USC Football Recruiting: Trojans' National Signing Day Wish List
As the February 6 National Letter of Intent signing day draws near, USC continues to put the final touches on what most agree is a fabulous 2013 recruiting class.
Led by consensus Top 20 players such as quarterback Max Browne and safety Su'a Cravens, the Trojans will welcome a class that is long on quality even if it is short on numbers.
Still shackled with NCAA mandated sanctions, which have removed 10 scholarships per year along with roster restrictions, USC has had to negotiate the crafting of this class with delicate precision.
And because of the scholarship restrictions, Lane Kiffin and his staff have had to scrutinize who would receive a Trojan offer, and many players who would have otherwise had an opportunity to be Trojans found themselves looking elsewhere.
All of which means that at this point in the process, USC has pretty much determined how the 2013 class will look.
Given the very few scholarships left to hand out, the Trojans will not entertain much in the way of late surprises to add to this class.
What follows is a look at who might claim the last three spots in this class, assuming that USC does not suffer anymore decommitments from athletes who have given their verbal pledges.
Whether or not the men of Troy get any of these guys remains to be seen, but what is certain is that the Trojans would love to see a signed LOI from some of these players on February 6.
A'Shawn Robinson (Defensive Tackle)
The Trojans still need interior help on the defensive line, and one of the best tackles out there is Arlington Heights High School's (Fort Worth, TX) A'Shawn Robinson.
Robinson, a Scout.com 5-star prospect, is a rare combination of raw strength and agility, whose ability to dominate inside gives opposing defensive coordinators nightmares.
Designated as a "soft commit" to Texas, Robinson has taken a trip to USC and by all accounts, truly enjoyed his time there.
USC still needs a defensive tackle in this class to go along with 5-star tackle Kenny Bigelow, and while the Trojans are still in the mix for a prime player to be featured later in this slideshow, if they wound up with Robinson, Lane Kiffin and his staff would be very happy indeed.
Matthew Thomas (Linebacker)
Since this is a "wish list," if the Trojans desire to secure a pledge from Miami, Florida's Matthew Thomas would probably qualify under those auspices.
Thomas, also a Scout.com 5-star prospect, is a very athletic 6'4", 210-pound linebacker, whose prowess roaming from sideline-to-sideline creates havoc beyond the first level for opposing offenses.
A recent visitor to USC, Thomas had a "great time" according to Trojan linebacker commit Michael Hutchings, but to what extent his enjoyment on the trip translates to a signature remains to be seen.
What is certain, though, is that USC would love to see Thomas sporting the Cardinal and Gold during his college career.
Kylie Fitts (Defensive End)
Staying with the defensive theme, USC would dearly love to sign a player it already had in the fold at one time.
Redland East Valley High School's Kylie Fitts, a Scout.com 4-star prospect from Redlands, California, at one time, was as secure as a player could be for the Cardinal and Gold.
However, with USC facing scholarship restrictions, the plan to have Fitts enroll early for spring fell apart, and when he was advised that he would have to wait until fall to begin classes, Fitts decided to open his recruiting and look elsewhere, according to an article by Scout.com's Annabel Stephan.
USC is still in the picture for Fitts' services, but it is no longer close to a sure thing that he will be a Trojan when all is said and done.
Quinton Powell (Linebacker)
The Trojans would love to pair incoming linebacker recruit Michael Hutchings with another talented 'backer, and that player might very well be Daytona Beach (FL) prospect, Quinton Powell.
Powell is an extremely athletic player who will need to add some weight at the next level, but he certainly has the frame (6'2", 190 pounds) to do just that.
Powell just completed his visit to USC and tweeted, "Well, it was a great weekend!!" which can only be good news for Trojan fans.
Next up for Powell is a trip to South Carolina, and he will likely make a decision on LOI signing day.
Eddie Vanderdoes (Defensive Tackle)
Like Kylie Fitts, Placer High School defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes was once a Trojan verbal pledge.
But unlike Fitts, Vanderdoes decided to re-open his recruitment without the justification of a failed promise by the coaching staff.
Instead, according to an article by Scout.com's Greg Biggins, Vanderdoes simply decided that, "I feel I owe it to myself to take a step back and make sure I’m doing the right thing."
Vanderdoes also recently took another trip to USC and in an article by Scout.com's Brandon Huffman, he said, "“The visit went great and I got to talk with the coaching staff more in depth so that was a lot of fun.”
Vanderdoes still has trips to Notre Dame and Alabama ahead of him, and where he winds up is anyone's guess.
With just a few spots left in this class, USC is hoping to finish with a bang in order to build momentum for the 2013 season.
As it stands, the Trojans have already put together a magnificent class, and one that will position USC for success in the years to come.
Of course, fans of the program will say you can never get enough of a good thing, and when it comes to garnering prep talent, that is certainly true.
The preceding list of recruits represents players who the Trojans hope will be wearing Cardinal and Gold come February 6, when letters of intent are signed and faxed.
And for all connected with the program, they can only hope that sometimes wishes do indeed come true.