NCF On The Trail: Michael Wyche

Top position classes: DL 

February, 14, 2014
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With national signing day in the books, RecruitingNation is looking at the top position classes. For the full series, click here.

Nationally (and SEC)
Texas A&M went into the 2014 class knowing that size and athleticism was an absolute must on its defensive front. And Kevin Sumlin and staff delivered on those glaring needs. Leading the way is No. 1 defensive end and five-star player Myles Garrett (Arlington, Texas/James Martin), who has the size, speed and power combination to be a difference-maker early on next fall. The 6-foot-5, 247-pound Garrett is joined at defensive end by ESPN 300 No. 203 Qualen Cunningham (Chandler, Ariz./Hamilton), and high three-star Jarrett Johnson (Katy, Texas/Seven Lakes), who has a nonstop motor. While the Aggies have some talented young defensive tackles, continuing to add size and athleticism to the interior was a must. No. 150 DeShawn Washington (Nederland, Texas/Nederland) and four-star early enrollee Zaycoven Henderson (Longview, Texas/Longview) add disruptive explosiveness and athleticism.

The Aggies had the nation’s best defensive line class; here’s which schools had the best in each of the remaining power conferences:

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.


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Notebook: Juco DT visits Trojans 

October, 28, 2013
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The USC Trojans lost junior college defensive tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) last week when he decided to switch his commitment to Miami (Fla.), but they quickly moved in on another highly regarded lineman.


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ACC recruiting storylines: Oct. 24 

October, 24, 2013
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The recruiting week in the ACC has centered around two states, as both Florida and Virginia programs added commitments while Miami has learned its NCAA fate.


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Early Offer: Banner day for Miami 

October, 23, 2013
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The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's regular feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Wednesday's offerings: Tuesday was a big day for Miami, as the Canes were able to finally put the lingering questions about NCAA sanctions to bed and also land a commitment from highly regard junior college defensive tackle Michael Wyche; recruiting fans will get a chance on Thursday to see why Marlon Humphrey is one of the nation's best prospects.

Hurricanes put questions in rear-view mirror
Miami has had to answer questions from recruits for nearly four years about what might happen when the NCAA finally handed down penalties from the Nevin Shapiro scandal. Those questions were finally answered on Tuesday, as Miami will not face any additional bowl bans and lose three scholarships annually over the next three years. The news was huge for the Canes’ recruiting efforts moving forward. It allows UM to put the entire matter to rest, and Al Golden and Co. no longer have to sit in the living room of recruits and talk about “what ifs.” The Canes are also through having to deflect negative recruiting that has gone on for years by other schools. As expected, Miami recruits were absolutely giddy when discovering the news, including four-star receiver commit Braxton Berrios, who said Miami is “full speed ahead now.”

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Juco DT Wyche drops USC for Miami 

October, 22, 2013
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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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Notebook: WeAreSC recruiting roundup 

September, 30, 2013
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It took USC interim head coach Ed Orgeron less than a minute and a half to utter the word “recruits” during his news conference Sunday following the firing of Lane Kiffin. Given how important recruiting will be for the Trojans the next two years, nobody would have been surprised if Orgeron blurted that word even more quickly.

[+] EnlargeEd Orgeron
Cal Sport Media via AP ImagesEd Orgeron will try to build some recruiting momentum as USC's interim head coach.
Known as one of the nation’s top recruiters, Orgeron figures to play an integral role leading up to national signing day in February. In fact, the energetic, 52-year-old coach had already contacted some top targets Sunday morning.

“We’ve already spoken to our recruits about the value of USC and what’s going on at USC,” Orgeron told reporters Sunday. “Recruiting has been one of our strengths here and it will continue to be one of our strengths. We expect to have a great recruiting class and continue to bring some of the best recruits across the country to USC.”

Orgeron’s pitch, despite his interim status and uncertainty surrounding the coaching situation, will be simple. He will touch on the education, prestige, opportunity and past glory.

“There’s a lot of great things about USC still here,” Orgeron said. “Nothing has changed about USC.”

In this week’s WeAreSC recruiting notebook, we touch on the impact Kiffin’s dismissal could have on USC recruiting and more:

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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.


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Best Pac-12 classes by position 

September, 10, 2013
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Arizona’s haul of 24 verbal commitments is nine more than any other Pac-12 team, while only one BCS program has fewer than USC’s seven -- Minnesota, with six. Oregon, UCLA, Utah and Washington have all yet to reach double digits. But this week, we take a look at which program has put together the best class at each position at this point in the recruiting process.

Quarterback
Strongest class: Stanford

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USC loses ESPN 300 DT Smallwood 

September, 8, 2013
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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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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
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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."


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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Weekly Commitment Roundup

May, 3, 2013
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ACC
Florida State
Alec Eberle | OG |Mechanicsville, Va./Atlee
HT: 6-4 WT: 271
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

N.C. State
Michael Till |TE-Y |Upper Marlboro, Md./Wise
HT: 6-5 WT: 260
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

North Carolina
Brandon Fritts |TE-H |Mentor, Ohio/Mentor
HT: 6-4 WT: 210
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pittsburgh
Connor Hayes |OG |Traverse City, Mich./West
HT: 6-4 WT: 270
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Virginia Tech
Travon McMillian |ATH |Woodbridge, Va./Hylton
HT: 5-11 WT: 186
Position Rank: #41 ATH
Stars: 4

Big 12
Baylor
Josh Pelzel |OT |Rockdale, Texas/Rockdale
HT: 6-7 WT: 334
Position Rank: #31 OT
Stars: 3

Chad President |ATH |Temple, Texas/Temple
HT: 6-3 WT: 195
Class of 2015

Kansas State
Sam Sizelove | OLB | Argyle, Texas/Argyle
HT: 6-2 WT: 229
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Texas Tech
Derrick Neal | ATH | Dallas/Lincoln
HT: 5-10 WT: 155
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big East
Rutgers
Peter Mokwuah | DT | Staten Island, N.Y./St. Joseph By The Sea
HT: 6-4 WT: 304
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Big Ten
Illinois
Chayce Crouch | QB-PP | Newark, Ohio/Newark Catholic
HT: 6-4 WT: 215
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Michigan
Juwann Bushell-Beatty | OT | Paramus, N.J./Catholic
HT: 6-7 WT: 330
Position Rank: #10 OT
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (120)
Under Armour All-American

Minnesota
Dimonic McKinzy | ATH | Kansas City, Kan./Wyandotte
HT: 6-0 WT: 215
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Steven Richardson | DT | Chicago/Mount Carmel
HT: 5-11 WT: 280
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Pac-12
Arizona State
Avery Anderson | ATH | Colorado Springs, Colo./Pine Creek
HT: 6-0 WT: 166
Class of 2015

Oregon
Morgan Mahalak | QB-PP | Kentfield, Calif./Marin Catholic
HT: 6-3 WT: 185
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Stanford
Christian McCaffrey | ATH | Highlands Ranch, Colo./Valor Christian
HT: 6-0 WT: 195
Position Rank: #34 ATH
Stars: 4

USC
Michael Wyche | DT | Monterey Park, Calif./East Los Angeles College
HT: 6-4 WT: 325
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Washington State
Marcus Griffin | DT | Bellevue, Wash./Bellevue
HT: 6-3 WT: 285
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

SEC
Georgia
Sony Michel | RB | Plantation, Fla./American Heritage
HT: 5-11 WT: 194
Position Rank: #2 RB
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (16)

Kentucky
Tymere Dubose | DT | Youngstown, Ohio/Youngstown Christian
HT: 6-5 WT: 245
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Darryl Long | TE-Y | Westerville, Ohio/Westerville
HT: 6-5 WT: 217
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Missouri
Thomas Richard | WR | Nashville, Tenn./Chris Presbyterian
HT: 6-0 WT: 181
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

South Carolina
Kalan Ritchie |TE-Y |Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek
HT: 6-6 WT: 226
Position Rank: #10 TE-Y
Stars: 3

Tennessee
Orlando Brown Jr. |OT |Duluth, Ga./Peachtree Ridge
HT: 6-8 WT: 348
Position Rank: #25 OT
Stars: 3

Kameel Jackson |WR |Arlington, Texas/Blinn College
HT: 6-0 WT: 200
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Vanderbilt
Mikale Wilbon |RB |Chicago/De La Salle
HT: 5-9 WT: 186
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Independents / Misc.
Boise State
Greg Gaines |DT |La Habra, Calif./La Habra
HT: 6-1 WT: 297
Position Rank: N/A
Stars: Evaluation Pending

Notre Dame
Elijah Hood |RB |Charlotte, N.C./Catholic
HT: 6-0 WT: 220
Position Rank: #8 RB
Stars: 4
ESPN 150 (49)

Quenton Nelson |OG |Red Bank, N.J./Catholic
HT: 6-5 WT: 289
Position Rank: #19 OG
Stars: 4

USC lands commitment No. 4 

May, 2, 2013
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After signing only one defensive line prospect in the 2013 class, USC figured to amp up its pursuit this recruiting cycle.

Fresno (Calif.) Central defensive tackle Tashon Smallwood became the first to commit, doing so at the school's junior day event in late February just moments after sitting down with assistant coach Ed Orgeron. The second piece fell into place on Thursday, when juco defensive tackle Michael Wyche (Chesapeake, Va./East Los Angeles College) unofficially visited campus and committed to the Trojans shortly after coach Lane Kiffin extended a scholarship offer.


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