Army game recap

It was a great day for future Trojans at the Army All-American game as verbal commit Mark Sanchez had a big day throwing the ball, potential commit Desean Jackson was named game MVP and new verbal Rey Maualuga was a dominant force on defense. Click below for more details.

If Desean Jackson wasn't the best player in the game then either Mark Sanchez or Rey Maualuga were. It's amazing to see how well the future Trojans did. Jackson is scheduled to make his announcement on the Fox Sports West Signing Day special but, based on what I heard today from members of his family, I'm feeling as confident as ever about our chances to land him. There's still a long way to go before the LOI is signed but right now the Trojans are in excellent shape.

It was a good and bad day overall for Desean. The good part is that he caught a touchdown, threw a touchdown, had multiple long catches and also showed his speed and ability to go up and get the football. One of the most impressive plays to me was when he went up and battled Justin King for the ball and Desean came down with it. Very nice play on his part. His throw to Ryan Perriloux for a score was a nice pass as well (looked like Desmond Reed out there throwing the ball). On the bad side for Desean was getting the touchdown called back due to penalty, muffing a punt return and also a silly play he made when he tried to dive in the end zone but he took off too soon and landed at the one-yard line. The officials correctly called a penalty and the ball was moved back to the 16 yard line. All in all we saw how explosive he can be in this game and, if he ends up at USC, the Trojan coaches will make sure the extracurricular activities are left behind.

Sanchez was terrific throwing the ball and moving the team as always. This guy showed that he is the top quarterback in the country, in my opinion he was the most polished QB out there today, and he showed his Trojan spirit by waiting in the wings for Rey to make his announcement and then coming in to give a bear hug to his new teammate. Mark threw a perfect deep ball to David Gettis for a touchdown and he also threw the TD to Desean that was called back. For what it's worth, Mark also is a good son as when he spotted a camera on him for the videoboard in the stadium the first thing he did was flash a victory sign and then said "I love you mom".

Maualuga was the most physical player in practice this week and he followed it up with a nice game. He made a great play to go over the center on his way to blocking a field goal attempt and he saved his best hit for the end of the game when he put a crushing block on an East player during punt coverage with less than two minutes to go in the game. Rey was really nervous right before making his announcement to attend USC and he let his father pull the hat out of the bag when the time came. I spoke to his former St Bonaventure coach Jon Mack after the game and he said "Trojan fans are going to absolutely love this guy. He's a great football player and a great person".

I thought Kevin Thomas did a pretty good job in coverage today, particularly during one stretch in the 2nd quarter where he made back to back plays. He had a lot of success in covering Patrick Turner although the East offense was so bad that it was hard to judge the effectiveness of their players.

Turner was originally scheduled to make his commitment during the fourth quarter of the game and the slot was planned to come right after the Maualuga announcement. Turner changed his mind, however, and said he wasn't ready to make a final choice. I think the best thing for Trojan fans right now is that many recruiting people I spoke with this week were surprised that he was considering Tennessee because he had been so clear throughout the process that they were not a school he would look at. They obviously did a good job of playing up the local angle during his visit last week but his heart is with the Trojan program right now and hopefully that is where he will end up. After the game Sanchez hugged Turner at midfield and was talking in his ear for quite a while.

Brian Cushing was pretty darn impressive and he had a good fumble recovery off the Jackson muffed punt. Brian had good agility and is very physical, while watching him play it was easy to picture him as a Trojan-type player. When the defense would come to the sidelines other players would head to the bench, get something to drink, etc but Brian would just stop next to the coaches, take off his helmet and wait until the next defensive series to begin. I spoke with him after the game and he said he and his mother will fly to USC tomorrow and the main thing he will be looking to see is how comfortable he is with everything. If all goes well on the visit I like our chances on this one.

Jason Gwaltney was affected by the lackluster East offense but there were a couple carries that he showed some pretty good power running . He's not very tall but he runs well and delivers a blow when he's about to be hit.


USCFootball.com Top Stories