National signing day is next Wednesday, Feb. 6. USC and all other programs are busily flying to and fro across the country getting in last minute visits with key recruits.
Of course in USC’s case, the Trojans are still living in a sanctioned world, so they have fewer slots to fill than other non-sanctioned programs. Still, Lane Kiffin and his staff are in pursuit of a talent-laden recruiting class.
Led by Gatorade National Player of the Year, quarterback Max Browne, top safety Su’a Cravens and academic All-Star Leon McQuay III, this 2013 Trojan recruiting class is largely expected to be one of the best since the Pete Carroll days.
USC is, of course, working with a scholarship reduction of 10 per year (for another two years), so the level of player with whom Lane Kiffin is looking to stock his 2013 class is somewhere around "superstar." No big deal, right? These are the Trojans of USC, and sanctions be damned, they won’t be held back.
Next Wednesday, follow along all day as Bleacher Report covers USC's signing-day news as it occurs.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the biggest prospects USC is still trying to land and/or solidify. This list will not include defensive tackle and former USC commi Eddie Vanderdoes. From everything being reported on Vanderdoes' possible intentions, it would be a surprise if he re-committed to USC.
DB Jalen Ramsey
Ramsey is a 4-star cornerback out of Brentwood, Tennessee’s Brentwood Academy who has been committed to the Trojans since July 2012.
Recently, however, Ramsey has taken official visits to both Florida and Florida State while USC fired it’s defensive backs coach Marvin Sanders—not helping the Trojans cause with Ramsey and other recruits like him.
Of course USC also hosted Ramsey the weekend of Jan. 18, and Lane Kiffin flew to Tennessee to visit him on Wednesday, Jan. 30, possibly a sign that he knows Ramsey is on the fence and could be lost to the Gators or Seminoles on signing day.
OLB Quinton Powell
Daytona Beach, Florida’s 4-star linebacker Quinton Powell is set to make his decision about where he will play college football live during signing day coverage on ESPN. He has narrowed his decision down to USC and Florida.
— Quinton Powell (@qpowe17) January 27, 2013
Powell is ranked 15th amongst outside linebackers and 190th in the final Rivals.com top 250 players for the class of 2013. He was amongst the recruits visiting USC the weekend of Jan. 18, where he got to meet new defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast. As an OLB, he would be a big addition to the 3-4 defense that Pendergast runs.
Michael Hutchings is the only other linebacker committed to USC’s 2013 class, and he is considered a solid verbal commit for the Trojans. With Pendergast’s 3-4 defense, the Trojans have a big need for linebackers.
DE Kylie Fitts
The strange saga of Kylie Fitts continues. Originally, Fitts was supposed to be a spring enrollee, but a last minute snafu changed that. The Trojans didn’t actually have an extra space for Fitts once Leon McQuay III enrolled and another Trojan didn’t graduate (thus freeing up a scholarship for Fitts).
Fitts was told his scholarship would be available in the fall, not spring. (via Larry Brown sports)
Fitts took visits to UCLA and Notre Dame after he decommitted from USC. Where he signs is anybody’s guess, but he was spotted at Wednesday’s USC vs. UCLA basketball game sitting in the Bruins section and wearing a powder blue baseball cap.
We will know for sure next Wednesday on national signing day.