The coaches focused their attention on Gavin Dickey and Ben Olson with Olson recently giving BYU a verbal commit after dropping the Trojans in recent weeks. Ben dropped USC at around the same time rumors began popping up that Dickey had given a verbal to the Trojans and would be bringing at least one of his Lincoln HS teammates with him. Gavin has publicly denied any commitment and still lists the Trojans as his leader but Florida State has offered him a scholarship as a QB recently and they will be tough to beat as the hometown school and alma mater of his hero Charlie Ward. Isaiah Stanback is being recruited but would more than likely come in as an athlete.
All eyes are still on Lorenzo Booker and Hershel Dennis and the Trojans are in very good shape for both players despite rumblings in recent weeks that each will seriously consider the Bruins. The excitement of some national championship thoughts may have caused them to give a slight glance to Westwood but when all is said and done there is a reason both players fit in so well at USC and have listed the Trojans as their leader since the start of the recruiting season. Brandon Hancock remains the top choice at fullback as he waits to publicly announce his final choice between USC and Stanford. Brandon was on the sidelines for the Trojan victory over Oregon State and at this point his dad is pushing the Cardinal but Brandon's heart appears to still be with Troy. Those three players are at the top of the wish list while others who could enter the picture are out of state players Kyle Brown (Michigan) and Jason Allen (Alabama) with Frederick Collins from La Quinta getting another long look from the Trojan staff as well.
The Trojans have one confirmed commitment in Chris McFoy and another player in Brandon Browner who had earlier claimed a verbal but he has yet to qualify and his status is unclear at this point. McFoy fits the ideal profile of a Norm Chow receiver with his crisp routes and fundamentals and there are two other receivers at the top of the wish list with game breaking potential in James Finley and Terry Richardson. The coaches would also love to bring in at least one player to fill a combo RB/WR/KR slot and there are a few guys they are looking at including Alvin Marshall, Chris Davis and Ryan Moore.
A major priority and we have one verbal from a solid player in Chris Doyle but it is imperative that we add several more to this class. Winston Justice is the cream of the crop at this point and the Trojans are looking solid amid rumors of a verbal but Winston has publicly denied any commit while USC remains the clear leader on his list. Kyle Williams is still considered a Trojan lean and he is a player we would love to add and a couple other out of state targets include Brian Johnson and Tony Ugoh. Adam Koets is in the mix while Albert Toeaina has yet to be offered a scholarship but that is likely to happen and he could easily end up a Trojan. There has also been talk of Jake Kuresa on the OL and our coaches would love to have him there but he has expressed an interest in starting off on defense at the college level.
Manuel Wright is the tackle Ed Orgeron would love to have and when all is said and done I will take my chances with Orgeron leading the way on a top DL. Manuel will also be looking at all 3 Florida schools. Fred Matua has long been known as a potential USC vs UCLA battle and right now the Trojans appear to be falling behind in that race according to coaches at his school. We need to get one of those top two guys. There are a slew of out of state players and if one of them can end up a Trojan it would go a long way toward improving the class as all are top prospects. Chris Turner, Chris Anderson, Tamba Hali, Donnie Mateaki and Kwakou Robinson are all showing interest. There is also the possibility of a JC player with a family name familiar to NFL fans.
Another top area of need with the Trojans receiving a boost this week after Oscar Lua gave a surprise verbal. Lua was a relative unknown until a recent newspaper article caused the Trojan coaches to take a look and they liked what they saw from a MLB who weighs 240 and runs well. Keep an eye on Edmond Miles and Buster Davis from Florida as potential verbals as both are seriously considering USC while all indications are that Dallas Sartz will eventually grow into a LB during his Trojan career. We would like to add a JC player here as well with the top guys being Lance Mitchell and Danny Urquhart but the ability to get them in school by the spring semester may be a factor.
Justin Wyatt is an excellent example of a player who wasn't at the top of many expert lists at the start of the recruiting process but his performance this season has been more than enough to show why our coaches identified him as a player they wanted to bring in. Another corner to go along with Wyatt would be ideal with Greg Threat, Richard Marshall and Darius Connor all receiving consideration. Threat and Pat Watkins are primarily looking at USC because of the interest shown by Dickey and if Gavin ultimately chooses FSU then our chances with the other players will likely be gone. Jibril Wilson is a JC corner we like and we need experienced depth at that spot. Darnell Bing remains perhaps the top player on the wish list overall but the qualifying concerns are there and not likely to be answered before signing day. One player to keep an eye on is Doug Middleton, a hard hitting safety who is a little undersized but makes plays and really wants to be a Trojan.
All hail the arrival of Tom Malone. After an inconsistent season/career from Mike MacGillivray it is possible that Malone will be the most anticipated recruit in this class.