USC Trojans: Jamardre Cobb

Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Dec. 19 

December, 19, 2013
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The dead period runs through Jan. 15, and some recruits have said they will use that to take a break from recruiting, but that doesn't mean it will shut down for everyone. Coaches are still able to contact recruits during the dead period -- just no in-person contact -- and a number of recruits will be making commitments during this time. Over the next few weeks and through the holidays, Pac-12 recruiting fans will have a number of things to keep an eye on, including these five topics.

Who sets January visits?

With the dead period wiping out an entire weekend normally dedicated to official visits, recruits will have just three January weekends available to take visits -- the 17th, 24th and 31st -- if they'd like to commit and sign on signing day. Every Pac-12 program is looking to load up on official visits during those weekends. Stanford and USC look as though they will be very busy on Jan. 17, and Oregon is always able to grab a few late official visitors -- ESPN JC 50 WR Eric Lauderdale (Fayetteville, Ga./Saddleback College) is scheduled for Jan. 31. There are plenty of Pac-12 targets saying they will likely set up January officials to various schools.

Notebook: Mama will analyze USC 

December, 9, 2013
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ESPN 300 offensive guard Damien Mama (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) was a spectator to start the weekend, but he capped it with a championship trophy between his hands.

Mama accompanied good friends and fellow USC targets John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch) to the Inland Empire on Friday night, as the tight-knit group watched Trojans commits Viane Talamaivao and Austin Maloata of Corona (Calif.) Centennial capture yet another CIF Southern Section Inland Division title. On Saturday, it was Mama’s turn to hold the hardware with his friends watching from the stands at Angel Stadium.

As a result, Mama will have a little less time to focus on his recruitment as a 12-day dead period approaches. That might not be bad news for the Trojans.


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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Oct. 31 

October, 31, 2013
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Arizona State and Oregon added to top-40 classes earlier this week, as the Sun Devils grabbed another ESPN 300 prospect and the Ducks flexed their muscles in Texas. USC softened its policy against in-season visitors, while UCLA will look to take advantage of hosting a committed visitor of its own this weekend.

Arizona State adds another

It didn't come as much of a surprise when ESPN 300 outside linebacker D.J. Calhoun (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) verbally committed to Arizona State this past Sunday, but that didn't make the commitment any less important for the Sun Devils. Head coach Todd Graham's program is picking up steam on the recruiting trail as it puts together wins on the field. Calhoun joins teammate Jalen Harvey and four-star tackle Sam Jones (Highlands Ranch, Colo./ThunderRidge) as recent commitments for Arizona State, while quarterback Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin) continues to do an excellent job in selling the program to recruits. It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Sun Devils eventually reel in California prospects Michael Lazarus (Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley), Kammy Delp (Pomona, Calif./Diamond Ranch) and Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdae), as the buzz -- especially in California -- continues to grow. Arizona State now has the nation's No. 25 recruiting class -- up three spots due to the updated ESPN 300 -- and sits just behind No. 24 Stanford and No. 20 Arizona as the third-best class in the Pac-12.

Hollins hollers for Oregon


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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
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Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the Big Ten, check out our conference rankings:

1. Arizona, 24 commits: The Wildcats check in at No. 23 in the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that includes four ESPN300 commitments, including No. 120 overall Marquis Ware and No. 185 Jamardre Cobb of Salesian High in Los Angeles. Arizona will take its shot with No. 17 overall Jalen Tabor (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy), and teammate Dae'Juan Funderburk (Washington, D.C./Friendship Collegiate Academy) in December.


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Pac-12 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013
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This week's list offers a look through the Pac-12 at the potential best-case and worst-case scenarios that the 2014 recruiting cycle could bring for various programs. While a few of the best-case scenarios might be close to within reach for some programs, many of the worst-case scenarios would take a special brand of bad luck.

Arizona
Best-case scenario: Arizona doesn't hold onto all of its 24 verbal commits, but keeps all of its priority recruits in the fold. In exchange for some of the decommitments, the Wildcats are rewarded with a big splash from either ESPN 300 prospect John Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) or Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). A strong finish to the season also helps Arizona clean up in its home state, landing commitments from offensive linemen Natrell Curtis (Phoenix/Mountain Pointe), Andrew Mike (Tucson, Ariz./Sabino), Layth Friekh (Peoria, Ariz./Centennial) and junior college defensive lineman Claudeson Pelon (Mesa, Ariz./Mesa College).

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WeAreSC recruiting mailbag 

October, 4, 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 @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

@godsoldier2k3: Hey, guys. How are we looking at picking up defensive backs that cover. Seems that other than defensive tackles, we need some long, athletic corners.


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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

August, 28, 2013
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The same four Pac-12 teams -- Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford and USC -- are represented in this week’s recruiting class rankings, and two of those programs made the biggest jump, as it was more of the same from the two programs in the state of Arizona. Also, as the opening weekend of college football is finally here, keep an eye on several programs hosting home openers, as visitor lists begin taking shape.

Trending up: The Arizona schools

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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Aug. 22 

August, 22, 2013
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The Pac-12 saw an ESPN 300 running back alter an official visit and could be adding an ESPN 300 defensive end on Friday. Also, several recruiting battles could be on tap once official visits get underway, and Oregon State has its sights set on hopefully landing a two-towers addition at receiver.


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Things were much quieter for USC recruiting this July than they were in the same month last year, when the Trojans landed verbal commitments from eight highly touted prospects to bring their total to a whopping 18 before the start of the high school season. USC ended up signing only six defensive players in the last recruiting cycle, but the Trojans appear to be in better shape this time around. Here’s a breakdown of where the Trojans stand in their defensive recruiting heading into August:

Defensive end

Targets: Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Connor Humphreys (Portland, Ore./Central Catholic), Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), Jaylen Johnson (Corona, Calif./Centennial), Dewayne Hendrix (O’Fallon, Ill./O’Fallon Township), Da’Shawn Hand (Woodbridge, Va./Woodbridge), Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross), Dante Sawyer (Suwanee, Ga./North Gwinnett)

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Roundtable: Who should USC offer? 

May, 30, 2013
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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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Previewing the Oakland NFTC 

May, 16, 2013
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A number of USC recruiting targets are expected to put their skills on display this weekend when the Nike Football Training Camp tour hits the Bay Area.


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Recruiting notebook: Coaches hit road 

April, 16, 2013
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USC linebackers coach Mike Ekeler returned to his old stomping grounds Monday, kicking off the spring evaluation period by visiting ESPN Watch List member Clifton Garrett (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield South) and tight end Ian Bunting (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central).

Ekeler, who left Indiana in February to join the Trojans’ coaching staff, attended Garrett’s morning workout before making the 23-mile trip to Bunting’s school. Both prospects hold USC offers.


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LOS ANGELES -- Injuries continue to be one of the big stories for the Trojans this spring as it was confirmed after practice that both George Farmer and Su’a Cravens will undergo knee surgeries.

The news was more dire for Farmer after Kiffin confirmed the earlier media reports of a torn ACL and MCL in his left knee, which will force him to miss the 2013 season. For Cravens, he has a torn meniscus in his right knee and will undergo surgery Friday. The injury is the same as the one suffered by Silas Redd. Cravens is expected to miss 4-6 weeks and will be back in plenty of time for fall camp.

Su'a Cravens
Garry Paskwietz/WeAreSC.comSu'a Cravens is the latest USC player to get dinged in spring practice.
“Whenever there is an injury you hope, like Su’a, that’s it’s not going to be a long setback,” USC coach Lane Kiffin said. “With guys like George, those are the ones you feel really bad for. A guy who battles back and was playing well and then to have this setback.”

The Trojans entered the Thursday practice session with 20 players out of action because of injury and two more left practice – Torin Harris and Cyrus Hobbi.

“I don’t see any way we could practice like this in the fall. We wouldn’t be able to play a game,” Kiffin said. “Of the 22 guys who ended up being out today, 18 of them are scholarship players. With the roster reductions we already have we would not be able to give up that many players. We will start fall camp practicing this way, but I don’t think we will end fall camp this way.”

There was some good news on the injury front as Marqise Lee returned, albeit in a limited role, after missing two-and-a-half weeks with a knee injury. Lee seemed to be running fine with no major issues but he was held out of contact team drills. Kevon Seymour and Jordan Simmons also returned to action.

“Marqise was back, which was obviously good to see,” Kiffin said. “He basically took part in the first hour of practice and we’ll add to him as we go.”

George Uko was out today and J.R. Tavai took his spot with the first unit at defensive end. During the final team drill, Aundrey Walker was out and Max Tuerk had moved to center with Hobbi out, so the first unit left side of the line was walk-on Nathan Guertler at tackle and Giovanni Di Poalo at guard.

Receiver shuffle

With Farmer out, that means opportunities for players such as Victor Blackwell and De’Von Flournoy along with first-year players Darreus Rogers and Steven Mitchell. Kiffin also made sure to note the high level of play from Nelson Agholor this spring when discussing the receiver group.

(Read full post)

WeAreSC recruiting mailbag 

March, 22, 2013
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WeAreSC recruiting reporter Blair Angulo answers reader questions in his mailbag every Friday. Have a USC recruiting question of your own? Submit it via Twitter @WeAreSCstaff or @bangulo.

@kingrmo (via Twitter): Has SC expressed interest in Bryce Dixon? Looks like TE would be a big priority next signing day.

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USC pursuing out-of-state LB recruits 

March, 21, 2013
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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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