Eddie Vanderdoes Commits to USC: Are Trojans on Pace for the No. 1 Class?
First, we got word that Khaliel Rodgers, a 6'2", 323-pound OG from the same school as five-star DT and Trojan commit Kenny Bigelow of Eastern Christian Academy in Maryland, had pledged to USC.
Just a few hours later came news that Nico Falah, a 6'5", 270-pound OT from St. John Bosco in Southern California also had committed to USC.
Like you, even yours truly thought that was it for the night for big-time pledges to Troy. However, we were all wrong, as one more bomb sounded off for the Trojans.
In the third big verbal commitment of the day, highly touted and dominant DT Eddie Vanderdoes of Auburn Placer in Northern California ended his recruitment and committed to USC.
USC started July 11, 2012 with 11 commitments, but went to bed that night with 14. The Trojans are not lacking quality by any means in this class, as Vanderdoes' pledge (per Scout.com) gives them six five-star commitments.
At 6'3", 302 pounds, Vanderdoes, who won the DL MVP at The Opening last week, is a pure power and strength player with surprising athleticism.
He comes off the ball well, is big at the point of attack due to his strength, can toss to escape and has good short-area athleticism in pursuit.
He's a solid pocket pusher from the interior as a pass rusher, uses his hands well with good quickness to combat punches and stabs by blockers and has a good fight to pressure.
Rodgers is a nasty RG with great upper-body strength and finish ability. He needs technique work and more body definition, but his upside is huge. He shows good athleticism and plays with great tenacity in each block.
Falah hasn't played football long, but he has already showed he has big-time potential. He's a bit light in the pants for an OL, but he can tack on more bulk. Yet it's his athleticism and pass-protection skills that have evaluators and coaches drooling.
These are three big-time commitments for the Trojans, who at 14 scholarships locked up can only take likely about three to four more tops.
However, the quality in this class is just ridiculous, and even if you aren't the Trojans' biggest fan, you must tip your cap to Lane Kiffin and Co. for the job they have done so far this year.
However, the recruiting cycle isn't over and USC is still in the mix for several more elite and highly rated prospects.
Vernon Hargreaves spent some time at USC this week. After participating in The Opening, the nation's No. 1 cornerback is doing some West Coast visiting to schools of his interest.
Last night, per his Twitter account, Hargreaves named the Trojans as his leader and also tweeted that "USC = Perfect."
Other big-time prospects USC is in the running for include DB Max Redfield, WR Robert Foster, DB Tahaan Goodman, DT Montravius Adams, DB Priest Willis, WR Laquon Treadwell and DB Leon McQuay and DB Johnny Johnson.
With only four scholarships remaining, the Trojans will have to balance hard recruiting with being selective.
Yet, landing any four of those players to go along with the 14 commitments they have now would make it really difficult not to name USC as the No. 1 recruiting class for February 2013.
Edwin Weathersby has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants, Cleveland Browns and the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena League. He spent a year evaluating prep prospects and writing specific recruiting and scouting content articles for Student Sports Football (now ESPN Rise-HS). A syndicated scout and writer, he's also contributed to WeAreSC.com, GatorBait.net and Diamonds in the Rough Inc., a College Football and NFL Draft magazine.
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