USC Football Recruiting: Lane Kiffin's Top 5 Targets for 2014

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer IMarch 7, 2013

USC Football Recruiting: Lane Kiffin's Top 5 Targets for 2014

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    As USC enters spring practice for the 2013 college football season, Lane Kiffin and his staff cast a hopeful eye toward the prep class of 2014.

    Hopeful because Kiffin knows that unless his Trojans improve on their disappointing 7-6 record of last year, there is little reason to believe he will be around to welcome any new recruits the following year.

    Nonetheless, USC has been active on the recruiting scene and this slide show will look at some of the potential future Trojans Kiffin has his eye for 2014.

    Can the Trojans turn it around in 2013? If they do, here are some high profile targets USC hopes will be sporting the cardinal and gold in years to come.

    Note: List order is based on quality of player, need at the position and the recruits likelihood of signing with the Trojans.

No. 5: Nathan Starks (Running Back, Safety)

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    The he doesn't yet possess a Trojan scholarship offer, it is only a matter of time before USC extends one to Bishop Gorman (NV) High School's Nathan Starks.

    Starks, a versatile and talented 4-star prospect, is a 6'0", 190 pound bruising runner who could also excel at safety if needed.

    The good news for Trojan fans is that USC has a couple of things going for them in recruiting Starks.

    First, the Trojans have an established pipeline to Bishop Gorman (Trojan tight end Xavier Grimble) and the fact that Starks has listed his interest in USC as "high."

    The downside? Starks also lists Alabama, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Texas with the same level of interest and all but Alabama have offered him.

No. 4: Kain Daub (Middle Linebacker)

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    USC will need at least one linebacker in the 2014 class and if that player is Sandalwood High School (Jacksonville, FL) middle linebacker Kain Daub, they will have gotten a good one.

    Daub, a 4-star player, is a bruising 6'3", 230 pound brute who is dominant at the point of attack and will just get better as time goes on.

    Recently, Daub trimmed his list of suitors to five and USC was among them along with LSU, Alabama, Oregon and Florida.

No. 3: Marlon Humphrey (Cornerback)

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    Another position of need for the Trojans is cornerback, and not only is Hoover High School (Hoover, AL) cornerback Marlon Humphrey an excellent player at his position, he is one of the best prep players in the nation, period.

    A tremendous athlete at 6'0" 174 pounds, the 5-star prospect has incredible instincts at the position and has a frame which will allow him to be dominant at the next level.

    Like Kain Daub, Humphrey has already trimmed his list of potential suitors and the Trojans made the cut along with South Carolina, Alabama and Florida.

No. 2: Michiah Quick (Wide Receiver/Cornerback)

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    Probably the most dynamic prep player in the nation, Fresno (Calif) wide receiver/cornerback Michiah Quick is a 5'11" 170 pound blur whose elusiveness makes him a nightmare for opposing defenses.

    Extremely versatile, Quick is also a dominant cornerback and that capability also makes him extremely attractive to a scholarship strapped program such as USC.

    A 5-star prospect according to, Quick has already placed the Trojans in his list of favorites along with Oregon, Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Alabama. Of those, all but Alabama have offered Quick.

    USC also has a couple of other things going for them as well including the fact that Quick has camped with the Trojans, and recently, his Central High School teammate, Tashon Smallwood, gave the Trojans his verbal pledge for next year.

No. 1: Tyler Luatua (Tight End)

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    Considered by many to be the premier prep tight end in the nation, La Mirada (La Mirada, Calif) High School's Tyler Luatua is the complete package at his position.

    Possessing excellent hands and elite blocking ability, Luatua would be a prize catch for the Trojans at a time when re-stocking at the unit will be necessary with the imminent departures of USC tight ends, Xavier Grimble and Randall Telfer.

    Perhaps as important for Kiffin and his staff, Luatua is known to have grown up with USC as one of his favorite teams, and they, along with Alabama, are considered the favorites for the young tight end's services.

    Why Alabama? Because Luatua's brother plays there, which is why USC is not considered a lock for his services.