It was a very productive recruiting week for the Trojans. Pete Carroll and the USC staff picked up two recruits (Malik Jackson and Brian Baucham) for the 2008 class and secured the commitment of the top recruit in the 2009 class, Matt Barkley.
While the Mater Dei signal-caller won't arrive on campus until 2009, the commitment of Matt Barkley was the biggest recruiting news of the week.
Many fans and experts wondered what impact the hiring of Norm Chow would have on the recruitment of Matt Barkley but the gunslinger from Orange County ended all speculation before it could even start. Pete Carroll proved to be a step ahead of the competition yet again.
"I called (USC) Coach Pete Carroll to give him my commitment to becoming a Trojan," Barkley told Scout. "I am very excited about my decision, it is one that my family and I have given serious consideration to and have prayed about a great deal."
Barkley is the sixth commitment in the Trojans 2009 class that is already shaping up to be a very special class.
With Signing Day just over a week away the Trojans added two more recruits to the 2008 class. Birmingham HS defensive end Malik Jackson and RB/CB Brian Baucham both were offered scholarships and jumped at the opportunity to play for the Trojans.
Malik Jackson is a three-star defensive end that had a very impressive senior year for Birmingham and is considered one of the best pass rushers in the state. Jackson was committed to Fresno State but took an official visit to USC last weekend and committed on the visit.
Jackson has grade issues and could still have problems qualifying.
Torrance (CA), West HS running back/cornerback Brian Baucham was another recruit that found the opportunity to play for the hometown Trojans too good an offer to pass up.
Baucham committed to Washington State on his visit just last week but his recruitment was far from over at that point. Baucham, who previously had offers from Washington State, Idaho and Utah State, took a visit to USC this weekend and before the trip was over he was a Trojan.
"As soon as I got there to USC, they took me into Pete Carroll's office and Carroll offered me right there on the spot," Baucham explained.
Baucham was thrilled with the offer but waited to see how his visit was before he made a final decision. "I thought about it over the weekend and weighed my options," he said. "I waited and waited to see how the visit went and then I committed today."
Baucham will get a shot to compete at both running back and cornerback.
Horton will be available to practice in the spring but will have to sit out the entire 2008 season due to NCAA transfer rules.
McCurtis to Focus on Law School
The Los Angeles Times reported this week that USC defensive back Mozique McCurtis has ended his football career so he could focus on getting accepted into law school. McCurtis still had one-year of eligibility left.
In 2007, McCurtis had 5 tackles and a pass deflection in 10 games for the Trojans. With the departure, McCurtis became the second defensive back to leave the team since the Rose Bowl.
Basketball Sweeps Oregon Schools
After getting off to a 0-3 start in the PAC-10 the Trojans have responded with four straight conference wins. This week the Trojans headed up to Oregon and pulled off an impressive sweep.
On Saturday, USC went into MacArthur Court and pulled off a 95-86 win. The Trojans never trailed in the contest but were forced into overtime after blowing a nine-point lead with less than two points to play in regulation.
With the win USC improved to 13-6 overall and 4-3 in the Pac-10.
Volleyball Beats Bruins
The 11th ranked USC men's volleyball team upset the No.5 UCLA Bruins in five games Wednesday at the Galen Center to improve the Trojans record to 4-4 overall. With the win the Trojans gained 2.5 points toward the Lexus Gauntlet competition.
The Trojans have taken a commanding 37.5 to 10 lead in the Gauntlet standings after wins over UCLA in men's and women's basketball and men's volleyball the last two weeks.
The USC men's volleyball team has now beat the Bruins in three of their last five matches.
Mayo Ticket Controversy
USC freshman guard OJ Mayo was briefly ruled ineligible because he received Lakers tickets from his friend Carmelo Anthony. By accepting the tickets the NCAA ruled that Mayo violated extra-benefits rules.
To regain eligibility Mayo had to give the value of the tickets ($460) to charity.
Going Under the Knife
The LA Daily News reported that several USC football players have undergone surgery since the beginning of the off-season. From the LA Daily News:
Several USC football players underwent surgery since the Rose Bowl, including All- American safety Taylor Mays, who had arthroscopic surgery on his ankle to repair a nagging injury from during the season.
Starting cornerback Cary Harris underwent similar procedures on both ankles while center Kris O'Dowd had surgery on his knee, which was a follow-up to an operation performed during the season.
Linebacker Clay Matthews is scheduled to undergo surgery on his hand to repair a bone that grew back incorrectly after he broke it during the season.
Matthews will need to have his hand rebroken during the operation.