NCF On The Trail: 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.

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.

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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