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Friday, November 23, 2012
Mailbag: Trojans recruits aren't wavering

By Blair Angulo

WeAreSC recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it here.

Jason Kane (via @TheJasonKane): In your honest opinion, do you feel commits are wavering in their commitment to SC football?

No. Not at all. Actually, an argument could be made that USC’s on-field shortcomings have strengthened the bond among recruits. Defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), who committed last November, told me this week that it’s been important for the recruits to stick together through the losses.

"If we can make it through this -- with everyone bashing the Trojans and bashing us recruits for wanting to be Trojans -- we can make it through anything," Bigelow said. "That's going to make our bond that much stronger. The chemistry on our team will be phenomenal.”

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that a large chunk of the current class intends to enroll early. Bigelow, Max Browne, Su’a Cravens, Justin Davis, Kylie Fitts, Chris Hawkins, Ty Isaac and Eldridge Massington plan to be taking classes at USC in January, meaning their minds are made up.

The others haven’t wavered, either. No. 4-rated defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) has said he would consider a move, but only if coach Ed Orgeron took another job. Jonathan Biles (via @Jonathan_Biles): How many recruits does Lane (Kiffin) lose before (Pat) Haden makes a move? His recruiting is his only strength right now.

I think that number is four or five.

It would be remarkable if USC went another two months without losing a verbal commitment, but this is recruiting, after all. Changes happen all the time. Kiffin’s seat likely would heat up a few notches if the Trojans were to lose, say, Vanderdoes, No. 7-rated cornerback Jalen Ramsey, No. 4 outside linebacker Michael Hutchings and No. 15 defensive end Jason Hatcher.

But until the recruits start bailing, the assumption is that Kiffin is safe for at least another year.

Craig H. (Venice Beach, Calif.): Why would Nico Falah say Oregon is back in his recruitment if he’s committed?

Falah has always liked Oregon. This past summer he tried taking an unofficial trip to Eugene following his participation at The Opening in nearby Beaverton but was told he wouldn’t be allowed to. He then set up an official visit for the Sept. 21 weekend before the Ducks’ coaching staff canceled. The interest has always been there, though, so Oregon sneaking back into his recruitment is hardly shocking. By finally visiting Eugene, Falah scratched an itch he’s had for a while.

Through it all, he remains solidly committed to USC. But if anything were to happen with the Trojans’ recruiting class, Oregon likely would be his landing spot.