USC Football Recruiting: Trojans Must Be Patient in Race for High 4-Star Safety

Wes ODonnellFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2012

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Tahaan Goodman is one of the fastest rising recruits in all the 2013 class. He absolutely dominated the camp, combine and 7-on-7 circuits this spring, and he earned offers from major programs along the way, upping his total over 25.

Goodman (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) is nowhere near making a decision, as he told Justin Hopkins of, "I'm not even close to a decision. I'm going to take these visits and all my official visits. Right now I'm just getting ready for the opening in a few weeks. I'll get my visits set up after that." However, the talk is that USC and LSU are the top dogs for his services.

One visit he's set up already is a trip to LSU for the national championship rematch against the Crimson Tide of Alabama.

He wants to visit a number of other schools too, but isn't worried about that just yet.

The nearby Trojans, meanwhile, need to be patient in their pursuit of the 6'2", 190-pound safety. He knows where USC is, he knows what they stand for, he knows their history and what it means to wear their colors and he knows one of his good friends and current Rancho Cucamonga teammates, cornerback Chris Hawkins, has already committed.

More importantly than Goodman knowing all this, though, is USC knowing that he knows all this.

Goodman showed up on campus approximately two days after he was offered by the Trojans this spring, only a few days before Hawkins committed. 

And as Hopkins points out, Goodman's other good friend, cornerback Priest Willis of Tempe, Arizona, is also heavily considering both the Trojans and Tigers as well. In fact, Willis will accompany Goodman on the trip to LSU this fall.

It is well-documented that the two have an interest in playing together. Should this be the case, the Trojans will have to wait things out. If they push too hard too soon, they could drive the pair of them away before they even return from Baton Rouge.

This is not new news to Lane Kiffin and the USC staff, though. So far for 2013, they've secured only nine commitments. But that is the way they want it. And of those nine commitments, they've landed four players who are ranked in the top three at their respective positions.

With consensus 5-star safety Su'a Cravens and Hawkins already aboard, the Trojans' potential 2013 class could turn out four secondary starters should Goodman and Willis truly team up and decide Southern Cal is for them.

That is an insanely scary thought for the rest of the Pac-12 and the nation as a whole.

USC needs to be the passive favorite here. LSU is sure to wow these kids, but when they come back, the Trojans still offer an opportunity that few could pass up.

Patience will be key for the Men of Troy, and fortunately for them, that is something they've become quite good at it.