Frankly, Lane Kiffin's success on the recruiting trail has surprised me. He has milked USC's storied tradition and—let's be honest here, Troy fans—a good, but not great 2011 season into the top recruiting class in the nation, if the scouting services are to be believed.
Currently, the Ducks do not rank in Rivals.com Top 25 in the country's best recruiting classes. Oregon is, in fact, ranked No. 5 in the Pac-12. That leaves a great deal of ground to make up.
Kiffin came out of the blocks fast, signing 5-star DE Kenny Bigelow at the end of November, 2011. I remember thinking, "That's a shot across the bow to the rest of you."
USC signed two additional 5-star recruits, one in early April, highly sought-after QB Max Browne, and a third in June, DB Su'a Cravens out of their backyard, Murrieta, CA.
And the pace for Kiffin stayed hot and heavy throughout the spring and early summer, with July being particularly painful for the other Pac-12 schools. Commitments from OL Nico Falah, DB Max Redfield and DE Eddie Vanderdoes, in particular, broke the hearts of the many schools chasing them.
As I write this, USC has just maxed out its 2013 scholarship allocation with 4-star DE Torrodney Prevot. On a side note, Prevot, from Houston, TX, had previously scheduled an official visit to Oregon on Oct. 6, but his family says it is not sure if he will follow through on visiting other schools.