Thursday, December 6, 2012
Breaking down the USC visitors
By Blair Angulo
The first big recruiting weekend has finally arrived for the USC Trojans.
With five of the six early enrollees and two other top targets scheduled to be on campus this weekend, the Trojans can start to put the underwhelming 2012 season behind them and focus on putting the finishing touches on the 2013 recruiting class. Here’s a rundown of who’s expected to be in Los Angeles beginning on Friday:
QB Max Browne (Sammamish, Wash./Skyline) -- Fresh off capping an undefeated high school season with yet another state championship, the record-breaking Browne will step on the USC campus for the second time since summer. The signal-caller thoroughly enjoyed attending his first game at the Coliseum on Nov. 10 when the Trojans defeated Arizona State, but this three-day trip offers the opportunity to bond with fellow early enrollees.
SS Su'a Cravens (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta) -- There were times when Cravens considered taking official visits to Michigan, Ohio State and Washington, but the top-rated safety solidified his commitment to the Trojans by announcing recently that USC is the only school he’ll see. Cravens is one of the early enrollees and has proven to be one of the more effective recruiters in this class. After the official visit, Cravens and Browne will fly to New York together for a player of the year award ceremony.
RB Justin Davis (Stockton, Calif./Lincoln) -- The four-star running back raved about meeting Cravens and some of the other commits during an unofficial visit to USC for the Oregon game in early November, and this weekend will serve as a chance to build a relationship with the other early enrollees. With Ty Isaac no longer graduating early, Davis will have the advantage of being on campus in the spring. "I want to come in as fast as possible to help out," Davis said.
Kylie Fitts has been a frequent visitor to USC since committing to the Trojans in April.
DE Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley) -- There might not be a bigger Trojans fan among the verbal commitments, so this weekend carries great meaning for the four-star defensive end, who always dreamed of attending USC. Fitts saw his high school season end prematurely when he broke his wrist on Oct. 12, but that didn’t prevent him from being a staple at the Coliseum all season, which makes getting a behind-the-scenes look of USC even more special.
CB Chris Hawkins (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif./Rancho Cucamonga) -- Though Hawkins has been solid to USC since pledging in April, there have been murmurs recently about the status of his pledge. According to sources, Oregon and Oklahoma are making late runs at the four-star cornerback, so this weekend has suddenly become a crucial one in his recruitment. Hawkins has officially visited Washington (Sept. 27), California (Oct. 5) and Notre Dame (Oct. 12) this year.
DE Torrodney Prevot (Houston, Texas/Alief Taylor) -- Though the coaching staff prefers that commits make USC their final official visit, Prevot will take his trip to Los Angeles this weekend with some uncertainty regarding future visits still lingering. The No. 21-rated defensive end has held steady since deciding on the Trojans in late July, and this will be the first time the out-of-stater meets some of the fellow commits.
ATH Max Redfield (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo) -- With Notre Dame also in town, assistant coach Kennedy Polamalu moved quickly last week and secured this official visit -- a highly important development given that Redfield, like McQuay, hopes to commit on Jan. 4 at the Under Armour All-American game. Notre Dame is the unquestioned leader here, but the Trojans don’t figure to stop pursuing the former commit. Redfield could also patch up his relationship with other recruits this weekend. A USC verbal commit recently told WeAreSC: “Once we pledged to go there, most of us really meant it. I know Max Redfield decommitted, but I felt that all of us committed and we never really had conversations with Max like that. We never really connected with Max. But everybody else, we talked and we share an anxiousness to get on campus.”
DT A'Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights) -- The longtime Texas commit has not been shy about naming USC his favorite school. Robinson, the No. 10-rated defensive tackle, excelled among elite competition at The Opening this past summer. The recent decommitment of receiver Eldridge Massington has cleared a spot, which could very well be filled by another lineman in an effort to add depth.
Elsewhere this weekend, offensive tackle commit Nico Falah (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and cornerback commit Jalen Ramsey (Brentwood, Tenn./Brentwood Academy) will officially visit Washington, while defensive tackle commit Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) will take a trip to Cal.
Four-star defensive tackle commit Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), the other early enrollee, initially scheduled to visit USC this weekend but has his U.S. Army All-American jersey presentation. Instead, Bigelow will be in town for his official on Dec. 14.
No. 3-rated safety Leon McQuay III (Seffner, Fla./Armwood) had also scheduled an official visit to USC but postponed the trip. McQuay has already taken trips to Vanderbilt (Oct. 12), Oregon (Oct. 26), Michigan (Nov. 9) and Florida State (Nov. 23), and the fact that USC has the last shot at making an impression is reason for optimism. the four-star athlete was wowed by a trip to USC over Labor Day weekend in early September and has consistently listed the Trojans in his top three. Last week, USC assistant coach Tee Martin saw McQuay at a practice and had an in-home visit later in the day. McQuay plans to announce his decision at the Jan. 4 Under Armour All-American game and, no matter which school he chooses, intends to enroll early. That would be a big plus for USC, which might benefit from the rescheduling of this official visit date.