Just over 24 hours after landing an impressive recruiting class for USC, Steve Sarkisian joined Trojans Live on KFWB 980 to discuss the 2014 recruiting class and dive into what fans should expect from these top prospects next season.
Coach Sarkisian sounded rather energetic and enthusiastic about finally discussing his recruiting class, after waiting countless hours for the official paperwork to be signed for five-star DB/WR Adoree' Jackson. While his recruitment came down to the wire, Sarkisian mentioned that he was actually the first coach to lend out an offer.
Sarkisian was immensely relieved about the news, but explained that his relationship was strong enough to where "if this guy (Adoree') doesn’t come, something is wrong." Jackson's paperwork was officially filed late Thursday night which now means Trojans rather promising top-15 recruiting class is locked, loaded and ready to roll.
In terms of his overall impact, Sarkisian said Jackson could be a four-tool player right away by contributing on offense, defense, punt and kick return duties for USC. Sarkisian announced that Jackson would start on the defensive side of the ball in Fall Camp, but would be given opportunities to shine all over the field.
One of the hottest names on the board was John "JuJu" Smith, who seriously contemplated going to Oregon up until the final seconds. Sarkisian said the two-way athlete would start on the offensive side of the ball comparing his skills to veteran Keary Colbert, a former standout USC and NFL wide receiver.
The largest part of USC's recruiting class came from the figurative size and shear number surrounding the five offensive lineman coming to campus. Sarkisian dove into some of the flex-positioned lineman and explained how they could best be used on the Trojans relatively inexperienced offensive line.
Sarkisian said Damien Mama, who also joined Trojans Live to speak about his commitment, would star at guard. He applauded Mama's skills by saying that "he is a great guy to run behind." When given the time to shine, Mama discussed the many conversations he and fellow commit JuJu Smith's had throughout the process highlighted by their chats on Tuesday in which he believed JuJu was fairly set on playing for Oregon.
The third and final part of that vaunted Polynesian "Uce Crew" was Viane Talamaivao, who Sarkisian said would play center from the start. He lauded Talamaivao's skill across the line however, claiming that his "great punch and really good hands" could be crucial in his maturation process from high school to the collegiate ranks.
Sarkisian went on to praise the efforts of his entire coaching staff, especially the relentless and personal approach Tee Martin (who Scout.com named Pac-12 Recruiter of The Year) implored throughout the recruiting process. Thanks in large part to a mandatory two-week dead period over the later part of December, USC barely had one month to formerly pitch their case to the 2014 Recruiting Class.
Keep in mind that 12 of the 19 prospects in the class did not sign until after Steve Sarkisian and staff came to the party. While it certainly helps that coaches have previous relations with talented players from the local area, Sarkisian referenced the importance of winning recruiting, stating, "we're a lot better coaches when we have better players."
Closing up what he called yet another "fascinating process" in recruiting, coach Steve Sarkisian mentioned that the Trojans secured a "balanced class with competitive individuals of high character that will fit in great with the program."