On Saturday, multiple USC commits and targets competed in the annual Army All-American game in San Antonio, Texas. In addition, the Trojans also earned a big commitment from Bubba Bolden that will help take the negativity out of losing top rated cornerback Darnay Holmes to UCLA.
On the east roster, the Trojans only had no commitments but one target in the form of top defensive tackle Aubrey Solomon. USC has a huge need on the defensive line heading into 2017, and the staff is targeting Solomon to fill that hole. As of now, it appears as though he will be staying in the SEC at either Alabama or Georgia, but being that Solomon is originally from Southern California, it may be a little too early to totally count USC out. In terms of his performance during the game, Solomon was relatively quiet for his standards as he only mustered one solo tackle. That should not take anything away from him, however, as he is a potential instant impact lineman who would be a headliner of USC’s 2017 class if he were to come out west.
SC was light in terms of its presence on the east side, but the Trojans had multiple commits on the west roster. Highly touted players such as Stephen Carr, Brett Neilon, Hunter Echols, and Bubba Bolden all represented the Trojans in Texas. All four played significant roles in the game as Carr and Neilon earned a good number of snaps on offense and Echols and Bolden both contributed on defense.
Carr only earned one carry for three yards due to Najee Harris earning a majority of the run calls, but Carr was in on most of the snaps in the first half either in the backfield with Harris or spread out in the slot. This versatility may not have been utilized by the west coaches during the game, but Tee Martin is sure to use his talented new weapon extensively starting next season. Neilon also played a big role on offense as the starting center. The Trojans will most likely give Neilon at least one season to develop before seeing much playing time, but Saturday was a good opportunity to get a glimpse of a player who could be the starting center a couple years down the road.
On defense, Echols and Bolden also contributed as each player made two tackles. These may be relatively minor contributions but each player showed flashes of the high impact defenders they can become at USC. Especially during the practices leading up to the game, Echols flashed impressive quickness off the edge that should see him emerge as a dynamic pass rusher at the next level. Bolden was also impressive, using his physicality to impact the game in many ways. Neither player was the star of the west defense, but each showed flashes of the potential that led them to become a key part of USC’s 2017 class.
To go along with the group of four commits, USC also had a number of notable targets on the west roster. Jay Tufele, Joseph Lewis, K.J. Jarrell, Deommodore Lenior, Bruce Jordan-Swilling, Greg Johnson, and Austin Jackson all played in the game and are at or near the top of USC’s board. Tufele was particularly impressive, making four tackles in the game including one for a loss. Jarrell also made two tackles while Johnson and Lenior each made one with the latter also breaking up a pass. In practice, Jackson proved why he is one of the most highly touted offensive tackles in the nation, showing off elite athleticism for his size. USC is in good shape with at least four of this group, and each would be a massive addition to the class.
As is the case each and every year, USC had a big presence at the Army All-American game. The Trojans almost always have multiple commits playing in the game as well as various uncommitted players that end up making their pledge a little later on and 2017 was no different. This recruiting cycle certainly started slow in large part due to the team’s poor start to the season, but after a huge Rose Bowl victory and nine game winning streak, the Trojans are poised to finish strong with multiple players who competed on Saturday.
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