When 4-star outside linebacker Quinton Powell decided to join USC on national signing day, it not only added depth on defense, it also did well for the psyche of the program.
After all, the day before national signing day, three top recruits decommitted from USC, including 5-star cornerback Jalen Ramsey and 4-star defensive ends Torrodney Prevot and Jason Hatcher.
Powell said he wasn't fazed by the recruits decommitting (per ESPN), and it's a good thing for the Trojans. Now they can pair someone up with 4-star outside linebacker Michael Hutchings in the 2013 class.
It also gives the Trojans depth in the linebacking corps. Given they have been looking to shore up the defense, that's certainly a plus. They gave up a combined 139 points against Pac-12 opponents Arizona, Oregon and UCLA last season.
The visit to USC appeared to go well for Powell, given he canceled trips to South Carolina and Arkansas thereafter. It also didn't hurt that his former high school teammate, Leonard Williams, was on the team.
Powell possesses the speed, quickness, strength and explosiveness to be a dynamite edge pass-rusher for the Trojans. But it goes beyond that. The Daytona Beach native also displays the instincts and anticipation to translate well to the next level. Combined with his sideline-to-sideline ability, toughness and physicality, he's not only a serious threat as a pass-rusher, he can drag down ball-carriers from behind.
The program took some bumps and bruises on Tuesday, igniting criticism of head coach Lane Kiffin, but Powell's decision on national signing day shows that the Trojans certainly aren't down and out. They still possess a top-15 recruiting class this year.
If USC had lost Powell, it would have been yet another huge hit for the program. But Powell's decision, despite the mass exodus on Tuesday, does well for the Trojans' confidence moving forward. They need it after the debacle in 2012.
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