USC Trojans: Iman Marshall

ESPN 300: Top Pac-12 targets 

April, 16, 2014
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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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USC commit Ricky Town is labeled as a key building block for new head coach Steve Sarkisian.

However, Town would like to be known as an active builder, too.


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Highlights from the L.A. NFTC 

March, 10, 2014
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REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- A new season of the Nike Football Training Camp circuit got kicked off this past weekend in Los Angeles with a strong showing. It was a large turnout and had some good prospects, including several in the ESPN Junior 300. It is a strong year for quarterbacks out West, and that was on display at Redondo Union High School. The wide receivers and linemen also featured a good deal of talent. Here are the Recruiting Nation NFTC Awards, highlighting the top performers.


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REDONDO BEACH, Calif. -- Thoughts on USC prospects at the Los Angeles Nike Football Training Camp held Sunday at Redondo Union High School:

Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) came out and was one of the elite players in a very good group of quarterbacks. His delivery is so smooth and he had the added advantage of throwing the majority of reps to one of his favorite receivers, teammate, Lavan Alston (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure). When the QBs gathered for early drills, Town quickly took the first spot in line, something that any coach will appreciate to see from the QB position. The Trojans got a good one.


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Class of 2016 prospects are still nearly two years away from signing letters of intent, but some jewels have already started to shimmer in Los Angeles recruiting landscape.

The process kicked off last year for 2016 linebacker Lokeni Toailoa (Rialto, Calif./Carter) when Peter Sirmon, then an assistant coach at Washington, visited him at school. He followed that early introduction with an impressive sophomore season last fall and has since picked up scholarship offers from half of the Pac-12, with Cal being his first and UCLA being his latest.

The Trojans, with Sirmon now serving as the recruiting coordinator under head coach Steve Sarkisian, might not be too far from joining the race for the talented linebacker.


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If new USC head coach Steve Sarkisian intends to fence up the state’s borders in future recruiting cycles, he might not have to do much digging to find the blueprint.

The Trojans reached into talent-rich schools Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, Gardena (Calif.) Serra and Long Beach (Calif.) Poly on national signing day, landing the top-rated prospects at each powerhouse. With the state’s next crop of recruits being as deep as any in recent memory, Sarkisian would like nothing more than to experience similar success.

The significance of signing Adoree' Jackson, Damien Mama and John “Juju” Smith could extend into the 2015 class and beyond, especially with recruits from their respective schools spearheading the contingent.

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With the NCAA mandated scholarship limitations in the rear-view mirror, new USC head coach Steve Sarkisian will have 25 spots to fill next February. The Trojans said goodbye to the sanctions with a successful signing day, landing defensive help with cornerbacks Adoree' Jackson and Lamont Simmons, among others.

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


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For the first time in what might seem like an eternity to USC fans, the Trojans will be able to sign a full, 25-member recruiting class next February as the scholarship limitations come to a close. That means more possibilities and, perhaps, less of a numbers crunch in the weeks leading up to next year’s national signing day.

With that in mind, here’s a list of 15 uncommitted recruits the Trojans could have near the top of their board to highlight the 2015 group:

[+] EnlargeIman Marshall
Tom Hauck for Student SportsDefensive back Iman Marshall is high on USC's 2015 wish list at a position the Trojans need.
DB Iman Marshall (Long Beach, Calif./Poly): The shutdown corner they call “Biggie” would be a great get for the Trojans, if only because he plays a position of major need. USC managed to land Poly teammate John “Juju” Smith in the 2014 class and would like nothing more than to re-establish a pipeline at the Southern California powerhouse.


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Top 2015 targets: Pac-12 

February, 6, 2014
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After several of the top 10 West region recruits from the Class of 2014 got away from Pac-12 teams, the conference will look to clean that up with the 2015 group. It's off to a strong start, as the only two committed prospects among the top 10 are headed to UCLA and USC. The 2015 class in the West region is loaded and there will be huge commitments from any of the 52 ESPN Junior 300 prospects in the West, but there's no surprise that the top five Pac-12 targets are the top five uncommitted prospects in the region.


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USC gets head start on 2015 class 

February, 3, 2014
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While the last weekend before national signing day usually serves as a final chance to lock up senior recruits, USC used it to get a headstart on the 2015 class by hosting a bevy of top-flight prospects on campus Saturday.

The Elite Junior Day event proved productive for coach Steve Sarkisian, who extended scholarship offers to eight visitors, including local cornerback Taeon Mason (Pasadena, Calif./Muir), who verbally committed on the spot.


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Key recruiting visits -- Pac-12 

January, 31, 2014
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A number of big names will be on Pac-12 campuses this weekend for the final in-person push coaches can make before the dead period hits Monday. Listed below are 10 of the most important visits conference coaches have on their plates this weekend, as the finishing touches are put on some of the top classes in the country.

1. Wherever Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) goes, or doesn't go


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The West region still has a chance to greatly impact the Pac-12, as five of the top six recruits in the region remain uncommitted. And while a few Pac-12 classes still have a ways to go and others are looking for the finishing touches, there is still a most important commit for each program still out there. Here, we take a look at the one "must-have" recruit for each conference program.


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