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Thursday, February 7, 2013
USC: 2014 prospects to watch

By Blair Angulo

With signing day 2013 having wrapped up, it's time to turn our attention to 2014 recruits. Here are five in-state players USC will be targeting for next year's class:

Keller Chryst
USC is one of the many schools chasing after junior quarterback Keller Chryst.
QB Keller Chryst
Palo Alto
Chryst is the only 2014 signal-caller that USC has offered, so to say he’s coveted by the coaching staff would be an understatement. The pro-style pocket passer is a member of the ESPN Watch List and the son of San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst. He unofficially visited USC for the Oregon game in November and enjoyed his time at the Coliseum. Pittsburgh and Stanford have also offered Chryst.

CB Adoree’ Jackson
Gardena Serra
Perhaps the most electrifying athlete in the Los Angeles area in the 2014 class, Jackson has already bagged offers from some of the nation’s heavyweights. The two-way standout has always listed USC and LSU as his two childhood favorites, and both schools offered in late January. After losing out on Jalen Ramsey (Florida State) and Jermaine Kelly (Washington) on national signing day, expect USC to make Jackson the top priority.

OG Toa Lobendahn
La Habra
Lobendahn is already committed to the Trojans but will be an interesting one to track since he’s perhaps the top offensive lineman in Southern California. He is technically sound, having learned the trade from his father, Vince Lobendahn, who played at Utah. Vince was fired from Lakewood, so Lobendahn made the switch to nearby La Habra for his upcoming senior year.

TE Tyler Luatua
La Mirada
Arguably the most coveted tight end in the nation, Luatua has already bagged offers from the likes of Florida, Florida State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCLA and Vanderbilt. But the 6-foot-4, 230-pound prospect has not shied from naming USC and Alabama, where his brother Isaac plays, the early favorites. The Trojans didn’t take a tight end in the 2013 class and will undoubtedly look to add one next year. Assistant coach Kennedy Polamalu has been the lead recruiter here.

ATH John Smith
Long Beach Poly
On upside alone, Smith might be the most compelling athlete on the West Coast in next year’s class. Smith, who has been nicknamed JuJu, made a big difference for Poly, leading the Jackrabbits to the CIF Southern Section title and state bowl game appearance. He’s an elite prospect at safety or receiver, and USC recently extended an offer.