- Erik McKinney, ESPN Staff Writer
LOS ANGELES --
The 2012 USC recruiting class is signed and looking forward to beginning its career as Trojans this summer. But before the recruits hit the campus, WeAreSC takes a look back at the 10 most significant factors that contributed to the class taking the shape it did.
1. USC's appeal is denied
This should be fairly obvious, but nothing affected the 2012 class more than Lane Kiffin and the Trojans being handcuffed by NCAA sanctions. With only 15 spots available, several would-be Trojans will now be suiting up for opposing programs over the coming seasons. Not only does the limited number mean the USC coaches need to hit on 80 or 90 percent of the class, but they weren't able to load up with the bodies that make up the bottom half of a normal recruiting class. Those bodies often offer the hidden gems that bump a class up a notch or two.
2. USC posts 10-win 2011 season
USC is a desired destination for some high school recruits no matter what success the team is having, and this Trojans staff has some of the best recruiters in the nation. But it sure becomes a lot easier when the product on the field is as exciting as the Trojans were over the second half of the season. While the turning point on the field was the road victory over Notre Dame, the biggest recruiting impact for may have come from the triple-overtime loss to Stanford. The Coliseum was rocking that night and the atmosphere created a scene where USC looked to be back. Winning every game the rest of the season cemented that thought and had local and national players buying into the Trojans.
13hK. Lee Davis