Recruiting notes

The recruiting week for the Trojans got off to a huge start this weekend with two more verbals as the USC staff inches closer to completing one of the best classes we've seen in recent memory.

Joining the Trojan train were DB Terrell Thomas from Rancho Cucamonga HS and DT Sedrick Ellis from Chino HS.  Both players had long been primary targets for the coaches and they were offered full scholarship rides last spring.  Thomas is a big-hitter who can play either corner or safety with his long arms and he is known for his tremendous run support.  Ellis is just a beast in the middle of the line and he was named the Defensive Player of the Year by the LA Times for the LA area. You can take it as a sign of respect when opposing coaches talk of having to design a game plan to stop you and no player received more notice this year than Ellis. 

 

In other recruiting news, we could hear decisions this week from OL Sam Baker from Tustin HS and WR Steve Smith from Taft HS.  Baker has long been thought a USC lean and his recent comments would lead you to believe that the Trojans are still firmly in the drivers seat.  A final announcement could come as soon as today and if big Sam does commit to USC it would give us just an outstanding OL class.  Smith narrowed his favorites to USC and Tennessee early in the fall and those two schools are still fighting it out for the all-time reception leader in the state of California. 

 

Whitney Lewis had his USC visit and things went well but it will be a long road before we should expect a final answer from the State player of the year.  Lewis still has a pending visit with long-time favorite Florida State where former teammate Lorenzo Booker will do his best to convince him that the Seminoles program is just as stable as the Trojans. 

 

Maurice Drew will visit this weekend.  Make no mistake about it, no matter how many other running backs are in our class, no matter what else is going on with other schools, Maurice is still a major priority for USC and he is still very much interested in looking our way.  Drew is a player who knows good football and he can see what is happening with the Trojans right now and he knows the impact this kind of recruiting class can have.  He wants to play for championships and if he decides USC offers him the best chance to do that then we'll be right there for his services. 

 

Ryan Watson enjoyed a terrific visit over the weekend, he called it a perfect 10, and the Trojans have a good chance to land this talented DT from Louisiana.  Ed Orgeron has long wanted to bring in a recruit from his home state and Watson would be a doozy.  Ryan has a similar frame to Mike Patterson except Ryan is 3 inches taller and another factor that could be key for Watson is the possible trip by his teammate Carnell Stewart who may visit USC at the end of the month.   

 

Lamarr Woodley didn't commit to Michigan State over the weekend and that's a good sign.  Lamarr is giving the Trojans serious consideration right now but the potential lure of the hometown school can do strange things sometimes on a visit.  The fact that Lamarr is still open will mean a heavy push from the USC staff as they try to land a player some feel might be the #1 recruit on the wish list.

 

Andre Caldwell is another out of state prospect who continues to show consideration for USC.  He will face a gauntlet of pressure in the coming weeks with in-state visits to Miami and Florida but his brother is still in San Diego and Mike Williams, a freshman from his hometown of Tampa, is still with the Trojans so the factors that could draw Andre out west are still in place and that should have us in this race to the end.

 

Still no word on Desmond Reed who many people considered a candidate to verbal while on his USC visit this past weekend.  Reed is known to favor USC and the Trojan scholarship offer is firm but at this point he is continuing to keep his options open. 

Former USC linebacker recruit Michael Okwo didn't commit to Stanford this weekend, a minor surprise, and he will now choose from between the Cardinal and UCLA.


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