What a day for the USC Trojans as they landed two 5-Star recruits and 12 4-Star players, seven of which are in the top 100 recruits for the year. Here is a break down of the highlights for this recruiting class.
The offensive tackle Austin Jackson was a big get to help add depth on the line around the young quarterback Sam Darnold. With Chad Wheeler headed to the draft, this is yet another reason Jackson headed to Southern California is so huge, as there is a huge gap in the line that a guy like Jackson can fill. Stephen Carr, third ranked back in the country, also is now officially a Trojan. He is the perfect man to replace Justin Davis and will pair well with Ronald Jones II.
Wide receiver Joseph Lewis will join a great group of receivers already on the roster including Darreus Rogers and others. While he could be one of the guys in the mix, the team will be looking for someone to fill JuJu Smith-Schuster’s shoes, which means Rogers or Lewis has a huge opportunity to gun for starting this spring while Burnett’s great Rose Bowl game also makes him a contender. The race for the top receiver spot may be the best camp competition to watch this year.
Finally defensive tackle Jay Tufele is great because of the conference. In the PAC-12 plenty of teams with good to great quarterbacks will be lining up across form this USC defense. The more pressure this team can generate up the middle, the better. Tufele can help the Trojans accomplish that goal.
More Big gains
As we are all well aware, Adoree’ Jackson is gone, which is why getting the tandem safety duo of Isaiah Palo-Mao and Bubba Bolden may be the biggest signings of the day. Both will add great depth to the secondary unit and while both are talented, Bolden’s great ball skills and his constant playmaking ability in space makes his ceiling the highest.
Randel Grimes is another offensive weapon who the Trojans like at wide receiver. Because of his versatility, he not only should make for an entertaining slot receiver but could potentially fill Adoree’ Jackson’s roll on the offensive side as a piece that is moved all over in creative ways.
To round out the 4-Stars, defensive tackle Marlon Tuipulotu is my favorite signing of the day, as he will pair nicely with Tufele. Both also play inside but have the speed to make for a very dynamic speed rush up though the middle, instead of relying on just a bull rush. These two will be quite the pair in the 5-2 scheme to attack opposing centers and guards.
While USC ended the day with 25 players after signing day, this are the biggest, most immediate impact players. After such a great class the trojans have more upside than most would have anticipated. They have added a lot of very talented depth on the defense with some guys who will make an impact right away, along with the additions on offense to give Darnold the best chance for success. Watch out for the Trojans in 2017, the campaign has already begun.