The nation's No. 1 recruiting class took a major hit last night when elite S/ATH prospect Max Redfield announced he was de-committing from the Trojans (ESPN.com). This leaves USC with 17 commitments, and we all know that they can sign only 18 recruits this year, so a scholarship is up for grabs in Troy.
Who's going to be the recruit that hops on the open Trojan scholarship slot first? Well, for this read, I'm going to give you five players that could commit to USC since Redfield departed.
The Trojans have had a disappointing season by their standards, but they still will try to bring in another great recruiting class. These are five prospects who can help.
Redfield's de-committing from USC doesn't mean there is not a chance he could still be a Trojan. The 6'2", 195-pound safety is a great athlete, and I have to believe that USC will not give up on him.
Right now, it appears that Notre Dame is the new leader for Redfield, but don't count the Trojans out just yet. Only time will tell what happens with Redfield's recruitment.
Williams has quietly maintained interest in USC for quite some time, and 247Sports.com lists the Trojans as one of his favorites.
The 6'4", 230-pound DE from Louisiana has LSU, Alabama, Miami and Florida State in the mix, but with a scholarship opening up, USC may choose to turn up their pursuit of him. Williams could choose the trip to Los Angeles—if so, then all bets are off.
Priest Willis of Arizona has had a wide-open recruitment, but USC has always been one of the true focus schools for him. LSU, Notre Dame, Nebraska and Virginia all are in the mix, too, as is Michigan.
The 6'2', 200-pound DB can play CB or S and USC probably will start to put the press on Willis to gauge his true interest in Troy.
He'd be a great pickup, and he could develop into a T.J. McDonald type of safety. Or he could become a hybrid CB-S as Josh Shaw is and as Josh Pinkard was.
It's always been widely known and accepted that Goodman was drawn to USC. If the Trojans had had an extra scholarship when Redfield was committed, I think Goodman would have jumped on it.
He's a 6'2", 190-pound safety that can play both FS and SS with good speed, athleticism, instincts and physicality. Goodman lit up the 7-on-7 circuit this past spring and summer.
He's a prospect who could commit to USC at anytime now.
If USC really wants to fill the exact same slot that Redfield occupied, then this is really about which player fits best with stud 5-star S Su'a Cravens.
Cravens looks like a natural SS to me, as he can be used all over the field. So naturally, a roaming FS type of player would be the best fit to pair with him.
The player who fits that role the best and whom the Trojans covet is Leon McQuay III. McQuay is a 6'2", 185-pound Florida native with great speed, ball skills, range and route recognition.
USC has the music major McQuay is looking for, and the Trojans sit in a good position to land him.
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.