USC Football Recruiting: Recapping Key Visits from the Weekend of January 19th
As weekends go, this one will be the biggest for USC's football recruiting in 2013.
The Trojans will be welcoming 12 high profile recruits to the southland and while many of them are already committed to USC, there are others that Lane Kiffin and his crew would dearly love to sign.
Like many recruiting trips, some of these players are just out for a free trip while others are giving the Trojans a long look before making up their minds as to where they will spend their college careers.
One recruit who won't be on USC's campus this weekend is Mater Dei high school tight end, Thomas Duarte, who recently gave a verbal commitment to UCLA and said he is firm in that pledge.
Of course, the fact that Duarte wasn't offered a Trojan scholarship and would be facing a cadre of talented players at his position at USC may have also had something to do with his cancelling the trip, but that is another story.
This slideshow will look at six players who have yet to commit to a program and are checking USC out this weekend to see how they fit into their plans.
Along the way, updates and odds of the players signing with the Trojans will be offered.
Can USC finish with a bang and deliver more quality recruits to an already stellar class?
Let's find out.
Note: Odds of a player signing with USC is based on the player's interest in the program, USC's need for that player and other information which may lend itself to evaluating the likelihood of his committing to the Trojans.
Demorea Stringfellow (Wide Receiver)
While this recruiting trip for Rancho Verde high school wide receiver Demorea Stringfellow certainly would not qualify as a long distance vacation (he is from Moreno Valley, CA.), it does represent a chance for the Washington soft verbal to make sure he is truly committed to the Huskies.
Stringfellow does hold a USC offer (according to Scout.com) and with the recent decommittments of receivers Sebastian Larue and Eldridge Massington, the Trojans certainly could use him more than they thought they would earlier in the process.
Still, there aren't many slots open in this class and while USC is the only other program he professes an interest in, he claims that interest is "low" and thus it seems unlikely we will be seeing Stringfellow in cardinal and gold any time soon.
Odds of Demorea Stringfellow signing with the Trojans: 100-1
Tyrell Robinson (Linebacker) & Tyree Robinson (Wide Receiver)
Another short distance trip will be undertaken by the San Diego twins, Tyrell and Tyree Robinson.
The Robinsons, who opened up their recruitment after committing to Oregon when Chip Kelly left for Philadelphia, will also be be checking out Notre Dame and Ohio State but have yet to make formal plans for visits.
USC pursued the twins earlier in the recruiting process and the interest at one time was reciprocal, but with just a couple of scholarships left, it remains to be seen how workable bringing in two players is for the Trojans.
However, it appears that at least Tyree Robinson has had a good time on his visit after his tweeting, "What a night!" and "so far so good" in describing his stay in Southern California.
Odds on Tyree and Tyrell Robinson signing with USC: 75-1
Matthew Thomas (Outside Linebacker)
For USC, getting a visit from Scout.com 5-star linebacker Matthew Thomas is a coup in and of itself, but Trojan fans probably shouldn't read too much into this visit.
Thomas is a highly coveted athlete who has the potential to be truly special at the next level. Although the Trojans certainly would find room for him, according to Scout, it is thought that he will stay close to his Miami, FL home.
That makes his final destination likely to be a battle between Florida State and Miami.
Still, stranger things have happened, and USC has a nice track record in Florida...
Odds of Matthew Thomas signing with the Trojans: 25-1
Quinton Powell (Linebacker)
Whereas securing a pledge from Matthew Thomas might be a long shot for the Trojans, a commitment from Daytona Beach, FL. linebacker Quinton Powell may be more realistic.
Powell, a 4-star Scout.com prospect, has narrowed his list to three, and USC—along with Florida and South Carolina—made the list, and for good reason. According to Scout.com's Amy Campbell, Powell has "has been liking USC for quite some time and he’s excited to get out there and see the program first hand."
One thing we know for sure is that he is impressed with the Southern California climate. Though not particularly revealing on Twitter, Powell did say the weather is perfect and that he was "living that Cali lifestyle!"
The Trojans need another linebacker to go along with Michael Hutchings, and if that 'backer was Quinton Powell, Trojan fans would certainly have a reason to smile.
Odds of Quinton Powell signing with the Trojans: 7-1
Eddie Vanderdoes (Defensive Tackle)
The biggest recruiting prize (literally) for the Trojans this weekend is a player that they once already had in the fold.
Eddie Vanderdoes is a 6' 3.5", 310-pound beast who will be a difference maker at the next level from his defensive tackle spot.
Rated a 5-star prospect by Scout.com, Vanderdoes had verbally committed to the Trojans but rescinded his pledge.
Now his final destination is anyone's guess.
Worse yet for USC, Vanderdoes still has a couple of visits to Notre Dame and Alabama ahead of him, which does not bode well for his ultimately settling on the Trojans.
However, USC's prospects to land Vanderdoes did improve recently after they hired Clancy Pendergast as the defensive coordinator which prompted big Eddie to tweet, "Pendergast is the coolest dude! I remember seeing him when I visited Cal all the time. Funny guy to, believe that."
Although that tweet is encouraging, where Vanderdoes winds up is still going to be a signing day mystery.
Odds of Eddie Vanderdoes signing with the Trojans: 5-1
The preceding highlighted players represent those whose pledges are either of the "soft" variety or completely unknown.
However, they are not the only players on campus this weekend—the Trojans will also welcome a bunch of committed players as well.
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey, offensive linemen Nico Falah and Khaliel Rodgers, defensive end Jason Hatcher, linebacker Michael Hutchings and wide receiver Steven Mitchell are also at USC for one last visit before LOI signing day.
And as important as the uncommitted players are, it is just as important that the Trojans send this group of players home knowing that USC is indeed the right place for them to spend their college careers.
With this being the last major visit weekend for USC before the February 6 signing day, Lane Kiffin and his staff have a chance to build some much needed momentum for the 2013 college football season.
And coming off of a year where very little went right for the men of Troy, some positive news would be welcomed indeed.