The Trojans are one of the bigger college football names in the country. The weather down in Southern California is picture-perfect, and USC has national title hopes and aspirations now that its bowl ban is over.
It would seem as if Kiffin would have the upper hand in most recruiting battles, especially against Pac-12 opponents, but according to Scott Wolf of the Press-Telegram, Kiffin feels USC needs to do better in recruiting against the conference (six Pac-12 schools are currently ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll):
I think that's the result of us not nailing recruiting over the last five years and players getting away in this conference. We have to make it our goal to stop that. Once get our numbers back (to the full scholarship limits), we can stop that.
Who is the better recruiter?
The one major Pac-12 school that can really impact USC in recruiting is Oregon. The Ducks are currently No. 2 in the AP poll, played in the BCS National Championship just two years ago and their high-tempo offense and plethora of jerseys make them a big-time recruiting draw.
There's still plenty of time before national signing day, which means there is still plenty of time for recruits to change their minds and decommit. USC is not immune to this problem, especially with a power like Oregon to the North.
Here are three recruits Chip Kelly and the Ducks should steal away from the USC Trojans.
Max Redfield, 4-star S, Mission Viejo (CA):
Redfield had an interest in Oregon before committing to USC and the Ducks had made an offer, according to Rivals. Kelly and the Ducks would be smart to reconnect with the safety, as they have a few key selling points.
One, according to the rankings, is that Oregon, not USC, is the premier Pac-12 team in the country. That's not a pitch it could have made before the season.
Second, and maybe most importantly, Oregon has room for Redfield to be the featured safety. USC already has a commit from 5-star safety Su'a Cravens, who is one of the biggest names of its class.
The Ducks on the other hand don't have a defensive back committed to their 2013 class.
They can offer Redfield the chance to be a star at Oregon. USC can just offer him a role.
Chris Hawkins, 4-star CB, Rancho Cucamonga (CA):
Kelly can make the same pitch to Hawkins that he could for Redfield, but just from a cornerback position.
Oregon doesn't have any corners committed for 2013, so Hawkins can come in with not a lot of competition to worry about.
He can't take the same approach at USC.
The Trojans have a commit from 5-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, which means that early playing time is going to be hard to come by for Hawkins. Ramsey is definitely going to take precedent on the depth chart in their underclassmen years and probably after that as well.
Playing time can be a huge factor, and right now Oregon has that advantage over USC for Hawkins. The Ducks had already made an offer to him, according to Rivals, so revisiting that interest shouldn't be a problem.
Sebastian Larue, 4-star WR, Santa Monica (CA):
Larue is a perfect fit for the Oregon Ducks' system, and it just so happens that USC has plenty of wide receivers—three in this current class alone.
Kelly can sell Larue on the fact that he could really shine in the Ducks' high-paced scheme.
Larue is only 5'11'', 195 pounds, so being anything but a slot receiver in a pro system would be unrealistic, but at Oregon his size and speed can be utilized perfectly.
Larue runs a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, according to 247Sports.com.
Oregon would be the better fit for Larue, and Kelly can use that pitch to get him to deccomit.