USC Football Recruiting: Defensive Tackle Options Beginning to Dwindle
Go ahead, ask any ardent Trojan fan who follows recruiting:
What is the one area USC needs to focus on for 2012 in terms of luring prep talent to the Los Angeles southland?
The answer you will receive—more often than not—is the defensive line. More specifically, interior linemen, those of the tackle variety.
That is because USC lost two very good seniors last year (Christian Tupou and DaJohn Harris) and are very thin at that area should anything happen to the front line guys this year.
Knowing this long ago, Lane Kiffin and his crew started out the 2013 recruiting class with perhaps the best high school tackle in the nation, Kenny Bigelow.
Bigelow, a high school teammate of future Trojan quarterback (2015) David Sills, is a disruptive force of nature and he will make a very large (no pun intended) mark on the program without a doubt.
But since then, USC has yet to receive another verbal commitment from a defensive tackle recruit.
Oh, it's not for a lack of trying.
USC has scoured the country for talented d-linemen and they have extended offers to the some of the finest in the land.
Some of these players include, but are no means limited to, Montravious Adams (Vienna, GA), Eddie Vanderdoes (Auburn, CA), Justin Manning (Dallas, TX) and more than a few others, most of whom are considering USC as their final destination.
One of those who won't be pondering life in cardinal and gold is Petaluma, CA d-lineman, Elijah Qualls.
Qualls, who was highly regarded by the Trojans as evidenced by their offer, gave his verbal commitment to Washington (one of eight players to do so on Friday).
It is thought that USC would like to take at least three defensive tackles in this class so while the loss of Qualls is by no means catastrophic, it does represent one less possibility for Kiffin and his staff.
And it should be noted that while the above mentioned players are considering USC, they are also thinking about many other programs. Still, not one of these players look like a Trojan "lock."
All of which makes for a boatload of difficulty for a scholarship strapped program that must utilize what few they have left with offers to players that they can't afford to miss on, should they become Trojans.
The recruiting department, by necessity, not only must identify players who will help the Trojans in the future, they must also prognosticate whether or not they will choose USC when it comes time to sign the letter of intent in February.
Which brings us to one Kenneth Clark, a 6'2", 280 lb defensive tackle from Rialto, CA.
Clark, a 4-star prospect according to Scout.com, has yet to garner an offer from the men of Troy.
But if he were to get one, chances were pretty good that he would play his trade for the Trojans.
After saying UCLA and Nebraska (among many who have offered including Miami (FL)) lead for his services, Clark went on to tell Scott Ecklund of Scout.com, "If USC decides to offer, then they would be in there too."
According to rumors, the Trojans would be more than just "in there" for Clark.
Though only rated a 3-star prospect by ESPN, there is plenty to like about him.
Except now it is a moot point.
While the Trojans sat back and pondered what value Clark would bring to the team, he went with what was there and pulled the trigger for UCLA last night giving the Bruins his verbal commitment.
Clark was there to be had and now he is a Bruin.
And USC can scratch yet another name off of a dwindling list of defensive tackle prospects.
Of course, as any USC fan who follows the fickle game of recruiting knows, the Trojans still have a major ace up their sleeve.
Not only is Ed Orgeron the head maven of the recruiting department, he is also the position coach for the defensive line.
If anyone can deliver a premier interior lineman, it is Coach "O."
But the list is getting smaller by the day.
Time to get busy Ed.
What is the duplicate article?
Why is this article offensive?
Where is this article plagiarized from?
Why is this article poorly edited?