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Breaking down the Pac-12 South

11/11/2011

As the high school season heads toward the playoffs, the recruiting season will pick up as well. This week, WeAreSC takes a look at the Pac-12 landscape and offers a glimpse at each recruiting class, as well as the committed players still being pursued by the Trojans. For the Pac-12 North breakdown, click here.

Pac-12 South
USC Trojans
No. 17 in ESPNU Recruiting Rankings
11 total commitments
Top five commits in the class
• LB Jabari Ruffin (Downey, Calif./Downey) ESPNU Grade -- 82
• OT Max Tuerk (Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Santa Margarita) ESPNU Grade -- 81
• OG Jordan Simmons (Encino, Calif./Crespi) ESPNU Grade -- 80
• TE Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (Rocklin, Calif./Whitney) ESPNU Grade -- 80
• LB Scott Starr (Norco, Calif./Norco) – ESPNU Grade -- 79
Looking ahead: The Trojans have several players locked in, as Tuerk, Simmons, Starr and several others appear solid in their commitments. But the USC coaches will need to hold on to some others while attempting to bring in players who will provide both an instant impact and long-team production for a USC team that will start its mandated scholarship restrictions with this class. Not only are there big in-state targets remaining, several out-of-state prospects remain on the wish list, including Nelson Agholor (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep) and Noah Spence (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt).

Arizona Wildcats
Not listed in ESPNU Recruiting Rankings
15 total commitments
Top five commits in the class
• QB Nate Sudfield (Modesto, Calif./Modesto Christian) ESPNU Grade -- 80
• TE Taylor McNamara (San Diego/Westview) ESPNU Grade -- 79
• WR Julian Brooks (Chatsworth, Calif./Sierra Canyon) ESPNU Grade -- 79
• OG Zach Hemmila (Chandler Ariz./Chandler) ESPNU Grade -- 78
• OG Cayman Bundage (Oklahoma City/Douglass) ESPNU Grade -- 78
Commits on USC's radar: The Trojans offered a scholarship to McNamara before accepting a commitment from Cope-Fitzpatrick. It appears McNamara could be opening up again, but it looks like Colorado, California and Washington will be the major players. The USC coaches are familiar with Wildcats commits DE Kyle Kelley (Irvine, Calif./Woodbridge), DT Dwight Melvin (Laveen, Ariz./Betty H. Fairfax) and S Devian Shelton (Inglewood, Calif./Inglewood), although it would be a slight surprise if an offer was made to one of them.
Looking ahead: As Arizona hunts for a head coach to replace Mike Stoops, there is the potential for the top recruits to head elsewhere or for a dynamic presence to step in and solidify the group as well as add uncommitted players.