Tampa Bay Tech), Travis Johnson (Tampa/Jesuit) and Taj Williams (Talahassee, Fla./Lincoln) make their way out to USC this summer for an unofficial visit. In state, I think the names to watch are Mitchell (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany), Francis Owusu (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), Demorea Stringfellow (Moreno Valley, Calif./Rancho Verde) and Sebastian Larue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica). I’d be somewhat surprised if at least one member of that group doesn’t earn on offer at some point during the process. Mitchell looked very good at the recent Nike Camp.

Kurt (Durango, Colo.): Which OOS OL do you see USC having the best shot at landing and do you see the Trojans offering Khaliel Rodgers at some point? Thanks.

Ethan Pocic (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) is an interesting prospect and plans to unofficially visit USC this spring/summer. Offensive guard isn’t a position of need for this class, but Rodgers is definitely talented enough to take a look at. Because of his connection with David Sills and Kenny Bigelow, that might be a situation where he would commit pretty quickly if an offer came, so the coaches might need to wait and see what kind of space there is for that position.