Classes are underway and the seven early enrollee athletes are at USC, there is no more speculation—they are officially Trojans. Who are they? What are their qualifications? What will they bring to USC? Let’s take a look at the Magnificent Seven of 2013.
These seven young men are the future of a USC program still under significant NCAA sanctions. Coach Lane Kiffin and his staff have done a superb job recruiting the best and brightest of the class of 2013 to be Trojans.
Let’s take a look at the Magnificent Seven:
QB Max Browne
RB Justin Davis
WR Darreus Rogers
DL Kenny Bigelow
DB Chris Hawkins
DB Leon McQuay III
DB Su’a Cravens
Max Browne, from Skyline HS in Sammamish, Washington, is a 6'5" inch QB who has already earned a trophy case full of honors. This Rivals-ranked No. 1 overall QB and No. 4 overall recruit is the Gatorade National Player of the Year, USC Today All-USA Offensive Player of the Year and a U.S. Army All-American—to name just a few of this high school superstar’s accomplishments.
His Skyline High School team is back-to-back state champions. As a senior, Browne passed for 4,526 yards and 49 touchdowns with just five interceptions.
Go ahead, digest that for a bit and think about future Trojan greatness and a sixth (really seventh) Heisman to add to the USC collection.
It’s OK to get excited, Browne is an exciting player.
It is expected that Browne will give Max Wittek and Cody Kessler a run for their money, especially since, as a Spring enrollee, he has a full semester to familiarize himself with the Trojans’ playbook. Browne is the most highly touted QB to enroll at USC since Matt Barkley.
As a reminder, Barkley won the starting QB job as a freshman over other more experienced QBs.
Justin Davis, from Lincoln High School in Stockton, California, is a 6'1", 215-pound running back. He has a Rivals 4-star ranking and is considered the overall No. 12 running back and overall No. 116 player in the class of 2013.
Davis was a U.S. Army All-American who ran for 1,806 yards in 229 carries and had 23 touchdowns in his senior season. Oh, and by the way, his junior season was even more outstanding with 2,613 yards on 274 carries with 39 touchdowns.
Davis was also a member of his high school track team, running a personal best 11.09 in the 100 meters and 22.76 in the 200 meters.
Last season, USC proved that it needed more than two running backs to get through the season. With just Silas Redd and D.J. Morgan returning as experienced Trojan tailbacks, it will fall to a new Trojan to provide depth. As a Spring enrollee, Davis will get the advantage with that extra semester to prepare. He is also larger than Redd and Morgan and could grow into a true power back.
Check out some of Davis' highlights here.
Darreus Rogers, a wide receiver out of Carson High School in Carson, California (a suburb of Los Angeles), is a 6'2", 195-pound, Rivals 4-star athlete. According to Rivals, he is the No. 29 overall wide receiver and No, 198 overall football player from the class of 2013.
It should be noted that Rogers was originally a member of the 2012 recruiting class, but he was ineligible academically—he actually didn’t even meet USC admission qualifications until the end of the Fall 2012 semester. He was academically eligible and officially admitted at the end of the fall semester, so was able to practice with the Trojans before the team left for the Sun Bowl.
In his senior year of high school in 2011-12, Rogers had 1,251 yards on 64 carries for 10 touchdowns.
Click here for Rogers' highlight reel.
Kenny Bigelow, a DL out of Elkton, Maryland’s Easter Christian Academy, is a 6'3", 295-pound, Rivals 5-star player. He is considered by Rivals to be the No. 1 overall DT in the nation and the No. 12 overall player in the nation.
Needless to say, this is a big get for USC.
The one concern is that Bigelow’s high school only played three games in its 2012 season, so his stars aren’t entirely accurate as a result. Bigelow is expected to be a solid DL, in the mold of current stand-out Trojan Leonard Williams.
Chris Hawkins, a six-foot tall, 170-pound DB from Rancho Cucamonga High School in California, is a Rivals 4-star athlete with an overall No. 8 ranking at CB and No. 34 overall ranking.
Hawkins is a good cover corner, a focus of Lane Kiffin’s recruiting over the past two seasons. Hawkins was a U.S. Army All-American playing both ways as a corner and wide receiver.
Check out Hawkins in action.
Defensive back Leon McQuay III is something special.
Not only is he a superb football player, but he is also quite an academic superstar as well. McQuay comes to USC out of Seffner, Florida’s Armwood High School as a Rivals 5-star player ranked at No. 2 among safeties and No. 22 overall.
McQuay made his choice to commit to USC at the Under Armour All-American game. He was named to the USA Today All-USC second team after making first team at the end of his junior season.
McQuay has been named one of the five finalists for the Franklin D. Watkins Award recognizing the top African-American male high school scholar athlete. McQuay intends to study audio engineering at USC.
Su’a Cravens, a 6'3", 215-pound defensive back out of California’s Vista Murrieta High School was named the USA Today All-USC Defensive Player of the Year. So, to clarify things, in Browne and Cravens USC has the USA Today Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year in its 2013 recruiting class.
Cravens was also the Gatorade California Player of the Year and a U.S. Army All-American. In high school, Cravens played not just DB, but also LB, WR and RB. He had 97 tackles, eight sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and three blocked punts on defense in 2012, and he also accounted for 542 yards and 14 TDs on offense.
Oh and by the way, Cravens’ sister Malia is a sophomore on the Women of Troy’s basketball team and his cousin Jordan was a football player at USC while another cousin, Brynn, played basketball for the Trojans.
Check out Cravens 2012 highlights here.