USC capitalizing on local defenders

Trojans have a stranglehold on top defensive players from California

Originally Published: August 7, 2012
By Erik McKinney | RecruitingNation
The top-tier talent and overall depth in the secondary makes it an easy choice for the strongest position in California's 2013 defensive recruiting class. Led by USC safety commit Su'a Cravens (Murrieta, Calif./Vista Murrieta), seven defensive backs from the state are listed in the ESPN 300 and 10 are rated as four-star recruits.

While the West Coast isn't known for producing a large number of elite defensive linemen, there are a handful of national-level athletes this year. USC defensive tackle commit Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, Calif./Placer) is the No. 5 player in the nation at his position and was recruited by virtually every program in the country. USC defensive end commit Kylie Fitts (Redlands, Calif./Redlands East Valley) and Joe Mathis (Upland, Calif./Upland) have received upward of 20 offers, while Washington commit Elijah Qualls (Petaluma, Calif./Casa Grande) and Austin Hooper (Concord, Calif./De La Salle) are four-star standouts.

It's not a great year for linebackers in California, as just six rank in the top 100 in-state recruits -- although the guy at the top, USC commit Michael Hutchings (Concord, Calif./De La Salle), is one of the nation's best.

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