USC Trojans: Tashon Smallwood

Breaking down USC's '14 class by position 

December, 19, 2013
A recent string of commitments heading into the dead period has left USC with only five remaining slots in its 2014 recruiting class. The Trojans have 19 total spots to use, as long as four of them are mid-year enrollees.

Here's a position-by-position look at how USC could allocate those empty spots, with a projection of how many players at each position the Trojans will try to sign:

Offensive line: 6

The Trojans hold five commitments on the offensive line, two of those from mid-year enrollees who already have signed financial aid agreements. They might not be done, though, as a big fish is still out there and possibly leaning toward signing with his childhood favorite. If the coaching staff decides a scholarship would be more important at another position, the Trojans might have to part ways with a prospect from this bunch.

Weekend recruiting wrap: Pac-12 

November, 18, 2013

A huge win at USC was witnessed by a number of big-time recruits, while Washington added a second commitment to its 2015 class and UCLA provided another statement to recruits, utilizing the talents of a two-way freshman. Also, a USC commit had a big day, and the top tailback in the West region went even bigger, in this week's Pac-12 weekend recruiting wrap.

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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Nov. 14 

November, 14, 2013

A number of Pac-12 programs will have a chance to make statements this weekend that could help them greatly on the recruiting trail. The biggest game will take place at the Coliseum, as USC hosts Stanford, but both Washington programs will have a chance to make statements, while Oregon will have two important visitors on campus.

USC's second chance

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Juco DT Wyche drops USC for Miami 

October, 22, 2013
The recruiting woes continued for USC on Tuesday when junior college defensive tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) decommitted from the Trojans and flipped to Miami, in large part to return to the East Coast next year.

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Pac-12 2014 recruiting scenarios 

October, 8, 2013

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.

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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Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

October, 2, 2013

There was no movement again from Pac-12 programs in the updated team recruiting rankings, as Arizona held firm with the top spot in the conference and the No. 23 class in the country. Stanford checks in right behind the Wildcats, at No. 24 overall, while Arizona State checks in at No. 35.

Trending up: Oregon

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WeAreSC recruiting mailbag 

September, 13, 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.

Dustin Perlberg, via @dustinperlberg: Is USC even recruiting Demario Richard?

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Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Sept. 12 

September, 12, 2013
The Pac-12 is featured in a number of big games this weekend, and a strong result -- especially in several home games -- will have a very positive effect on the recruits in attendance. While Cal is expecting a huge crop of visitors, Oregon and Arizona State will have their share, as well. Meanwhile, it's another day and another story at USC, where a story concerning the team was overshadowed by another concerning several local recruits.

Trojans still generating wrong kind of attention

The circus atmosphere at USC was extended on Wednesday as news of a players-only meeting came to light, then was refuted, then was altered to a "get together with a few players." On the recruiting trail, Wednesday brought additional intrigue, as a tweet from four-star running back Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) caught plenty of attention. The tweet, retweeted by WeAreSC's Blair Angulo and illustrated below, led to Richard suspending his account due to the backlash he received from USC fans.

What made this tweet particularly interesting is that while that sentiment has been shared off the record by a number of recruits in the past few months, Richard was the first to state it publicly. Beyond that, a subsequent tweet from cornerback Naijiel Hale (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) seemed to add to what USC is going through on the recruiting trail at this time. Hale, who received early interest from USC before committing to Arizona, is again hearing from the Trojans after several cornerback targets committed to other schools.

Pac-12 class rankings analysis 

September, 11, 2013

It's down to three Pac-12 programs listed in the newly updated class rankings, as USC fell out due to the decommitment of ESPN 300 DT Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central East), while Arizona (No. 23), Stanford (No. 28) and Arizona State (No. 35) all held steady.

Trending up: The Pac-12

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Recruits turned off by USC's poor showing 

September, 9, 2013
In a sport in which turnover is constant and there are very few sure things on the recruiting trail, college football has seen its share of rapid rises and falls -- programs or coaches going from the penthouse to the outhouse, or vice versa, in a short period of time.

Saturday night marked another low point in the precipitous fall of the USC football program. Trojans fans will likely debate whether the 10-7 loss to Washington State -- which featured 54 passing yards by two USC quarterbacks -- ranks above or below last season’s 21-7 loss to Georgia Tech in the Hyundai Sun Bowl, when USC totaled 205 yards of offense.

What is no longer up for debate is where this program sits in comparison to 14 months ago.

Lane Kiffin
(AP Photo/Jae C. HongThe calls from USC fans to fire Lane Kiffin were discomforting to potential recruits.
As July 2012 came to a close, USC held the nation’s No. 1 recruiting class -- one of the more impressive collections of talent in recent memory, featuring 18 terrific high school athletes -- and was a few weeks away from being ranked No. 1 in the country in the preseason Associated Press poll. The disappointing 2012 football season took its toll on that recruiting class, as eight of the 18 verbal commitments wound up signing letters of intent with other programs.

While an offseason filled with coaching questions led to a slow start to the 2014 recruiting class, Saturday’s loss might have put the brakes on it completely. That is, if Saturday’s performance remains the status quo.

USC picked a bad night to have one of its worst offensive games in school history. Several 2014 and 2015 recruits in attendance for USC’s first home game of the season were witnesses to prolonged boos and a chant urging athletic director Pat Haden to fire head coach Lane Kiffin.

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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: Washington State’s victory over USC on Saturday will give the Cougars plenty of ammunition on the recruiting trail and is only going to create more problems for embattled Lane Kiffin; and BYU has even more defensive help on the way.

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USC loses ESPN 300 DT Smallwood 

September, 7, 2013
The USC Trojans were upset by Washington State on Saturday night, and to make matters worse, they lost an ESPN 300 recruit, as four-star defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central) said he has decommitted.

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Critical positions in Pac-12 recruiting 

September, 3, 2013

Recruiting for the 2014 class bumped up another notch this past Sunday, when college coaches could begin making their one phone call per week to high school seniors. Today, we take a look at what position group those Pac-12 coaches might consider their most important position to add talent with this class.

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ESPN 300 DE Dorton commits to USC

August, 23, 2013

BELLFLOWER, Calif. -- Four-star defensive end Malik Dorton (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) became the fifth ESPN 300 prospect to join USC's recruiting class on Friday afternoon when he verbally committed to the Trojans in an announcement ceremony at his school.

The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Dorton, ranked No. 212 overall in the ESPN 300, is rated the nation's No. 20 defensive end.

Dorton, one of the area's top defensive prospects, had known for some time that USC was the place for him, but a handful of recent visits to campus solidified his inkling.

"Coach [Ed] Orgeron and I have a relationship in the making," Dorton said. "We talk very often. He's a great coach and great guy. I like the way he coaches. We'll see where that goes when I head up there more and continue to keep in touch with him. I know they only signed one defensive lineman last year, so there's a chance I can come in and play right away. The coaches have talked to me about that and I've seen it for myself at practices. I know about it."

Orgeron brought in only one defensive lineman in the 2013 class, four-star defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow. Dorton becomes USC's eighth commitment and fourth defensive lineman in the current cycle, joining ESPN 300 defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central), defensive end Austin Maloata (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and juco prospect Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College).

"I’ve never been to a game at the Coliseum, so I'm excited for that," Dorton said. "I’ll be at a few games this year. I know I’ll be there at the UCLA-USC game, for sure, and definitely the Stanford game. I’ll also be at a few small games, but the big games I’ll be there for sure."

Dorton, whose offer list includes Arizona State, Boise State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, UCLA and Washington, landed the coveted USC offer in early May. The Trojans are also in pursuit of teammate Damien Mama, an ESPN 300 offensive guard, and have offered ESPN 300 athlete Jaleel Wadood and 2015 quarterback Josh Rosen, the No. 1-rated pocket passer in his class. USC signed four-star offensive tackle Nico Falah from St. John Bosco in the 2013 class.

For Dorton, making a decision before the start of his senior season was important.

"Everything that I wanted to improve on, I did this summer," Dorton said. "Now the main goal is winning that state title. I can focus solely on getting a ring."

Pac-12 recruiting storylines: Aug. 22 

August, 22, 2013

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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