ESPN 150 quarterback Keller Chryst (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), the only signal-caller with a Trojans offer, headlines the field of competitors for Friday afternoon’s Elite 11 regional at the 49ers training facility in Santa Clara. Chryst is the No. 2-rated pocket-passer in the ESPN 150 and the No. 4-rated player overall in California. Joining him will be Ian Fieber (Mission Viejo, Calif./Mission Viejo), JaJuan Lawson (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) and Manny Wilkins (Novato, Calif./San Marin), all of whom have garnered some measure of interest from USC at one point or another. Class of 2015 quarterbacks Tyler Hilinksi (Upland, Calif./Upland), Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco), Ricky Town (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure) and Damion Wright (Fontana, Calif./Jurupa Hills) are also expected to compete, an indication of how strong the position will be locally next year.
ESPN 150 running back Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom), who holds a USC offer, is a favorite to take home position MVP honors, as well as an invitation to The Opening. ESPN 150 athlete Devante Downs (Mountlake Terrace, Wash./Mountlake Terrace), the No. 2-rated overall player in Washington who has expressed interest in the Trojans, appears to be Mixon’s biggest threat.
ESPN 150 members John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and Michiah Quick (Fresno, Calif./Central) spearhead a loaded group of receivers that also includes the fast-rising Erik Brown (Fontana, Calif./Summit), Jeff Farrar (Upland, Calif./Upland) and 2015 wideout Trent Irwin (Newhall, Calif./Hart). At tight end, ESPN 150 members Dalton Schultz (South Jordan, Utah/Bingham) and Marquis Ware (Los Angeles/Salesian) are known commodities, but it will be interesting to see how Class of 2015 standout Kyle Penniston (Santa Ana, Calif./Mater Dei) matches up in this environment.
USC's 2014 recruiting class will have two representatives on the defensive side in line commits Austin Maloata (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and Tashon Smallwood (Fresno, Calif./Central). They figure to face stiff competition from ESPN 150 defensive tackle Nifae Lealao (Sacramento, Calif./Capital Christian), among others.
Five-star cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) sat out the Los Angeles camp with a foot injury, but will make the trip north in search of an invitation to The Opening. Four-star corner and fellow Trojans target Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) might present the biggest obstacle. Also of note will be the attendance of John Plattenburg (Corona, Calif./Centennial) and 2015 cornerback Stanley Norman (Culver City, Calif./Culver City).