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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
How USC can use 20 scholarships in 2014

By Blair Angulo

USC will have an extra five scholarships to use on the next recruiting class after signing only 12 on Feb. 6. Here’s a look at how the Trojans could spend their 20 scholarships in 2014.

Quarterback: 1
USC got its top target this year in pocket passer Max Browne of Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline, and already has a pledge from class of 2015 signal-caller David Sills of Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy.

Players to watch: Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), Brandon Dawkins (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), Hunter Boyett (Miami, Fla./Westminster Christian School), Wilton Speight (Richmond, Va./Collegiate School), Ian Fieber (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo)

Joe Mixon
Joe Mixon is one of the top in-state running backs in the 2014 class.
Running back: 1
With “power backs” Ty Isaac and Justin Davis signing this year, look for the Trojans to pursue a change-of-pace speedster in the next class.

Players to watch: Nathan Starks (Las Vegas/Bishop Gorman), Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford), Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera), Leonard Fournette (New Orleans, La./St. Augustine), Kurt Scoby (Mission Hills, Calif./Alemany), Jalen Hurd (Hendersonville, Tenn./Beech), Sony Michel (Plantation, Fla./American Heritage)

Receiver: 3
Robert Woods declared early for the NFL Draft and Biletnikoff Award winner Marqise Lee could do the same after the 2013 season, making this cycle a crucial one for the corps moving forward.

Players to watch: John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly), Adly Enoicy (Delray Beach, Fla./Atlantic), Demarre Kitt (Tyrone, Ga./Sandy Creek), Jalen Brown (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Pointe), Mark Andrews (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain), Jake McCrary (Miami, Fla./Coral Reef), Dallis Todd (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), Dominic Collins (Lake Forest, Calif./El Toro)

Tight end: 1
At least early on, it appears to be an Alabama-USC battle for perhaps the top prospect in the state next year. The Trojans didn’t sign a tight end this year.

Players to watch: Tyler Luatua (La Mirada, Calif./La Mirada), Vincent Jackson Jr. (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit), Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure), Marquis Ware (Los Angeles/Salesian), Darrell Cloy Jr. (La Habra, Calif./La Habra)

Offensive linemen: 4
The Trojans got a head start on their offensive line recruiting, picking up commitments from Casey Tucker (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) and Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day). Adding another wouldn’t hurt.

Players to watch: Orlando Brown Jr. (Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge), Mason Cole (Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake), Damian Prince (Forestville, Md./Bishop McNamara), Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial), Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco)

Defensive linemen: 4
Defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow of Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian Academy was the only lineman to sign with USC after the decommitments of Eddie Vanderdoes, Kylie Fitts, Jason Hatcher and Torrodney Prevot.

Players to watch: Malik McDowell (Detroit, Mich./Loyola), Andrew Williams (McDonough, Ga./Eagles Landing Christian Academy), Jalyn Holmes (Norfolk, Va./Lake Taylor), Da'Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), Josh Frazier (Springdale, Ark./Har Ber), Bryson Allen-Williams (Ellenwood, Ga./Cedar Grove), Andrew Brown (Chesapeake, Va./Oscar Frommel Smith), Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett), Ainuu Taua (Lompoc, Calif./Lompoc), Denzel Ware (Crestview, Fla./Crestview), Nifae Lealao (Sacramento, Calif./Capital Christian), Gerald Willis III (New Orleans, La./Edna Karr), Deondre Clark (Oklahoma City/Douglass)

Linebacker: 2
Dion Bailey, Lamar Dawson and Hayes Pullard will all be juniors for the 2013 season, so if one or more turn pro, this position will be a high priority for new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast.

Players to watch: Tre Williams (Mobile, Ala./Saint Paul’s Episcopal School), Vincent Jackson (Tampa, Fla./Jesuit), Kevin Crosby (Bamberg, S.C./Bamberg Ehrhardt), Dwight Williams (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Raekwon McMillan (Hinesville, Ga.), Kain Daub (Jacksonville, Fla./Sandalwood), Jamardre Cobb (Los Angeles/Salesian), Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary)

Cornerback: 3
USC needed at least two cornerbacks in the 2013 class but signed only Chris Hawkins of Rancho Cucamonga (Calif.) following Jalen Ramsey’s flip to Florida State on the final day. The position is wide open and in need of depth.

Players to watch: Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen), Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus), Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), Wesley Green (Lithonia, Ga./Martin Luther King), Kyle Gibson (Seffner, Fla./Armwood), Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central East), Malik Cyphers (Westlake Village, Calif./Oaks Christian), Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei), Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco)

Safety: 1
It might be difficult for USC to convince a recruit to sign given the recent additions of top-rated Su’a Cravens and No. 3-rated Leon McQuay III. Still, another safety would be nice in 2014.

Players to watch: Todd Kelly Jr. (Knoxville, Tenn./Webb School of Knoxville), Edwin Freeman (Arlington, Texas/Bowie), Trey Marshall (Lake City, Fla./Columbia), Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif.), David Williams (Los Angeles/Dorsey)