Commentary

Top five USC-ND recruiting battles

USC-Notre Dame might be more spirited in the living room than the field

Updated: October 18, 2011, 3:21 PM ET
By Erik McKinney | We Are SC
LOS ANGELES -- The USC Trojans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will battle on the gridiron for the 83rd time this weekend, but that pales in comparison to the number of times the programs have gone head to head on the recruiting trail.

WeAreSC takes a look at five of the biggest recruiting battles between the two teams through the years.

Pat Haden (USC quarterback, 1971-74)
A nationally recruited quarterback out of La Puente (Calif.) Bishop Amat, Haden had his choice of schools. And growing up in a Catholic household, Notre Dame was certainly a possible destination. But when his parents moved to Northern California before his senior year at Bishop Amat, Haden moved in with best friend J.K. McKay, who enjoys telling the story of how both players wound up in cardinal and gold. Notre Dame was a serious option for both, but when John McKay, then the USC coach, sniffed out that possibility, he approached his son with a simple, one-sentence recruiting pitch that has become quite famous in USC circles.