Commentary

Week-before progress report

A position-by-position look at where USC stands eight days before signing day

Updated: January 27, 2012, 1:34 PM ET
By Erik McKinney | We Are SC
LOS ANGELES -- With little more than a week until signing day, the wheels are in motion across the country. In Heritage Hall, the pressure of scholarship reductions is keeping this staff running slightly hotter than normal. National signing day is set for Feb. 1, and WeAreSC takes the pulse of the committed class and looks at what Lane Kiffin and staff could be shooting for come next Wednesday.

[+] EnlargeCyler Miles
Tom Hauck for ESPN.comIf USC takes a quarterback during this cycle, it will almost certainly be current Washington commit Cyler Miles.
Quarterback -- Committed: 0. Need: 0-1
It appeared that the only certainty of USC's 2012 recruiting class was that it would not include a quarterback. But that might not be so certain after all. USC signed two highly recruited quarterbacks last year and will have three young signal-callers battling to back up senior Matt Barkley this season. But with the possibility that the competition eventually could lead to a transfer, the coaches have explored several options at quarterback in this class. There was an early run at Jake Rodrigues (Rocklin, Calif./Whitney) before he committed and enrolled early at Oregon. Then there was a passing interest in Nate Sudfeld (Modesto, Calif./Modesto Christian), but no offer was extended. And recently, attention shifted to Washington commit Cyler Miles (Denver/Mullen). The interest in USC is legitimate from Miles, but it will take a very strong push in the final week for the Trojans coaches to convince him to switch his commitment. If a top talent like Miles doesn't sign with USC, the Trojans won't sign one just to get one, considering that the 2013 crop will be loaded on the West Coast.

Running back -- Committed: 0. Need: 1
The transfer of Amir Carlisle to Notre Dame and George Farmer's move back to wide receiver leave USC with just three scholarship tailbacks heading into spring ball. There is really no way to sugarcoat how badly the Trojans need a tailback in this class. Unfortunately, it is a down year in California at the position and the top two West Coast targets the Trojans did go after will be suiting up against them in the coming years. The top back in the state, Byron Marshall (San Jose/Valley Christian) is headed to Oregon, while KeiVarae Russell (Everett, Wash./Mariner) is on his way to Notre Dame. At this point, the Trojans seem to be pinning their tailback hopes on D.J. Foster (Scottsdale, Ariz./Saguaro), who is down to Arizona State, California and USC and will announce his decision this Friday.

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