USC recruiting update

An updated position by position status for the Trojans as they head into the final stretch of this recruiting season.

Quarterback

Chris Leak still looks to be the top option and the Trojan coaches have made multiple trips to North Carolina in recent weeks to try and lure him to the West Coast.  Leak makes great decisions on the football field and on the Norm Chow list of important traits for a QB that is right at the top.  Dennis Dixon has a visit scheduled for January.

 

Player we liked – Kyle Wright chose Miami over the Trojans.

 

Running back

Chauncey Washington fits the mold of the big back USC coaches want to pound the football.  Chauncey was injured earlier in the year but he was impressed by the Trojan staff and how they supported him.  There are some top candidates remaining on the wish list.  Lendale White is a bruising runner who holds the Colorado state rushing record.  Look for Lendale to decide soon between USC, Michigan and Texas.  Maurice Drew is a change of pace from the style we've seen from Washington and White.  Drew is a smaller, shifty runner in the Barry Sanders mold and he is simply a winner.  One player rising rapidly on the recruiting charts for the Trojans is Reggie Bush.  A month ago it didn't look like USC was in the picture but after Reggie attended the Notre Dame contest we have zoomed up his wish list.  The ability to also run track for the Trojans could be key to help land the speedy Bush.  An interesting development recently was the announcement that Jody Adewale will likely grayshirt next fall and enter USC in the spring of 2004.  Adewale will eventually play fullback and he is a surprisingly good athlete who bleeds Cardinal and Gold.  Other players being mentioned as possibilities include Lynell Hamilton, who we like an awful lot, Barrington Edwards from Maryland and Earl Charles from Fresno City College.

 

Player we liked –Emeka Nnoli is a pounding fullback who will head to Stanford. 

 

Wide receiver

Plenty of talent still available at this spot.  Steve Smith set the California state record for career pass receptions last week and has long been rumored as a heavy lean to the Trojans.  Tennessee is still in the hunt with Cal hanging around as well.  Whitney Lewis is a physical man-child with the ability to take over a game at any time.  It will likely be an FSU vs USC battle with Texas in the mix and don't be surprised if Whitney plays a little RB as well at the college level.  One player who has been showing increased interest in the Trojans lately is Andre Caldwell from Tampa, Florida.  If only we had a recent history of a receiver coming from Tampa and starring as freshman for us….that could really help entice a player like Andre.  Mark Bradford remains very much a priority.  If he stays local the Trojans would be the team to beat but Mark has long indicated a desire to leave Los Angeles for school.  A few other possibilities include Dareus Hiley, he loved his visit to USC but will it be enough, Sonny Shackleford, Brandon Powers, Willie Dixon and Willie Johnson. 

 

Player we liked – Anthony Hill from Florida is a player we offered last spring. 

 

Offensive line

Drew Radovich was the top tackle around, a guy who has a chance to play on Sundays eventually, and the Trojans are ecstatic to get him.  Drew has amazing lateral quickness and is still growing so after a couple years with Chris Carlisle the results will be scary for opponents.  Ryan Kalil is a nasty football player who will begin his Trojan career as a center.  Travis Draper has terrific athleticism and he will be a guard.  The top two choices remaining are Sam Baker and Joe Thomas from Wisconsin.  Baker has long been rumored as a Trojan lean and the recent verbal from his good friend Chris Barrett has to help our chances.  Sam is a major bruiser who has the personality we want for an offensive lineman on this team.  Joe is another multi-sport athlete who is attracted to the USC track program.

 

Player we liked - Ryan Harris came to the USC vs ND game and was so impressed with the dominating performance by the Trojans that he gave a verbal to the Irish a few days later. 

 

Defensive line

What a tremendous group.  Lawrence Jackson leads the way as the sack master who brings great size and speed to the end position.  Chris Barrett has been nicknamed "the Freak" and he is as physically ready to step in and contribute as any player we will sign this year.  Chris could also see action as a tight end if needed so at this point we will not take a player at that spot in this class.  Alex Morrow is not the recognizable name of a Jackson or Barrett but he could be a major sleeper in the class.  He has a non-stop motor and is very quick for his size, in fact he is so big that he could end up as a defensive tackle.  Jon Turner was a national heavyweight youth boxing champ at age 13 and is explosive off the ball.  Fili Moala was injured for the majority of the season but this large, large man will be ready to compete on the field next fall.  There are still a lot of interesting options left for the Trojan coaches along the line. Manuel Wright should find out soon if he will qualify and enroll in the spring.  Ryan Watson and Carnell Stewart are teammates from Louisiana who will visit USC in January with Watson being the one who is generally thought to be more interested in the Trojans.  Xavier Lawson-Kennedy is a tackle from Texas who will trip as well.  Norm Chow paid a visit to Hawaii recently to scout Christian Perreira and Tolifili Liufau while a couple local guys still in the mix are Brandon Mebane and Sedrick Ellis.

 

Player we liked – Brian Soi could have played on either side of the ball for the Trojans but will stay in his home state.

 

Linebacker

Drean Rucker was the most physically impressive linebacker at the LA Nike Camp this year and he should fit right in at the middle spot for the Trojans.  Drean brings a high intensity level to the game and he is a ferocious hitter.  Thomas Williams can play either inside or outside, he is a very disciplined player and has excellent speed.  Salo Faraimo has agreed to grayshirt to enter in spring 2004 if needed.  He is scheduled to begin his career as a weakside backer.  Lamarr Woodley could be the top player left on the board, regardless of position, and he could star for the Trojans at either SLB or DE.  Lamarr is down to USC and Michigan with Michigan State on the list as well.  Shawn Crable had a good visit to USC for the ND game and he would be a natural fit in Los Angeles but it will take a lot to get him out of the Midwest.  The Trojans asked verbal commit Robert Lewis to grayshirt and at this point he does not consider himself a Trojan commit and will likely attend Stanford.  Marvin Simmons will look to have the necessary units to apply for a transfer but there has been no update on that status.

 

Player we liked – DeMario Pleasant was a high priority for the staff until he committed to Oklahoma. 

 

Defensive back

The fact that Darnell Bing has qualified and will enter in the spring automatically makes this a successful class for the secondary.  He is a special player and will likely make an immediate impact for the Trojans.  Ryan and Brandon Ting are looking to enroll this spring as well so that they can take part in spring ball.  These two have good size and excellent quickness plus Ryan can also play wide receiver if needed.  The athleticism of Eric Wright caught the attention of the USC coaches last spring and they immediately offered a scholarship.  Eric also starred at RB but will concentrate on corner for the Trojans.  Terrell Thomas is primarily a safety but his long arms make him a candidate for corner as well.  Regardless, he is a priority for this class right now.  Pete Carroll likes playmakers and no player fits that description better than Desmond Reed.  His numbers on the year were staggering and he has long been considered a USC lean but it's getting down to crunch time with available scholarships.  There are a couple out of state longshots. Donte Whitner is one of the most physical corners around and we had to take a run at him as long as he showed interest but the prevailing thought is he will end up a Buckeye.  LeRue Rumph missed an earlier visit but may re-schedule. Another interestion option will be Chijoke Onyenegcha.  The reports of this man-child corner from City College of San Francisco have raved about his combination of size and speed.  He is known to be looking at the Trojans and the fact that he will not enroll until fall helps our chances. 

 

Player we liked – Donte Nicholson may be a great player but he sure has a hard time making up his mind.  Good luck in Norman. 

 

Athlete

Tony Hunt is an imposing physical specimen who can star at either running back or linebacker.  He plays high school football for Riki Ellison, the former star Trojan linebacker.  Tony gave a verbal to the Trojans following his recent recruiting visit but is still taking trips to schools such as Michigan and Penn State. Matt Spanos was known primarily as a defensive lineman throughout the recruiting process while the Trojans were the first staff to show interest as an offensive lineman.  He could end up on defense but his high school coach says his footwork and ability to block in space would make him an ideal fit for the zone blocking schemes at USC. 

 

Player we liked – Ernie Sims was interested in the Trojans and scheduled a visit to the USC summer camp.  Unfortunately he suffered an injury two weeks before the camp and didn't make the trip.

 

Kicker

The coaches were interested in bringing in a kicker for this class and they evaluated several players, Sergio Aguayo received a long look, but they have not offered any scholarships to this point. 

 


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