SCPlaybook Expert Opinion

Can USC's 2010 recruiting class be as good or better than the star-studded 2009 class? That is the question that we examine in this week's installment of SCPlaybook Expert Opinion. Look inside for our thoughts and let us know your opinion on the SCPlaybook message boards.

Kevin Carden, Editorial Director, SCPlaybook.com

When examining a recruiting class you can look at the team rankings, which give you a good idea of the overall talent, or by filling needs. I think to truly judge the success of a class you need to have a combination of the two.

Putting together a good class is more than just collecting star recruits; it is about finding quality kids that have the ability and character to fit into the system that you run.

The greatness of Pete Carroll's recruiting is he not only finds the top players from across the country but he brings in kids that welcome and thrive on competition.

This year's class has the potential to match the 2009 class and even surpass it in some areas if the players that have high interest at this time eventually sign with the Trojans.

The 2010 class will be filled with playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, which was missing from the 2009 group. The Trojans already have verbal commitments from players like D.J. Morgan, Dillon Baxter and Xavier Grimble while Robert Woods, DeMarco Cobbs, Kenny Stills and others are showing serious interest.

At quarterback it would be nearly impossible to match a player like Matt Barkley but getting a commitment from Jesse Scroggins would be a nice fit.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Trojans are in very good position to bring in another stellar class filled with versatility and depth.

The Trojans are going to benefit from having another strong group of defensive backs in their backyard with players like Sean Parker, Dietrich Riley, Dion Bailey,Tony Jefferson, Demetrius Wright, Joshua Shaw, Anthony Brown and Anthony Jefferson all being options.

If the Rising Stars Camp is any indication then the defensive line class could be very impressive as well with some of the very top players at the position looking at USC like Ronald Powell and Jackson Jeffcoat.

The Trojans will hit on some and miss on others, Ken Norton will likely steal an out of state linebacker, a few kids from the South will stun the locals by skipping town for the sunshine of Southern California along the way, and in the end, USC will land another stellar class, so sit back and enjoy the journey.

Scott Schrader, Senior Recruiting Editor, SCPlaybook.com

USC is going to have to bring in at least four offensive linemen and at least two solid linebackers with the 2010 class for it to have a shot of being as good as the 2009 class was.

In February, USC signed the No. 1 quarterback, No. 1 center and in my opinion the No. 1 defensive end. That's awfully impressive when you consider the other quality players the Trojans signed.

USC isn't off to as fast a start as last year with a much lower number of verbal commits from the 2010 class, but USC does have verbal commits from the No. 1 tight end and No. 1 punter with a great shot at the No. 1 defensive end again, in Jackson Jeffcoat and another extremely talented group of defensive linemen. Also, the safeties and cornerbacks the Trojans will likely sign are as good as any.

So, it's a little too early to give a definitive opinion on the 2010 class, but that wasn't the question. My answer to the question is the 2010 class has a shot at being as good as the 2009 class, but it won't be better unless USC signs Jackson Jeffcoat, Ronald Powell, Ricky Hemuli, George Uko, Robert Woods, Tony Jefferson, four solid offensive linemen, two quality linebackers, the prospects currently committed and Sean Parker. And it's not unrealistic to think that will happen. Oh, and USC needs to sign either Jesse Scroggins, Tyler Bray or Chase Rettig.

Also, In my opinion, USC's 2009 class was far too underrated by Scout.com.

Brandon Huffman, West Recruiting Manager, Scout.com

I definitely think USC's class can be as good, and in fact, I think it's on pace to be better than the 2009 class. The 2009 class was strong thanks primarily to Matt Barkley, whereas the 2010 class already has elite players committed (Xavier Grimble, Matt Darr, Dillon Baxter and D.J. Morgan), but they are in the lead or heavily in the mix for so many more elite prospects. Throw in a Robert Woods, Ricky Heimuli, Demarco Cobbs, Jackson Jeffcoat, just to name a few, and you're looking at another ridiculously loaded Trojan class.


Landing Ronald Powell would help the 2010 class match up to 2009.


If you agree, or think we missed the mark, let us know your opinion on the SCPlaybook.com message boards




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