USC Trojans: DJ Calhoun

If the collective reaction from prospects who woke up Sunday to news of USC firing coach Lane Kiffin is any indication, the school’s recruiting efforts will likely benefit from the midseason dismissal.

In fact, ESPN 300 defensive end Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), who committed to the Trojans in late August, believes the firing might be exactly what USC needs.

WeAreSC recruiting mailbag 

August, 2, 2013
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 @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

[+] EnlargeErmon Lane
Steve Dipaola/NikeErmon Lane is one of several top-level skill players the Trojans are heavily pursuing.
@Retired728: What’s happening in recruiting on skill-position players?

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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- The battle between the Los Angeles schools for Northern California-based outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) ended Wednesday when the ESPN 300 member officially committed to USC at The Opening.

It had been a back-and-forth recruitment ever since the Trojans offered the four-star prospect a scholarship in early March, but Calhoun gave his verbal pledge to USC, where his sister, Deanna, is a redshirt sophomore on the women’s basketball team.

Calhoun thought about visiting some schools this fall before making his choice but apparently saw enough during his unofficial trips to the Los Angeles schools. He also considered offers from Arizona State, Cal and Miami (Fla.).

“I wanted to get the decision out of the way and focus on my senior season,” Calhoun said. “I’ve known for about two weeks.”

Calhoun became commit No. 7 in USC’s recruiting class, which heading into Wednesday was made up entirely of linemen. ESPN 300 offensive guard Toa Lobendahn (La Habra, Calif./La Habra) was the USC representative at The Opening during the week. The Trojans signed two outside linebackers in the previous recruiting cycle -- four-star prospects Michael Hutchings and Quinton Powell.

Calhoun’s commitment might have further implications as it relates to highly coveted teammate Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito), a four-star cornerback who earlier in the week said he intends to officially visit both UCLA and USC in the fall before committing. Calhoun, Pickett and good friend Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom) have talked about playing together in college, though Mixon, the No. 9-rated running back, said at The Opening he has cooled a bit on the Trojans and doesn’t know if they’ll crack his top 10 when he releases it in two weeks.

Video: WeAreSC at The Opening, Part 2

July, 2, 2013
Between now and Wednesday, WeAreSC will be live in Beaverton, Ore., catching up with some of the nation's top football players at The Opening. There are plenty of USC targets on hand, and on Monday, Blair Angulo caught up with one of them, while also breaking down the performances of the Trojans' defensive targets.

ESPN 300 CB Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) talks about the schools he'd like to visit Video, as well as the determining factors that will go into his decision.

When it comes to defensive recruits that USC would like to add Video to its 2014 class, players such as Adoree' Jackson, Quincy Wilson, D.J. Calhoun, Clifton Garrett and Richard Yeargin III all had impressive showings. But don't forget about CB Iman Marshall, one of only four 2015 recruits at The Opening.

Roundtable: Who should USC offer? 

May, 30, 2013
Dwight Williams, Naijiel HaleTom Hauck for Student SportsDwight Williams and Naijiel Hale are two SoCal recruits the Trojans would be wise to offer soon.
If you could offer any three players that USC has not offered yet for the class of 2014, who would they be and why?

Garry Paskwietz

LB Dwight Williams (Gardena, Ca./Serra): When watching Williams on the football field, it’s easy to see the similarities with current USC safety Dion Bailey. Both players have terrific football instincts and pursuit ability to the ball. Both are also considered “tweeners” who could play either linebacker or safety at the college level. No matter where Williams ends up, it’s hard to imagine he wouldn’t make an impact as one of 20 signees for the 2014 class, along with helping to continue to Serra to USC pipeline.

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Tales From The Road: USC 

May, 15, 2013
Every Wednesday, the WeAreSC staff will take a quick-hit look at some of the top recruits and storylines facing USC recruiting for the week.

This week’s targets: Assistant coach Mike Summers watched top defensive end target Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic) work out on Monday morning before checking in with Class of 2014 fullback A.J. Hotchkins (Tigard, Ore./Tigard) for the first time. “He told my coach they were very interested,” Hotchkins said. Lake Mary (Fla.) coach Scott Perry said assistant coach Ed Orgeron dropped by to see 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive tackle Adam Torres, whose offer list includes Florida State, Miami (Fla.) and Mississippi State. A stop at Brooksville (Fla.) Nature Coast Technical School for 2014 defensive end Rohan Blackwood was also on the itinerary, according to coach Charles Liggett’s Twitter account.

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USC pursuing out-of-state LB recruits 

March, 21, 2013
A dozen linebackers from the Class of 2014 have confirmed scholarship offers from USC and only one -- D.J. Calhoun of El Cerrito (Calif.) High School -- hails from the West Coast.

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