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Thursday, January 10, 2013
Roundtable: Who fills out USC class?

By WeAreSC staff

This week's question, answered by the WeAreSC staff: There are four open spots in the USC recruiting class. How do you think they will be filled?
Garry Paskwietz
1. Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer): This one is a long way away from being over, and that’s why the upcoming official visit for Vanderdoes on Jan. 17 is so critical. Vanderdoes made it clear when he decommitted from USC that the Trojans were still very much in consideration and the visit will be a chance to remind him of why he chose USC in the first place.

Eddie Vanderdoes
Five-star defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes is one of six decommits that USC has suffered in the 2013 class.
2. Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley): Fitts was stunned to get the news that he wouldn’t be able to enroll at USC next week for the spring semester and now he will regroup to make his next decision. Does he look to choose another school -- possibly for the spring -- or does he look to enroll at USC next fall? Fitts has been a USC fan for a long time and that pull could be enough in the long run to keep him in the fold.

3. Quinton Powell (Daytona Beach, Fla./Mainland): The Trojans can certainly use another linebacker in this class and Powell would qualify as the late surprise that Kiffin and Orgeron seem to always nab from the Southeast. It doesn’t hurt the USC case that Powell has a friendly face on the Trojans as Leonard Williams attended the same high school.

4. A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights): Right now Robinson is a Texas commit, and he’s been really quiet on the topic of the Trojans ever since he took a visit to USC in December. If Orgeron can convince Robinson to flip,it would give USC a terrific foundation – along with Kenny Bigelow and Vanderdoes – to build for the future of the interior of the Trojans defensive line. Greg Katz
1. Fitts: I know that Fitts was badly hurt emotionally by the school's decision to have him enter the university after the spring, and it certainly doesn’t help matters that his high school coach is understandably angry, but the reality is the kid has always been a Trojan and Lane Kiffin didn’t pull the offer. Here’s hoping cooler heads prevail and the kid goes with his cardinal and gold heart.

2. Vanderdoes: It wouldn’t be a total shocker if Vanderdoes decides to take his talent elsewhere, but the feeling here is that in the end Big Eddie will stay true to his original commitment. I think the positives for Vanderdoes to sign with the Trojans will outweigh the negatives, especially if academics really are a consideration along with baseball, which I think they are.

3. Powell: This is one player to really keep an eye on for a number of reasons. First, Powell’s former high school teammate is current Trojans defensive tackle Williams, the Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year. Second, Powell saw how Williams was recruited by the Trojans and the eventual result. Third, Orgeron can sell Powell on the same virtues to become a Trojan, and it’ll have credibility. Lastly, the Trojans need linebackers, so there’s a legitimate opening there.

4. OT Desmond Harrison (San Pablo, Calif./Contra Costa College): The Trojans need more depth and options at tackle for 2013. If freshman Max Tuerk is moved to left guard, the Trojans will need somebody to compete with Aundrey Walker. Redshirt freshman Zach Banner could be an option if Tuerk is moved to guard. No matter how you look at it, Harrison would be a body needed to compete for tackle spot. Given that the Trojans will be looking to be more physical next season along the offensive line, Harrison would be an option.

Johnny Curren
1. Vanderdoes: With the Trojans still holding down the spot for his last official visit, something tells me Orgeron is going to reel him back in. His addition would give USC a phenomenal presence on the interior of the defensive line, not to mention added depth – something they’ll need if they’re going to step up their level of production in 2013.

2. Robinson: Could the Trojans add yet another blue-chip talent at defensive tackle, making this one of Orgeron’s most prolific hauls ever? Robinson hasn’t done a lot of talking since his Dec. 7 visit to USC, so nobody except Robinson knows for sure. But if he was completely solid in his verbal commitment to Texas, then he would have likely shut down his recruitment long ago. Something is causing him to at least look around. The longer he does, the more time Orgeron and Co. have to build their relationship with both he and his mother.

3. Powell: With all three starting USC linebackers entering their junior seasons in 2013, the Trojans could use another one in this class to pair with Michael Hutchings. Powell – a former Florida commit – is coming in for an official visit on Jan. 18, and this doesn’t appear to be just for a free vacation. He still talks to former teammate Williams, giving him a connection to the program. That's a crucial factor in the recruitment of out-of-state prospects.

4. Fitts: A lifelong USC fan who committed way back in April, my guess is that once he does that, he’ll ultimately decide to sign back on with the Trojans.

Blair Angulo
1. Vanderdoes: The fact that the Trojans have the last visit and final opportunity to make an impression should not be overlooked. The four-star defensive tackle has developed relationships with the other USC recruits throughout the process and that might win out in the end.

2. Powell: Ties to Williams could be big for the ESPN 150 linebacker.

3. Matthew Thomas (Miami/Booker T. Washington): USC makes a big impression on the five-star linebacker during his Jan. 18 visit to campus, giving the Trojans another much-needed body on defense.

4. Fitts: After looking around and weighing other options, Fitts patches up his relationship with the coaching staff and comes back into the fold. Seeing him in anything other than cardinal and gold next year would not seem right.