USC Football Recruiting: Projecting the Impact of Each Current 2013 Commit
USC is off to a quick start in the 2013 recruiting cycle. Even though National Signing Day is still 10 months away, Lane Kiffin and company are hard at work securing commitments for the 2013 class.
The staff has done well so far to lock down four solid recruits, each of whom has the ability to make an impact early in his USC career.
Let's individually examine each of the Trojans' current commits to see where they will fit in with the team once they are on campus.
Bigelow was USC's first commit in 2013, and he'll arguably be the most important recruit in this class moving forward. The 6'3", 285 lbs rising senior is the sixth-ranked player nationally and the top overall strong-side defensive end in the class.
Bigelow is listed as an end thanks to his quick burst off the line of scrimmage, but with his size it's possible that he slides to the interior line upon his arrival in Los Angeles.
Bigelow is physically imposing for someone who is still just a junior in high school, and he looks the part of a college defensive lineman right now.
With Bigelow's relentless motor and physical tools, it's going to be tough for defensive line coach Ed Orgeron to keep him off the field early in his USC career.
Even though both of the Trojans' projected starters at defensive tackle (George Uko and J.R. Tavai) will be just sophomores in 2012 and juniors when Bigelow arrives in 2013, it would surprise no one to see the 5-star from Elkton, MD work himself into the rotation and vie for a starting role.
Bigelow's impact will be felt early and often, and USC fans should be elated for him enroll next fall.
Hawkins comes in at a key position of need for the Trojans. The state of USC's cornerback position could be in jeopardy after 2012 with one starter, Isiah Wiley, set to graduate and the other, Nickell Robey, possibly off to the NFL.
These departures could open the door for a player like Hawkins, a 4-star cornerback, to make his presence felt early in his USC career.
Hawkins is on track to enroll early at USC, which will only further expedite the learning process and allow him to see the field sooner.
Hawkins is a fundamentally sound player, and he possesses all the skills coaches love to see in a cornerback. He is physical with his receivers yet also athletic enough to make a play on the ball should it come his way.
His pure coverage skills are arguably his greatest asset, and it's that ability that has caught the attention of coaches throughout the country.
If Hawkins keeps developing at a steady pace, he could see the field early and often in his USC career.
After holding off on recruiting a quarterback in 2012, landing a top signal-caller in 2013 was a priority for the USC coaching staff.
With 5-star Max Browne in the fold, Trojan fans can rest easy knowing that they have one of the top quarterbacks on board to anchor their recruiting class.
Browne has drawn comparisons to Peyton Manning with his tall frame (6'5") and ability to make all the throws.
The Skyline High School (Sammamish, WA) star displays great presence in the pocket, a trait many other quarterbacks his age lack. Browne's ability to look off the safety before firing his pass has him looking like a college-ready quarterback right now.
Upon his arrival at USC, Browne will immediately be thrown into the starting quarterback competition along with Cody Kessler and Max Wittek.
With Browne's intelligence and maturity, he should certainly be able to make the starting quarterback battle an interesting one.
Regardless of whether Browne wins the starting duties as a true freshman, it's still easy to predict a lot of starts in this young man's future.
Fitts is USC's most recent commit, and, like the previous three, he could see playing time early in his USC career.
The 4-star defensive end grew up a fan of the Trojans, and after yet another impressive visit to Troy for the spring game over the weekend, Fitts decided to pull the trigger on a verbal commitment.
Fitts prides himself on his technique, which is well above average for someone still in high school. He doesn't have the speed to be a pure pass rusher, but he makes up for that with his solid run-stopping skills.
Fitts is also versatile enough to play multiple positions along the defensive line, and if he strengthens his lower body and adds some mass to his 6'4" 250 lbs frame, he could potentially slide inside and play tackle for the Trojans.
Like so many others on this list, Fitts plans to early enroll at USC in December, which will allow him to get a leg up on the playbook and his other competition.
Fitts may not be as physically ready as Bigelow is to step in and shine right away, but a year or so in Aaron Ausmus' strength and conditioning program could change that. Look for Fitts to use his extra time on campus in the winter to bulk up and prepare himself for early competition along the defensive line come Spring 2013.