USC Trojans: David Sills

With seven of the nine ESPN 300 prospects USC signed in the 2014 class being offensive players, the Trojans addressed some pressing needs on that side of the ball. Head coach Steve Sarkisian has already landed a major building block for 2015, and with 25 scholarships to hand out, he has some room to get creative in this recruiting cycle.

Here's a quick preview of what USC's offensive board could look like heading into spring:

Quarterback: 1


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Revisiting USC's 2014 resolutions 

February, 10, 2014
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Shortly after the calendar flipped to 2014, we presented five possible New Year’s resolutions for USC recruiting and new head coach Steve Sarkisian.

Here they are again, with accompanying retrospective analysis that indicates how much the Trojans truly accomplished in the month leading up to national signing day:


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For USC head coach Steve Sarkisian, this weekend was supposed to be about sealing the deal with some top targets who were officially visiting campus, but it quickly transformed into so much more.

Most of the focus centered on a group of highly touted prospects from the 2014 class, including John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), as the Trojans hosted a large group of recruits with less than two weeks remaining until national signing day. Yet, the buzz shifted toward the future as Sarkisian reached into the 2015 class to make perhaps his biggest splash since arriving from Washington, securing a verbal commitment from Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure), the No. 2-rated pocket passer who decommitted from Alabama earlier in the day.

Consider it a major coup for USC, which made Town its top priority at quarterback and managed to flip him in a short period of time.


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National signing day for the Class of 2014 is less than two weeks away, but the USC Trojans might have received some great news on Saturday in regards to next year's class.


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USC's recruiting resolutions for 2014 

December, 31, 2013
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A new year usually brings new aspirations. But in the recruiting world, hanging up a new calendar signifies the final stretch. It’s the beginning of the end.

[+] EnlargeAdoree Jackson
Miller Safrit/ESPN.comNo. 7 overall Adoree Jackson would be a big get for USC's coaching staff.
With national signing day just six weeks away, we take a quick glance at potential New Year’s resolutions for USC recruiting:

1. Sign an elite prospect

USC fans want both Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) to become Trojans, but either one would do, really. Whereas the 2013 class had the likes of Su’a Cravens and Max Browne as headliners, the current group lacks similar star power. ESPN 300 members Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) are no slouches, but Jackson and Smith would certainly take the class to the next level. New head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff would like nothing more than to finish strong heading into spring practice and the ever-important 2015 recruiting cycle.


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When USC enters the Coliseum Saturday to take on crosstown rival UCLA, it will do so with some of the area’s top recruits looking intently from the stands, many of which hold scholarship offers from both schools.

Some had to wait longer than others for the option to attend college nearby. More often than not in recent years, UCLA has been quicker than USC in sending out offers to mutual targets. In fact, of the 12 in-state prospects from the 2015 class that the Trojans have already offered, only four-star offensive tackle Zach Robertson (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) added USC to his list of suitors before the Bruins joined the chase.

Yet USC’s recruiting efforts are not necessarily harmed by this seemingly cautious approach. UCLA beat USC in offering the likes of Viane Talamaivao (Corona, Calif./Centennial), Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra), but the Trojans added them to their recruiting class nonetheless.

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There might not be a recruit that could be more affected by the firing of Lane Kiffin than USC quarterback commit David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy), whom Kiffin famously offered when he was only 13.


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Class of 2015 quarterback David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) gave a verbal commitment to USC head coach Lane Kiffin more than three years ago, but that didn’t prevent Kiffin and assistant coach Clay Helton from extending scholarship offers to local standouts Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) and Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) recently.

Rosen and Town -- rated No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, among pocket passers in the 2015 class -- warranted offers with solid performances at USC’s Rising Stars Camp, an event Sills also competed in. Thus, offers to both Rosen and Town would suggest the staff's evaluation is that they are on par with, or better than, the longtime commit.


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WeAreSC recruiting mailbag 

July, 26, 2013
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WeAreSC recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every week. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it via Twitter to @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

Kevin S., via @kevins6583: No Orange County recruits last year. Pipeline dry up?


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Summer recruit wrap: USC 

July, 23, 2013
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USC has seven verbal commitments in its 2014 class as the recruiting cycle rolls into August. Here are 10 things we’ve learned from the camps and events on the summer recruiting circuit:

Serious competition for five-star prospect

USC might have been the early favorite to land five-star athlete Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra), given the pipeline it has established with his high school, but that’s no longer the case as several national programs are vying for his signature. The dynamic playmaker recently took an unofficial visit to Tennessee and is set to check out a few other schools in the Midwest when he takes a trip to his native Illinois later this summer. He is also intrigued by Florida and LSU, and UCLA presents a local challenge for the Trojans as well. Jackson wants to play some receiver in college, similarly to how De’Anthony Thomas has been used at Oregon, so look for that to become a major factor moving forward.

Trojans still need a 2014 quarterback


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USC's recruitment of quarterbacks in the current recruiting cycle might be in disarray, but that hasn't prevented the Trojans from looking beyond this year's class.

In fact, not even a longtime verbal commitment from Class of 2015 quarterback David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) kept USC from extending scholarship offers to two local standouts on Thursday. First, No. 1-rated signal-caller Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) received the call from coaches Lane Kiffin and Clay Helton. Later in the day, ESPN Junior 300 quarterback Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) got the same.


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USC has held a verbal commitment from Class of 2015 quarterback David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) for more than three years, but that didn't prevent the Trojans from extending a scholarship offer to another signal-caller on Thursday.

Coach Lane Kiffin, who offered Sills as a seventh-grader, is now in the hunt for local standout Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), the No. 1-rated pocket passer in the ESPN Junior 300.


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HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. -- For Class of 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), last month’s Rising Stars Camp served as an opportunity to measure himself against other highly-regarded prospects, including USC commit David Sills (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) and fellow Southern California-based standout Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure).

Rosen also chatted with quarterbacks coach Clay Helton about the possibility of a scholarship offer, which might arrive soon despite the fact that the Trojans already have Sills in the 2015 recruiting class. In the current recruiting cycle, Helton put all of his chips on No. 1-rated pocket passer Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), who committed to Stanford just prior to the Elite 11 finals, and further options appear scarce as the high school football season approaches.


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A look at the top five positions of need for USC in the 2014 class:

Cornerback

Adoree' Jackson
Erik McKinney/ESPNThe Trojans are hoping to add CB Adoree' Jackson as one of their in-state targets.
The Trojans added only one cornerback prospect in the 2013 class after missing on Jermaine Kelly (Washington) and Jalen Ramsey (Florida State) on national signing day, and the lack of depth at the position appears to be a glaring issue heading into fall camp. Simply put, history cannot repeat itself in this recruiting cycle. With in-state targets such as Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) still on the board, USC could potentially haul in a great group of cornerbacks. If the Trojans miss on one or both of those, they might pursue other Southern California-based corners such as Denzel Fisher (Compton, Calif./Centennial), Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Jonathan Lockett (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) and John Plattenburg (Corona, Calif./Centennial).


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Rising Stars Camp recap 

June, 27, 2013
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LOS ANGELES -- Three-star offensive tackle Jordan Austin (Claremont, Calif./Claremont) became the sixth member of USC’s 2014 recruiting class by verbally committing to the Trojans late Wednesday night, but that wasn’t the only headline the annual Rising Stars Camp produced.

The coaching staff extended seven confirmed scholarship offers during the two-day event and might add to the class soon enough, as ESPN 300 outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) and four-star athlete Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) are set to announce their decisions next week at The Opening in Oregon.

Outside linebacker Jaylen Johnson (Corona, Calif./Centennial) was one of the prospects the Trojans offered on Wednesday afternoon.

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