Defensive recruiting update

Now that the high school season is over the recruiting season kicks into high gear with recruits taking trips and finalizing their college choices. Click below for a position by position review of the defensive recruiting prospects for the USC Trojans Class of 2005.

Defensive line

If there is one position in recruiting that could be effected by the departure of Ed Orgeron it would likely be on the defensive line. The good news for the Trojans is that they recently received an important commitment from Averell Spicer of Rancho Cucamonga, a DE ranked as the #1 player at his position in the nation by scout.com, and Spicer said he is solid on his commit to USC even with the loss of Orgeron. "I was a little bummed at first but that's the way it goes. I'm set with everything at USC no matter who they bring in". The remaining targets on the DL all come from out of state. DT Walker Ashley was oh so close to committing to USC shortly after his official visit but now it appears a longshot that he will end up in Cardinal and Gold (Ohio State, Minnesota, Penn State and Oklahoma are other schools in consideration). The Trojan coaches will continue to pursue Ashley as he's got a good combination of size and footwork that is hard to find. Kyle Moore is a rangy DE who had a terrific visit to USC in November and he has the type of personality that would enjoy being a football star in L.A. Kyle is still looking at USC, Oklahoma, Miami, Michigan and Tennessee. Ekom Udofia is still a possibility although he says it's crazy right now with coaches moving around (new head coach at Stanford and new DL coach at SC). Ekom is listing a top five of USC, Stanford, Miami, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. Two other options are Shea McKeen and Gabe Long. McKeen is a teammate of top junior corner Myron Rolle and the USC coaches picked up their pursuit of Shea after a recent visit with Rolle and his coach during the weekend of the Notre Dame game. Shea has good size and wants a shot at playing tight end but so far the SC coaches are showing interest in him primarily as a lineman so it remains to be seen if he will take a trip. Long is a talented junior college player (Fullerton) who has size and athletic ability but his eligibility status for next year is unclear at this point.

Linebacker

The Trojans already have one solid verbal from Kaluka Maiava and there are two other clear targets at the top of the list for linebacker. Maiava was recruited by Norm Chow and Kaluka is an instinctive, hard hitting player from Maui who is similar in style to Lofa Tatupu coming out of high school. Luthur Brown from Lakewood is an impressive physical specimen and he has the ability to dominate from the MLB spot. The Trojans are in a battle with LSU as the leaders for his services as the former Mississippi native is currently looking at USC, LSU, Oklahoma, Miami and Arizona. He is scheduled to visit USC on the weekend of January 21st which is the next big recruiting weekend for the Trojans. Rey Maualuga is an extremely talented backer who has narrowed his choices to USC and Oregon. Rey had a good visit to USC for the Notre Dame game and there are a lot of signs pointing in the direction of him becoming a Trojan. Rey said Pete Carroll is also talking to him about getting a look at fullback.

Defensive back

USC needed a big year in the secondary for this class and it looks like that's exactly what will happen. We got two key verbals recently from corner Kevin Thomas and safety Will Harris to go along with previous commitments from safeties Michael Coleman and Kevin Ellison. Coleman and Ellison are both good all-around athletes who will enroll early for spring ball. The top remaining corner on the wish list is Cary Harris from Notre Dame HS and in a recent interview Cary talked favorably about the Trojans "USC is hands down the best program out there right now". He is also looking at Cal, Notre Dame and Oregon but the Trojans seem to be in a good position right now. Cary is quick and slashing in an Eric Wright style while Kevin Thomas is more of a lanky athlete similar to Terrell Thomas, they would make a great pair of recruits at the corner spot in this class. The top remaining safety on the wish list is Brian Cushing from New Jersey and he is currently scheduled to take his USC visit on January 16th, which is the day after the Army All-Star game. The Trojans won't have any other recruits in at that time so it would be ideal to have Cushing in the following weekend but he's a good enough player to take the visit when you can get it.

K/P

The Trojans are set at kicker with the commitment of Troy Van Blarcom. Troy missed most of the regular season with a knee injury but he returned to kick a 54 yard FG in the regular season finale and by the end of the playoffs his kickoffs were booming out of the end zone. As far as a punter recruit goes, if Tom Malone stays we will not bring in a punter but if he declares early for the NFL we would bring one in.


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