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Early signing period: USC football signs elite recruits at running back and linebacker

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Two key prospects sign with the Trojans on early signing day

Pac 12 Championship - Stanford v USC Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Recruiting season is an interesting time of year for college football fans. The drama of prospects committing, de-committing, flipping schools, all while waiting for the fax of a recruits letter of intent to hit the program’s facility. Early signing day may not have brought that type of drama, but it was still interesting to say the least. For USC, early signing day turned out to be a very solid one as they brought in two key recruits to that could see the field early on.

The 2018 class is being touted as a very talented linebacker class and USC managed to get a pretty good one to sign. Palaie Gaoteote signed with the Trojans, Wednesday afternoon. The announcement came via USC Athletics.

Gaoteote is rated as a 5 star Inside linebacker and is ranked as the No. 1 Inside linebacker in the nation. The 6’2, 233 lb linebacker out of Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas Nevada is also the No. 14 prospect overall on the 247 Composite. The 5 star linebacker committed to USC back in February. Although he took a visit to Ohio State on December 8th, Gaoteote held firm to his USC commitment and signed. Gaoteote could compete for playing time at USC with the potential departure of linebacker Cameron Smith.

USC 2018 Early Signing Day - RB Markese Stepp

USC didn’t stop there. They also signed another running back that could see some playing time early on as well. Markese Stepp also officially signed with the Trojans Wednesday afternoon. Stepp committed to USC on Sunday morning after taking his official visit to USC three days before. Stepp is rated as a 4 star running back and is ranked as the No. 12 running back in the nation on the 247 sports Composite. At 6’0, 228 lb, Stepp provides a physical presence on the ground which the Trojans were looking for in the 2018 class. If Ronald Jones II does turn pro, Stepp could see a few carries next season.