USC Trojans: Iman Marshall

BEAVERTON, Ore. -- It was a full day of on-field work as the linemen put on pads and the skill players were divided into teams for the start of 7-on-7 pool play.

Here's a rundown of some of the USC recruits in action:

  • WR Christian Kirk: I would say Kirk was as good as any player I saw today who wasn't named Calvin Ridley. Kirk had multiple touchdowns during the day from the slot, including a pair down the middle where he simply split the defense and outran everybody to the end zone. The common speculation among the recruiting media is that this one is a USC-Texas A&M recruiting battle, and whoever lands Kirk is getting a good one.
LOS ANGELES -- A loaded field of prospects converged on the USC campus on Wednesday for the first day of the Rising Stars Camp -- a fact that had to please first-year Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian and staff.


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Notebook: IMG 7v7 Championship 

June, 23, 2014
Jun 23
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BRADENTON, Fla. -- The IMG 7v7 National Championship held at IMG Academy over the weekend featured some of the top 7-on-7 teams from all over the country and even a few teams from Canada. The event, which included 12 prospects ranked in the top 50 of the ESPN 300, showcased some of the best talent you will find in a single tournament. Led by Alabama verbal commits Calvin Ridley and Shawn Burgess-Becker, the Florida Fire from South Florida defeated Tampa’s Unsigned Preps 20-18 in the championship game to take home the title.

Quarterbacks shine

There were several high-profile quarterbacks in attendance, and they lived up to the hype for the most part. Deondre Francois, who recently transferred to IMG Academy, made numerous impressive throws. The 6-foot-2, 188-pound signal-caller has a top three of Oregon, Auburn and Florida State and is planning to make his decision at the end of July.


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Considering how deep the Class of 2015 is on the West Coast, much of USC’s success on the recruiting trail this cycle could hinge on how head coach Steve Sarkisian fares in California.

With that in mind, here’s our monthly glance at 10 of the Trojans’ top in-state recruiting targets:


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When it comes to many of the elite recruits in California, it looks like it will be a waiting game in terms of hearing a final decision on their college selection.

With the draw of nationally televised signing day announcements, several of the top prospects appear to be in no hurry to make a final choice, instead preferring to line up a media partner and prepare for their moment in the spotlight.

Truth be told, you can’t blame any recruit who wants to enjoy the process and go up until the day when they can actually put pen to paper and sign a letter of intent. After all, this is their college choice we’re talking about here, and they have every right to handle things how they want, no matter how much it may test of the patience of fans wanting to know if the recruit will be on their favorite team’s roster next fall.

It wasn’t too long ago when the spring evaluation period (which just ended last week) was considered the first opportunity for college coaches to really begin their process of identifying and selecting which recruits they wanted. Sure, there was the occasional blue-chip player who warranted an early offer in -- gasp -- his junior year, but for the majority of players there was still a long way to go before any mutual decisions were made between recruit and school.

In 2014, however, that is no longer the case. It is early June and all 10 teams ranked in the top 10 of the ESPN RecruitingNation class rankings have double-digit verbal commitments. The USC Trojans sit just outside the top 10 at No. 11 and have eight commits.

This isn’t a subtle trend that’s developed lately -- it’s a bona fide game of musical chairs, and many recruits are grabbing their spots earlier and earlier so as not to be left out when the music stops and there are no more scholarships left. No position exemplifies this more than quarterback, where the top four signal-callers in California have already made their college choices.

What makes it interesting is that none of the other top 10 players in the state are expected to make a choice any time soon. Guys like Rasheem Green, Keisean Lucier-South, Iman Marshall, Equanimeous St. Brown, John Houston Jr., Marvell Tell and Kahlil McKenzie are all taking their time with narrowing down the schools on their wish list and preparing for campus visits and official trips in the fall.

There’s no question that being an elite player makes it easier to take your time while knowing that a school is likely going to hold your spot. And as far as the Trojans are concerned, waiting is a little easier when you have 25 spots as opposed to the last three years when being limited to 15 rides meant more of a balancing act than the coaches were used to at times. Things will get tight as signing day approaches and available spots begin to dwindle, and that is always part of the drama that comes with the world of college football recruiting.

So if you’re a USC fan waiting impatiently for word from any of the elite position players in the state, you may want to sit back and relax because it might be a while. But it sure could make for an exciting signing day.
The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today’s offerings: Many observers of football in Texas agree the SEC’s impact on the recruiting trail in the Lone Star State is going to only grow in the future. However, not every SEC team is making a beeline to Dallas, Houston and East Texas to recruit. Plus, both USC and UCLA did their best to impress one of the nation’s top corners recently.


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SANTA FE SPRINGS, Calif. -- As USC football players worked their way around the frenzy and posed with fans for photographs following the spring game last month at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, highly coveted cornerback Iman Marshall walked onto the field alongside other recruits.


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WeAreSC roundtable: Spring recruiting look 

May, 2, 2014
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Name three recruits that you would put at the top of the USC priority list.

Garry Paskwietz


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Considering how deep the Class of 2015 is on the West Coast, much of USC’s success on the recruiting trail this cycle could hinge on how head coach Steve Sarkisian fares in California.

With that in mind, here’s a glance at 10 of the Trojans’ top in-state recruiting targets:

DT Rasheem Green
6-foot-5, 289 pounds
Position rank: No. 4
ESPN 300 rank: No. 17
The latest: Green made unofficial visits to Stanford and Oregon recently and raved about those trips. He missed the USC spring game because of a track and field meet, but drew a visit from assistant coach Tee Martin earlier this week at talent-rich Gardena (Calif.) Serra.


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Tale of the tape: UCLA vs. USC 

April, 22, 2014
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There have been some significant pendulum swings in the rivalry between UCLA and USC since 1991.

That was the year in which the Bruins embarked on an eight-game winning streak against USC, which was countered by the Trojans winning 12 of the next 13 meetings -- though two were later vacated because of NCAA sanctions. Now, UCLA and head coach Jim Mora are riding high after two wins in a row in the rivalry, and things have gotten very interesting on the recruiting trail.


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More than 150 recruits were on hand at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Saturday for the USC spring game, an indication that the Trojans and their new coaching staff are again drawing plenty of interested eyes.


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ESPN 300: Top Pac-12 targets 

April, 16, 2014
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video
This recruiting cycle represents a huge year for talent in California, which means the Pac-12 should be able to put together some very healthy recruiting classes. In looking at the top five targets for the conference in the 2015 ESPN 300, it's no surprise that three come from Southern California. But if the Pac-12 wants to have a better overall finish in the recruiting rankings next year -- USC at No. 14 overall was the highest finish in 2014 -- the conference will need to reel in several out-of-area standouts, which is why the first two names on the list are here.


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video Throughout this recruiting cycle, RecruitingNation will profile a number of ESPN 300 prospects in the 2015 class, including an inside look at the prospect, his recruitment, a scouting report and what college program could benefit when he ultimately makes his decision.

Iman Marshall is already one of the most well-known and sought-after recruits in the West region, but don't expect to hear that name much between now and signing day.

Around the Long Beach (Calif.) Poly campus and the entirety of Southern California, Marshall is simply referred to as "Biggie."

"It goes all the way back to when I was a baby, from my mom," Marshall said. "I guess I was a chubby little baby."


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Same city, same conference, top-notch academics. Yes, USC and UCLA have similarities that oftentimes cancel each other out on the recruiting trail.

Both schools hold verbal commitments from coveted quarterbacks -- UCLA has No. 1-rated pocket passer Josh Rosen in tow, and USC has No. 2 Ricky Town. It would be safe to assume the rest of these schools' recruiting classes will likely be made up of the top prospects in the West region.

The choice might be easy for some, but other recruits considering the crosstown rivals must find differences between the two.


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USC recruiting target tracker 

March, 25, 2014
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Considering how deep the Class of 2015 is on the West Coast, much of USC’s success on the recruiting trail this cycle could hinge on how head coach Steve Sarkisian fares in California.

With that in mind, here’s a glance at 10 of the Trojans’ top in-state recruiting targets:

FS Marvell Tell
6-foot-1, 175 pounds
Position rank: No. 3 | ESPN Junior 300 rank: No. 33
The latest: Tell landed some major offers recently, with Oklahoma being a notable one, and raised some eyebrows by taking a trip to Washington State earlier this month. The free safety said he is open to leaving the area for college, but USC and UCLA could be tough to overcome. He wants to commit on national signing day at the local park where his journey began.

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