Dillon Baxter's recruiting for USC

In the last recruiting cycle, USC had more verbal commits at this point last year than its ever had before. And three of those early verbal commits, Randall Carroll from Los Angeles Cathedral, Morrell Presley from Carson and Alshon Jeffrey from Calhoun County (SC), ended up signing letters of intent at other schools.

USC currently has three verbally committed running back prospects and four months ago, DJ Morgan from Woodland Hills Taft told us, "I know I'm not taking any trips to other schools, I'm a Trojan."

Birmingham running back and USC commit Trajuan Briggs also said the recruiting process is over for him.

"Once I make a commitment to a school, I'm committed," said Briggs.

And the three Trojan running back commits have become close friends, despite knowing they will be competing against each other for playing time in the future.

"We just act like teammates and we all get along really well," said Baxter about his relationship with Briggs and Morgan. "I go up and stay their houses sometimes and sometimes they come down here and stay at my house."

Dillon Baxter verbally committed to USC when he was offered a scholarship after USC's Rising Stars camp. Baxter was asked if he had any plans to take any unofficial and official visits to other schools this spring and summer.

"I'm pretty firm with my commitment and I know I'm not going to visit any other schools but SC," Baxter said. "I don't really know about DJ (Morgan), but I'm committed strongly."

Although Baxter is a solid verbal commit and has no interest in other schools, that hasn't stopped college coaches from around the country from attempting to persuade him to change his mind.

"There are colleges that are telling me I should think about what I am getting into, because USC always has the top players and you might not start, but if you come here, you'll start for sure," said Baxter when asked if he's experienced any negative recruiting. "There's a lot of stuff college coaches tell me to try and change my mind, but in my eyes, I'm a competitor, so I like competing with the best people. I know I'm going to the right school."

Some of the schools that have offered Baxter after he announced his commitment to USC include Tennessee, California, Notre Dame, UCLA, Florida State, Penn State and Oregon has begun talking to him.

It seems as if an early verbal commit from a solid prospect has been the point man in rallying other USC prospects the past three years. They make phone calls, send text messages, chat on MySpace and FaceBook, and doing whatever it takes to aid in the Trojans' recruiting effort. In 2007 it was Chris Galippo, in 2008 it was DJ Shoemate and last year it was Matt Barkley and TJ McDonald. This year, Coach Caroll has asked Dillon to take on that role.

"Well, Coach (Pete) Carroll told me that I was the main cow with the bell on my neck," said Baxter. "So, I guess that means I'm at least one of the main guys to start rallying people for our class. I think him just being Pete Carroll and having a great program will make it easy to do a good job of doing that."

Pete Carroll is obviously the biggest draw to USC and Baxter shed some light as to why that's the case.

"He's one of the greatest coaches and a great guy in general," said Baxter about Pete Carroll. "He doesn't just care about you as a football player, he cares about what you do with your life. So, I like him a lot."

Baxter also was impressed with USC's new assistant head coach for offense and quarterbacks coach, Jeremy Bates.

"I liked him a lot and I look forward to working with him," said Baxter about Coach Bates.

There's been many discussions on various message board about the role Baxter will play at USC because of his versatility. He's a natural receiver with great hands and runs solid and crisp routes, but he's also an extremely talented runner.

"They said they're going to use me as a running back, but they're going to switch me in and out at different positions," said Baxter.

Now that his track season is over, Baxter is focusing his attention on football and will attend two elite camps this summer.

"I will attend the USC Rising Stars Camp and more than likely Florida's Friday Night Lights Camp," he said.

Two other skill position players USC has offered from San Diego will also attend the camp and could very likely end up Baxter's teammates at USC.

"Yeah, it's exciting that USC offered Tony (Jefferson) and Kenny (Stills) and they haven't committed, yet, but I think there's a good chance they will."

We'll have an update from Baxter after the Rising Stars Camp.


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