Just recently, USC's probable top target at the quarterback position, Tua Tagovailoa, committed to the Alabama Crimson Tide leaving the USC QB board for the 2017 recruiting cycle in shambles. Sure the Trojans were showing some interest in some other recruits, but Tagovailoa was without a doubt the number one guy at that position, until five-star Tate Martell decided to reopen his recruitment that is.
As many of you may already know, the former Texas A&M pledge announced his intentions via Twitter in what would turn into a shameful scenario due the poor conduct of a member of the Aggies' staff. Martell is one of the nation's top players at his position, a consensus top five quarterback. With the Bishop Gorman star available again, tons of programs are trying to get in contact, but a select few seem to be standing out as favorites for Martell.
Many analysts believe that the schools with the greatest chance at landing Martell are California, Ohio State, Oregon, and USC. Who leads among this group of four? Well, at this point, it's honestly too close between the group to even predict who might be leading. Some writers think it's the Buckeyes, while some believe it may Cal or USC. If I had to lean one way, I'd go with Ohio State as of now due to the fact that Martell has been feeling the Buckeyes since his last visit and called them a "major threat" to Texas A&M while he was still committed.
USC does have an ace up its sleeve in this recruitment, but the Buckeyes are trying to crash the party in that regard as well. Tyjon Lindsey, a five-star wide receiver in the 2017 class and former teammate of Martell, is strongly considering the Trojans and likewise he prominently sits as one of USC's top targets overall for this recruiting cycle. I've come to the consensus that as of right now, Lindsey seems to be focusing on Ohio State and USC. Many believe that the Buckeyes are trending with Lindsey and he did enjoy his visit there, USC has been a factor for the California product for some time now and that could prove pivotal in the end.
It's extremely interesting to note that last year Martell was quoted as saying "To be honest, I think we'll both end up at SC because Tyjon really likes USC, too." Now, that quote is from over a year ago, but it shows how connected the talented duo are. The two stars consider themselves to be brothers and starred at Bishop Gorman in Nevada last year, though Tyjon has since moved back to California.
Another positive factor in regards to USC's recruitment of Tate Martell and even Tyjon Lindsey is current commit and four-star Bishop Gorman tight end Bubba Bolden. Bolden informed me that he "was not sure" of just where USC stands with Martell, but that USC is a factor. Bolden also let me know that despite a lack of contact from the staff recently his plan is still to enroll at USC and play his college ball there.
Two of your top high school receiving targets joining you in college has to sound enticing and it's certainly a real possibility here, but folks, I ain't lying when I'm telling you that this one is completely up in the air right now on all fronts. The biggest competition for both Martell and Lindsey is definitely Ohio State and it would not shock me at all to see one or both commit there in the near future, but the Trojans have a solid chance at also nabbing one or both of them.
A couple other quarterbacks seem to be emerging as legitimate options per USC recruiting experts, but Martell is now USC's number one guy and they'd love to add him to what could be an absolutely loaded 2017 class along with other offensive standouts.