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Monday, November 18, 2013
Notebook: Marshall on USC experience

By Blair Angulo

When the final second ticked off the clock and USC completed its upset of Stanford on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Iman Marshall (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) was so excited that he nearly stormed the field along with thousands of fans.

His father, Tony, was there to hold him back.

“I didn’t think it was safe so I pulled him back along with a couple of other recruits,” Tony said. “We took pictures and just looked out onto the field. It was something we have never seen or experienced before. It was something you see in March Madness. The energy level was crazy; it felt like a championship fight in Las Vegas.”

Iman Marshall
Iman Marshall soaked up the USC experience after the Trojans' big win over Stanford.
Marshall, the No. 4-ranked cornerback who earned a rare invitation to The Opening as a rising junior this past summer, is undoubtedly one of USC’s most important recruits for the 2015 class. Though he is far from making a college decision, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect has been impressed by the turnaround under interim head coach Ed Orgeron.

“They’re playing with intensity, and it seems like they’re having fun,” said Marshall, whose most recent scholarship offer came from Miami. “Coach Orgeron has those guys upbeat. I want to see SC be SC again, playing SC football and having fun. It’s great to see the players enjoying themselves, going out there and balling.”

That much was evident on Saturday, when the Trojans put on a show for all the recruits and their parents to see.

“They made history in a sense that people will look back at that win and say that it was the moment USC changed for the better,” Tony said. “We’re in Southern California, the entertainment capital of the world. You’re not just competing with the Lakers and Dodgers; you’re competing against Hollywood and entertainment as a whole. It was crazy for kids to see that. That’s what kids remember from the Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart era. Kids always want to find a reason to go to USC, and I think they saw that against Stanford.”

Alhough programs from across the nation have entered the picture, it’s already shaping up as a USC-UCLA battle for the No. 43 player in the 2015 class. UCLA was the first school to offer Marshall a scholarship, and he has taken a liking to head coach Jim Mora.

“They’re great, intense and play fast,” Marshall said of the Bruins. “Coach Mora has them on another level. The pro staff that’s up there is second to none, and it’s exciting to watch them play every week.”

The Marshalls plan to attend UCLA’s monster matchup against Arizona State at the Rose Bowl this weekend, hoping for a Bruins victory so that it sets up another massive showdown at the Coliseum against USC on Nov. 30.

“You felt like UCLA was on the verge of capturing the city,” Tony said. “But now USC is back in it. We can’t wait for the crosstown game.”

WeAreSC recruiting roundup

" ESPN 300 quarterback Brad Kaaya (West Hills, Calif./Chaminade) doesn’t plan to reassess his commitment to Miami until after the high school football season, but he got a good look at childhood favorite USC on Saturday when he visited the Coliseum. The four-star prospect landed a scholarship offer shortly after Lane Kiffin was fired and would appear to be the only option at the position if the Trojans take a quarterback in the 2014 class. “I didn’t talk to any coaches,” Kaaya said. “They aren’t really coming that hard right now -- just friendly talk.” Boise State commit Jalen Greene (Gardena, Calif./Serra) and Drew Doxtator (Henderson, Nev./Foothill) were two other 2015 signal-callers in attendance.

• Elsewhere in quarterback recruiting, 2015 pocket passer Josh Rosen (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) took in yet another USC game and, according to teammate and good friend Shay Fields Jr., the No. 1-rated prospect thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere. It was particularly significant for the Trojans to put on a good showing against Stanford, the school Rosen has publicly favored before. That appears to have changed, with locals USC and UCLA battling to keep him in town. “He definitely felt the excitement at USC,” said Fields, who is committed to the Trojans.

• USC’s signature victory caught the attention of ESPN 300 safety Mattrell McGraw (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian), who visited Los Angeles during the offseason and intends to schedule another trip in the coming weeks. The four-star prospect is rated No. 12 among safeties in the 2014 class and, at 5-feet-10, 180 pounds, could be considered an option at cornerback. “It’s probably happening next week. I’ll set a visit date soon,” McGraw said. “Coach O and my position coach are like best friends. He came out to see us practice in the spring so I’ve spoken to him twice since he took over as the head coach.”

• Three-star receiver Don’Yeh Patterson (Carson, Calif./Carson) is at his third high school in less than a year, but the moves have not slowed him down on the field. Patterson has accumulated 452 receiving yards and six touchdowns in helping Carson reach the second round of the CIF Los Angeles City Section playoffs. He was at the Coliseum on Saturday and could emerge as an option at receiver. “The coaches are telling me they’re going to watch me closely,” the 5-foot-11, 184-pound prospect said.

• A foot injury did not allow four-star running back Demario Richard (Palmdale, Calif./Palmdale) to make the trip to the Coliseum, but he watched the Trojans intently from home as they faced a Stanford defense that prides itself on stopping the run. Richard said he recently sent USC his transcripts, and the Trojans are recruiting him harder now than when Kiffin was at the helm. The 5-foot-9, 197-pound prospect remains optimistic that an offer will eventually arrive, which would give him another local option. He has rushed for over 1,300 yards and totaled 27 touchdowns through 11 games.