Class Snapshot: USC
With three major prospects from the Los Angeles area in their crosshairs, USC could have a big finish to its first class under new head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Class Snapshot: USC (15 commits)
Top Commit: Offensive guard Viane Talamaivao of Corona (Calif.) Centennial flipped to USC from Alabama on Nov. 19. The 6-foot-3, 310-pounder has outstanding size, strength and athleticism and his best days of football are ahead of him. Talamaivao is the No. 4 offensive guard prospect nationally and No. 86 overall in the Class of 2014 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Class Strength: Offensive line. In addition to Talamaivao, USC has four-star guard Toa Lobendahn (who is college-ready) and three-star offensive tackle Jordan Austin (Claremont, Calif.) already enrolled. Late riser Chris Brown (Los Angeles, Calif./Loyola) has high upside at either guard or tackle and jumped on a Trojans offer shortly after getting one. USC could add to this talented group by landing massive offensive guard Damien Mama (Belflower, Calif./St. John Bosco). The 6-foot-4, 370-pound Mama has elite athleticism and great feet and could play tackle in college before projecting to guard down the road.
Sleeper: Linebacker Olajuwon Tucker (Gardena, Calif./Serra) is a 6-foot-4, 230-pound inside prospect who impressed some of our analysts at 247Sports when they saw him in person more than some of his more heavily-recruited teammates. USC agreed and offered him during the football season. It would not surprise to see the three-star Tucker play above that level during his time in Troy.
Top Remaining Target: Cornerback Adoree’ Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) is at the top of the list of remaining targets for a slew of programs, including USC. The Trojans have been trending and currently have 83 percent of the expert predictions on the 247Sports Crystal Ball. That being said, Florida and LSU are in this, so it's not done.
Remaining Needs: USC would like to add more athletes with versatility, which is one of the reasons, along with landing the top two prospects this cycle out of Los Angeles, that five-star John “JuJu” Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly) and Jackson would be gigantic. Smith could be a safety or receiver. Jackson could be a dynamic receiver or an elite cornerback. With the numbers still short on the Trojans’ roster, any prospects that fit the skill set of these two at such a high level are certainly welcomed. Landing the pair, plus Mama, will allow this USC class to approach the top 10 nationally and contend for No. 1 in the Pac-12, according to the 247Sports Class Calculator.
Top Recruiter(s): Linebackers coach Peter Sirmon, who came down from Washington, landed top tight end Bryce Dixon for USC and currently is ranked as the top recruiter in the Pac-12. With that, wide receivers coach Tee Martin is either the primary or secondary recruiter-of-record for half the USC class and is also running point on Jackson and Smith. He was a key retention for new Trojans head coach Steve Sarkisian. Martin worked his way up as an instructor on the Nike Camp circuit and worked under Joker Phillips at Kentucky before heading to Los Angeles. The former Tennessee quarterback (who led the Vols to the 1998 BCS National Championship) and Mobile, Ala., native is one of the best recruiters in the entire country and has a great mind for the game. There’s a good chance he’s a head football coach at a major program in the coming years. Currently, Martin is ranked as the No. 7 recruiter in the Pac-12 and No. 72 nationally, but if he closes big, he could be tops in the conference by the end of the cycle.
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