The Trojans have fewer football scholarships to offer than every other Division-1 program in the nation. We know this.
But if you look a little deeper, your eyes will be pleasantly surprised.
USC is tied for the fourth best school in the nation in terms of average ranked commits. Only the usual suspects-- Florida State, Texas, Notre Dame and Florida--are set to bring in higher rated players in the class of 2012.
As the old adage goes: quality over quantity.
This team will be fine, because it is recruiting positions and players that fit into the system and because the coaching staff is doing everything it can within the boundary of those sanctions, like signing 5 midyear enrollees. And this fanbase needn't worry about the future because there will always be top-tier playmakers arriving to Trojanland every year.
Even with 15 scholarships.
Even as the college football landscape becomes more competitive and nearly every coaching job unsecured.
Even after Matt Barkley leaves.
There will always be players that will want to be Trojans. The kids that will make sacrifices in order to wear cardinal and gold they so dreamed about.
Like Christian Tober out of San Clemente, Calif. Tober is an All-County defensive back who corralled offers from Cal Poly, San Diego, Sacramento State and South Dakota State. He was his high school's Special Teams Player of the Year in 2010.
But in the end, the choice was USC. Tober turned those programs down to become a preferred walk on with the Trojans in the fall.
Because Tober wanted to compete with the best. A program that amassed 18 wins over two seasons was consider one of "rebuilding" and not "winning." It's either trophies and bowl games for Troy, or nothing.
Tober serves as a tangible symbol for USC during these times: this coaching staff is making do with what they can do.
There is reportedly a massive recruiting board in one of the coaches' rooms flagged with a variety of colors, based on how likely the player is to come to USC.
Some of the best offensive linemen in the country are likely at the top of that board. A few out of state players are probably up there, too.
And it's likely they will land most of the names on that board. That is, if they want to.
Ed Orgeron, Lane and Monte Kiffin, Clay Helton, Ted Gilmore, Joe Barry James Cregg (and even Pat Haden as of late) have been constantly traveling, eating an infinite amount of home-cooked meals and doing due diligence to find out everything about these prospects. The hope is that they can squeeze out 15 talented players to fill a small class that will pack a heck of a punch.
On Wednesday, National Signing Day, we will get a clearer idea of the kind of class that USC recruits. We won't really know the identity of this core until they enroll, as some players will almost certainly drop off or switch schools.
But by the time July or August rolls around, we will know just how good this class can be.
And by then, the rankings or numbers won't matter.
Only the talent will.