Tag:Cody Kessler
Posted on: February 20, 2011 11:13 am
 

Class comparison: USC vs. UCLA

Posted by Bryan Fischer

We're still digesting the class of 2011 and what better way to look at it than through the lens of two rivals. USC and UCLA have a bitter rivalry but it's been a bit one-sided on the recruiting trail for the last decade. Rick Neuheisel didn't have as many scholarships to hand out for the class of 2011 but in the end, that didn't matter that much.

USC vs. UCLA
Quarterback

Cody Kessler and Max Wittek vs. Brett Hundley. USC has always been able to pluck the best quarterback from Southern California and this year they grabbed not one, but two of them (and got them to enroll early to boot). That said, Hundley is an exciting quarterback and it would shock no one if the early enrollee was the starter coming out of fall camp. He should fit in the Pistol offense better than any other UCLA quarterback under Neuheisel.

Running Back
 

Javorius Allen and Amir Carlisle vs. Steven Manfro. Allen is a bigger back that should vie for playing time after a redshirt year as USC’s backfield thins out. Carlisle is a very versatile guy and is a steal (literally, from Stanford) in this class.

Wide Receiver
 

George Farmer, Victor Blackwell, Junior Pomee and Marqise Lee vs. Devin Lucien. Not only does USC beat UCLA four-to-one in terms of numbers, Lucien might not be as talented as any of the four wide outs the Trojans bring in. Farmer is the top wide out in the country and would have been enough to tilt this category in favor of USC alone.

Tight end

 

Raymond Nelson and Connor McDermott. USC didn’t sign a tight end in this class, though Pomee could add weight and slide inside. McDermott’s height might make him an offensive tackle at the next level but he’s very athletic. Nelson is a solid fit and could see early playing time.

Offensive Line
 

Jeremy Galten, David Garness, Cyrus Hobbi, Marcus Martin and Aundrey Walker vs. Jake Brendel, Will Oliver, Torian White and Ben Wysocki. Both teams were thin at the offensive line and they both addressed their needs. USC grabbed two of the top interior lineman in the country in Hobbi and Walker and also grabbed some junior college players to help with the numbers. Brendel could be a sleeper and White was one of the better lineman from Southern California.

Defensive Line
 

Charles Burks, Greg Townsend Jr., J.R. Tavai, DeVante Wilson, Christian Heyward, Cody Temple, Antwaun Woods and Steve Dillon vs. Sam Tai, Kevin McReynolds and Brandon Tuliaupupu. Townsend, Woods and Heyward are three players with all-league potential and there’s no telling with the rest of the group once Ed Orgeron gets his hands on them. McReynolds should see early playing time and also has the tools of an all-conference performer.

Linebacker
 

Lamar Dawson, Dallas Kelley, Tre Madden and Anthony Sarao vs. Ryan Hofmeister, Mike Orloff and Aaron Wallace Jr. UCLA picks up several players with high upside, especially the physically impressive Wallace. USC grabs players who will be expected to help out right away and talented out-of-staters Dawson and Sarao are two very good gets for linebackers coach Joe Barry.

Secondary

Ryan Henderson and Isiah Wiley. UCLA didn’t sign a single defensive back in 2012, which is hard to believe. Henderson is very nice prospect and Wiley should be able to get into the rotation right away.

Overall
 

Call it a knockout in favor of the Trojans, this one wasn’t even close. UCLA was limited in the number of scholarships they were able to give out but then again, USC was supposed to be too. In the end, the Trojans signed double the number of players, which is quite amazing and a credit to how good a recruiter Lane Kiffin is. Given the sanctions, one would have expected UCLA to take advantage with this class but it appears they took advantage of no one in the class of 2011.

Posted on: February 4, 2011 5:13 pm
Edited on: February 4, 2011 5:15 pm
 

Video: USC Signing Day Recap

Posted by Bryan Fischer

Lane Kiffin didn't seem to be slowed by any NCAA sanctions on Signing Day, reeling in an impressive class for 2011. Both in-state and out, USC grabbed a number of great recruits to help restock the Trojan roster.

Posted on: February 1, 2011 8:33 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2011 8:34 am
 

Pac-12 Signing Day at a glance

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Here's what you'll need to keep an eye on during the Pac-12's first Signing Day with newcomers Utah and Colorado on board:

Players to Watch

De'anthony Thomas , ATH, Crenshaw (Los Angeles): Maybe no player in the country has had their recruitment take a more intriguing turn in the past few days than Thomas, a USC commitment who surprised nearly everyone but Chip Kelly and his staff by taking a last-minute visit to Oregon. Now rumors are swirling about the "Black Mamba's" ultimate destination, and whether it's the Trojans or Ducks, someone's going to end up with quite the prize in the 5'9" 175-pound blazer; he's No. 15 in the Maxpreps top 100 and has All-American potential at either tailback or cornerback.

Marqise Lee , ATH, Juniper Serro (Gardena, Calif.): Another top California athlete, another battle between the Trojans and Ducks (though Miami could reportedly also sneak in here). A livewire 6'1" and 185 pounds, and the Maxpreps No. 16 athlete, Lee could play either offense and defense but is expected to find his highest ceiling as a playmaking safety. Lee is believed to be a lean to USC and will announce at 3 EST.

Christian Heyward , DT, Point Loma (San Diego): Not all of the nation's top defensive lineman are in the Southeast. Maxpreps' No. 9 defensive tackle, Heyward recently named a top three of USC, Oregon and San Diego State, though some feel even UCLA could be part of the conversation. An accomplished pass rusher, Heyward could be at home as an end in a three down linemen set--part of the reason the dark horse Aztecs (who run a base 3-3-5) could have a legitimate shot, even if Heyward is favored to wind up in the Pac-12.

Team to Watch

Oregon: Despite boasting every recruit's favorite set of uniforms, the Ducks have never been a major player on the national recruiting scene ... until now. Led by Maxpreps 100 tight end Colt Lyerla and top-shelf talent hailing from locales as diverse as Miami (receiver Tacoi Sumler), Iowa (linebacker Christian French) and Arizona (offensive linemen Tyler Johnstone and Andre Yruretagoyena), the Ducks have already built their strongest class in years, potentially ever. If they can close the deal with the California-based talent listed above, the foundation could be built for a USC-like deathgrip on the conference over the next few years.

USC: Of course, maybe we shouldn't start worrying about the next USC when the original isn't going anywhere. Lane Kiffin has continued to prove his mettle as arguably the nation's most dogged recruiter, The Trojans have worked around NCAA restirctions to pull in 26 commitments already, including four members of the Maxpreps top 100, including Thomas, 6'2" receiver George Farmer, and the latest West Coast quarterback blue-chipper, Cody Kessler. If the Trojans can fend off the Ducks for the likes of Thomas and Lee, they'll claim the best class in the Pac-12.

Stanford: The Cardinal class has suffered somewhat with the departure of Jim Harbaugh, but David Shaw is still sitting on one of the best classes in the league behind national-grade recruits like Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) five-star Wayne Lyons (the No. 45 recruit overall and No. 4 safety) and Tucker (Ga.) linebacker James Vaughters. If Shaw can simply keep all the current Cardinal commits in the fold and signed on the dotted line, this is a group that will do nothing to slow the momentum generated by Harbaugh's tenure in Palo Alto.

The Below-the-Radar Storyline You'll Need to Follow

Many are expecting Utah to come into the Pac-12 and immediately begin throwing its weight around, but if the Utes do, it might not be because of a mind-blowing recruiting haul tomorrow. The Utes have always done a nice job of locating underrated local talent and have several gems in their current class, including in-state running back Harvey Langi (No. 53 in the Maxpreps top 100) and Moreno Valley (Calif.) defensive back Ryan Anderson. But quarterback Derrick Brown recently decommitted to Washington, one of five Pac-12 teams that land in the Maxpreps top 25 classes that aren't Utah. Landing Anderson --a threat to sign elsewhere -- and his teammate, highly-regarded receiver Junior Pomee, would be a huge help, though. In the end, how will the Utes measure up to their new conference mates?

More Signing Day coverage is here at CBS.


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com