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USC Recruiting Rewind: The Top USC Trojan 5-Star Recruits Since 2002

Who's been the most successful five-star Trojans since 2002? Hint: Reggie Bush isn't one of them.

The 2015 #1 ranked USC Trojan recruiting class was loaded with top-tier talent, four of which earned the prestigious Scout five-star status. Since 2002, USC has signed 68 elite five-star recruits.  Which of the five-star studs lived up to their Scout rating? 

2002Winston Justice (OT)

5-Stars: 3 | Runner Up: Darnell Bing

Chris Humphreys - USA Today

Darnell Bing was tough to pass up as the top five-star of the class, but Winston Justice helped pave the way for three Heisman Trophy winners (Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush).

2003Steve Smith (WR)

5-Stars: 5 | Runner Up: Lawrence Jackson


It's crazy not to select Heisman winning running back Reggie Bush, but he was "only" a Scout four-star which makes him ineligible for the "Top Five-Star" of the 2003 class.  That honor belongs to wide receiver Steve Smith (Taft H.S).  

2004Fred Davis (TE)

5-Stars: 7 | Runner Up: Keith Rivers

Brad Mills - USA Today

There's a sane argument to select Keith Rivers, but if you're the only Trojan tight end to ever earn the prestigious Mackey Award, you're the automatic choice as "Top Five-Star".    

2005Rey Maualuga (MLB)

5-Stars: 6 | Runner Up: Brian Cushing

Aaron Doster - USA Today

Brian Cushing has gone on to have an equally productive NFL career, but Rey Rey was THE enforcer on a Trojan defense full of enforcers. 

2006Taylor Mays (S)

5-Stars: 8 | Runner Up: C.J. Gable

Aaron Doster - USA Today Sports

If you earn the nod day-one and go on to start for four years at USC, it's safe to say you've earned "Top Five-Star" honors.  

2007Everson Griffen (DE)

5-Stars: 10 | Runner Up: Joe McKnight

Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports

Joe McKnight was the gem of the class, but it's Everson who eventually has lived up to the hype in the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings

2008Tyron Smith (OT)

5-Stars: 4 | Runner Up: Matt Kalil

Getty Images

Tyron's pretty much followed the five-star OL script. Redshirt your 1st year. Start for three at USC. Go in the 1st round to the Dallas Cowboys. Become a top-five OT in the NFL. Sign a massive contract making you the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL at the time. The Hall of Fame is all that's left. 

2009Matt Barkley (QB)

5-Stars: 4 | Runner Up: T.J. McDonald

Getty Images

Both T.J. McDonald and Devon Kennard have gone on to have more successful NFL careers, but if there's a Trojan out there that did more to get USC through the sanctions than Barkley, I'd like to meet them. 

2010: Robert Woods (WR)

5-Stars: 5 | Runner Up: George Uko

Al Bellow - Getty Images

Woody was the gem of the five-stars, earing Pac-10 Offensive Freshman of the Year and breaking a number of USC receiving records along the way.  

2011George Farmer (WR)

5-Stars: 1 | Runner Up: None

Marqise Lee would have been the easy choice, but like Reggie Bush, he was rated a four-star prospect.  Which leaves us to the one and only choice of the 2011 class, Lee's speedy Serra H.S. teammate.  

2012: Gerald Bowman (S)

5-Stars: 1 | Runner Up: None

For the second year in a row, Lane Kiffin landed just one five-star recruit making the 2012 choice too easy.  Bowman contributed significantly more than fellow five-star George Farmer though. 

2013Su'a Cravens (S)

5-Stars: 5 | Runner Up: Max Browne

USA Today Sports

The all-everything, Cravens, has lived up to his lofty five-star expectations as a two-year starter. Year-three is shaping up to be an even better one.

2014Adoree Jackson (ATH)

5-Stars: 3 | Runner Up: Juju Smith

USA Today Sports

All three of the 2014 five-stars started as a freshman, but it's been Adoree' Jackson who's made the biggest impact in all three phases of the game. Did I mention he won the Pac-12 long jump title?  

2015Iman Marshall (CB)

5-Stars: 4 | Runner Up: Ronald Jones II

Kirby Lee - USA Today

It's way too early to predict, but Biggie has the clearest path to making an early impact for the Trojans from the highly rated class.


RELATED: Top Three-Stars Since 2002


Casey Cosgrove has been Vice President of Product for Scout since 2014. You can follow him on Twitter at @caseycosgrove.

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