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Friday, June 8, 2012
WeAreSC Mailbag

By Garry Paskwietz

Robert Nkemdiche
TBD

WeAreSC publisher Garry Paskwietz answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it here.

Brady (Reading, Pa.): With Su'a Cravens' commitment and our chances looking good for getting either Max Redfield, Priest Willis, or Tahaan Goodman for the other safety spot, what do you think is a bigger need, CB Vernon Hargreaves or Mackensie Alexander, or DL recruits like Eddie Vanderdoes, Robert Nkemdiche, Joe Mathis or Montravius Adams?

I’ll go with the defensive linemen. I think the secondary spots are going to take care of themselves. There are several very good prospects out there this year -- such as the ones you have named -- but the d-line recruits are a little tougher to come by. The Trojans need to come away with at least two more big bodies along the line to go along with Kenny Bigelow and Kylie Fitts. Don’t forget about Elijah Qualls from Petaluma (Calif.) Case Grande. He has a USC offer and could fit nicely at the nose tackle position.

Andy Vasquez (Temple City): Do you think Max Redfield has been advised that they are recruiting him as an athlete similar to how they recruited Marqise Lee? I know they prefer him as a safety but as I recall the same can be said for Lee's recruitment. USC waited until late and almost lost him to Oregon. Do you think the staff will follow this lesson in order to keep Redfield? Fight on.

Very good observation and the answer is yes. The USC coaches are well aware of Redfield’s versatility and unique athleticism, one that can draw comparisons to Marqise Lee. As good as Redfield is on offense, the preference from the Trojans staff has been to look at him as a safety, but I wouldn’t rule out offense if Redfield is set on playing there. So far he hasn’t stated a clear preference for either spot.

Owen (Los Angeles): Can we assume that the Trojans will be looking to add at least 2-3 offense linemen in 2013??? I think that this is needed for this period.

I think the staff would like to add two offensive linemen in this class, but I wouldn’t assume that it’s going to happen. Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif/St. John Bosco) has a USC offer and will also consider UCLA, among others, but there is a strong feeling he will stay local. Falah is raw and athletic with a lot of upside. Another name to keep an eye on is Sean Harlow from San Clemente, Calif. Harlow is a USC legacy, as his father Pat played for the Trojans in the 1990s and was a first-round pick in the NFL by the New England Patriots. USC has also shown interest in Sean Dowling (Fallbrook, Calif./Fallbrook), who is currently a commit to UCLA. Both Harlow and Dowling will be at the USC camp this weekend, as will Cameron Hunt from Corona (Calif.) Centennial.

Jonathan (Santa Barbara, Calif.): If Michael Hutchings goes elsewhere, what other options are there for the LB position (besides Cravens)? Since the position is already so deep, do we even have to get any LBs if we don't get Hutchings?

Linebacker isn’t a huge need this year but it’s definitely a spot where you want to bring in at least one body, if not two. As you noted, there is always a chance that Cravens could grow into a linebacker, so that option is there. The Trojans are on the short list for Alex Anzalone (Wyomissing, Pa./Wyomissing) and they are making a run at Alabama commit Reuben Foster (Auburn, Ala./Auburn). The fact that there are so few elite linebackers on the West Coast makes Hutchings that much more of a priority.