USC Will Have Trouble Out-Recruiting Notre Dame for 4-Star DE

Andrew Kulha@@AKonSportsSenior Analyst IIIOctober 3, 2012

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

The USC Trojans have set their sights all the way down into SEC country and have made an offer to 2014 4-star defensive end Andrew Williams out of McDonough, Georgia.

According to quotes via Blair Angulo of, Williams seems surprised by the offer, but he really likes what USC brings to the table:

"USC had sent me letters, but this definitely came out of nowhere," Williams said. "But USC is definitely near the top. ... Coach (Lane) Kiffin always seems to be pumped up. The team has a great mentality. I've been watching defense and they seem to have a great connection."

This is a big offer, as it's going to really shift the dynamic of Williams' recruitment.

Williams has offers from the likes of Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Texas and Notre Dame, among others, and 247sports has Clemson, Florida, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech on top of his interest list.

It seems like it's time to add USC to the group of favorites as well.

One of the more interesting recruiting battles here will be between Notre Dame and USC, though, as they are obviously big-time rivals on the playing field.

The Fighting Irish made an offer to Williams back in August, and he seemed equally excited about their interest in him. It's also worth noting that his high school teammate, 2013 4-star defensive end Isaac Rochell, is a Notre Dame verbal commit.

So, which of these rivals will have the upper hand?

It's tough to give the nod to one or the other, but one thing is for certain—it won't be easy for USC to out-recruit the Irish.

A few years ago, with Notre Dame slumping and highly irrelevant in the national football scene, this would have been a piece of cake for the Trojans.

Now, though, Brian Kelly has his team playing great football. They are currently ranked  No. 9 in the AP Poll and are 4-0 on the season. The Trojans, on the other hand, are all the way down to No. 13 with their 3-1 record.

Both schools have very impressive recruiting classes for 2013. Lane Kiffin has's current No. 1 class, featuring an impressive five 5-star commits, and Notre Dame's class comes in at No. 5 so far.

There was a time not long ago when it would be an easy choice for a talented prospect to choose USC over Notre Dame, but things have drastically changed.

Notre Dame is back, and they are building a legitimate program that can compete with the likes of the Pac-12 powerhouse. Add that to the fact that Williams has a friend committed to Notre Dame and the Irish win the proximity discussion (South Bend is a bit closer to Georgia than Southern California), and it wouldn't be that outlandish to see the 4-star defensive end picking the Fighting Irish over USC.

At this point it's a toss up, and there's still a ton of time to recruit Williams considering he's just a junior, but if it came down to Notre Dame and USC, I wouldn't count the Fighting Irish out anymore.

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