USC Football Recruiting: Predicting the Next 5 2013 Commitments
The past week has been a busy one for USC recruiting. In a matter of days, the Trojans secured verbal commitments from two highly-touted prospects, in defensive back Chris Hawkins and quarterback Max Browne.
Even though we are still 10 months away from National Signing Day 2013, it's never to early to foreshadow some of the prospects that Lane Kiffin and his staff could reel in.
Let's take a look at the five prospects that are most likely to become the next verbal commitments for USC...
Fitts, a four-star defensive end prospect from Redlands, Calif., grew up a fan of USC and has always had the Trojans on his radar.
While Fitts was reportedly frustrated that he didn't receive a scholarship from USC at junior day, the coaching staff ultimately extended him an offer, and they now sit well for landing his services.
Fitts has taken unofficial visits to USC and came away impressed. He enjoyed his trip so much that he contemplated committing on the spot during a visit to practice last month.
Although Fitts held off from pledging to Troy, he has made it clear a decision will come sooner rather than later, seeing as he has plans to enroll early at his college-of-choice.
While it may be a few weeks before Fitts comes to a final decision, it would surprise no one to see him announce for USC sometime in the near future.
Like Fitts, Isaac is definitely an early enrollee candidate. Isaac is still in the process of trying to circumvent a longstanding tradition at his school (Joliet Catholic, IL) that prohibits students from graduating early.
Regardless of whether or not enrolling-early plays out for Isaac, recruiting fans can still expect a decision from the four-star running back earlier rather than later.
Isaac raved about his recent USC visit last month, and the Trojans are certainly in the mix along with Midwest powers Michigan and Notre Dame.
Distance may be a factor for the talented prospect and Isaac will undoubtedly be pressured to stay close to home.
However, according to Scout.com's Brandon Huffman, recent quarterback-commit Max Browne has been in Isaac's ear about heading out West.
Isaac may not pull the trigger until summer or later, but USC appears to be sitting pretty in his recruitment right now.
Towards the end of his junior season, Hutchings declared the Trojans his leader. The four-star linebacker prospect also made it known that he intended to make a decision early in the process rather than drawing it out.
After former USC linebacker coach Joe Barry left the Trojans to take a similar position with the San Diego Chargers, Hutchings canceled his visit to the Trojans' junior day, and his interest in the program appeared to be rapidly declining.
However, Hutchings was on campus last weekend and after meeting with new linebackers coach Scottie Hazelton, the Concord, Calif., native has USC back on top.
Now that Hutchings has new-found interest in the Trojans, look for Lane Kiffin and Scottie Hazelton to lock down the De La Salle High School star and add depth to an already loaded linebacking corps.
In this year's recruiting cycle, USC has three early enrollee spots available that will not count against its NCAA mandated scholarship limit of 15.
While Max Browne and Chris Hawkins are already in the fold as probable candidates for January enrollment, the Trojans are still actively pursuing prospects to fill the third and final early enrollee spot.
Max Garcia could be their guy.
Garcia was a member of Maryland's 2010 recruiting class and started at left tackle for the Terrapins a year ago. A former 3-star prospect, Garcia has decided to transfer away from Maryland and take his talents elsewhere.
Garcia has already taken trips to other schools, including Georgia, but the skilled lineman is currently paying a visit to Troy.
Having missed out on elite tackle prospects Kyle Murphy and Andrus Peat in the 2012 recruiting class, USC would certainly be intrigued at the thought of adding a proven lineman in the trenches.
Garcia will look to make a decision in the near future so he can get on campus as soon as possible. If the Trojans can impress him during today's visit, Garcia could very well be the next domino to fall in an already stellar class.
There's no doubting that wherever Cravens decides to go, he will be the prize of that school's recruiting class.
The five-star safety is currently ranked as the fifth-best prospect nationally, regardless of position, by Rivals.com.
While the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Cravens has set official visits, indicating that he plans on taking his time with a decision, WeAreSC.com's Garry Paskwietz has stated that he sees the Vista Murrietta, Calif., standout as candidate for early enrollment.
Cravens has had the Trojans near the top of his list since the outset of his recruitment and that hasn't changed.
Cravens made the short trip from Murietta to Los Angeles last weekend for USC's practice at the Coliseum and was able to spend quality time with members of the coaching staff during his visit.
While it's still unclear whether Cravens is close to a decision, it has been well documented that he has developed a strong relationship with other Trojan targets and commits including Browne, Chris Hawkins, safety Max Redfield and Ty Isaac.
In 2012 we saw California form the "Cal Gang," a group of top-level prospects who all verbally committed to the Golden Bears, only to see it disband when ace-recruiter Tosh Lupoi bolted for Washington.
In 2013, with so many high-level recruits, including Cravens, holding heavy interest in the Trojans, a "USC Gang" put together by Lane Kiffin and company is not out of the realm of possibility.