Who Will Be the Recruiting King of Los Angeles Football, USC or UCLA?

Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterJanuary 22, 2013

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 29:  Drum Major Ed Carden of the USC Trojans Maching Band walks on the field before the game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on November 29, 2008 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California.  USC won 38-3.  (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)
Jeff Golden/Getty Images

UCLA has won the Pac-12 South two years running and appears to be improving on both sides of the ball under head coach Jim Mora. 

The Bruins are also currently at No. 9 on Scout's recruiting team rankings for the class of 2013—USC is ranked No. 10. So far, so good for the Bruins.

Rivals, however, sees things differently with USC ranked No. 6 and UCLA No. 10. Obviously, USC fans are ostensibly favoring the Rivals site while UCLA fans are favoring Scout but for comparison purposes, we'll use the Scout site's specific data.

If you look at the commits for UCLA, three are rated as a Top-100 prospect while nine at USC are in that same category; in essence, USC has three times the cream of the crop as UCLA, if you're into all that ranking and rating stuff.

The amount of 5-star prospects that both teams have received in verbal commits also favors the Trojans: USC has six while UCLA has none. Furthermore, the average star rating of a USC commit is 4.43 while UCLA has an average of 3.62.

This is great stuff for USC but all that talent and nothing to show for it at the end of the season is also important. Georgia Tech beat USC's blue-chippers in the Sun Bowl, after all.

While UCLA is going after very solid prospects and at the same time building its class size (currently at 22, per Rivals), USC is going for blue-chippers while serving out its 15-scholarship restriction. Recruiting rankings can and will be affected by a class size so USC will probably fall out of the Top 10 by National Signing Day. 

UCLA fans will claim the "Recruiting King of LA" title if the Bruins outrank the Trojans on both sides while USC fans will claim superiority if its class keeps up that ridiculous average star rating. But perhaps the best way to determine who is the Recruiting King of LA is by comparing how many prospects were offered by both USC and UCLA and of those who committed to one of those schools, which school ended up with more of those prospects committed to its school. 

UCLA's current class of 22 commits has three prospects who were reportedly received offers from USC: Christian Morris (OT), Johnny Johnson (CB) and former USC-commit Eldridge Massington (WR). Of USC's current class of 14 commits, 10 received offers from UCLA. 

Mathematically speaking, 71.4 percent of USC's commits were offered by UCLA while only 13.5 percent of UCLA's commits were offered by USC. 

UCLA may be ahead of USC in team rankings, but the Bruins still aren't getting the majority of recruits who were offered by both USC and UCLA and committed to one of those schools—the Trojans are still way ahead.

The good news for UCLA is that the quality of recruits has dramatically risen. The bad news for UCLA is that right now, if prospects are asked to choose between USC and UCLA, they're picking USC 71 percent of the time.

Until that number drops, USC is still King of LA in the recruiting wars. But before USC fans start beating their chests, remember who actually won the Battle for LA last November: UCLA 38, USC 28. 

USC just finished up a big recruiting weekend and you can read all about it here.


Data courtesy of both Rivals and Scout's recruiting sites. Data may not be completely accurate since some commits' pages don't reflect every offer they have received.