USC Football Recruiting: Profiling the 2014 Linebacker Offers
Defense will continue to be a focus for Lane Kiffin and his staff, and while a larger need is the defensive line (profiled here and here), linebacker is also a requirement for the 2014 recruiting class.
This slideshow will look at several Scout.com 4-star and 5-star prospects whom the Trojans have offered and will also suggest how likely they are to come west and play for USC.
With USC looking to sign at least one and probably two 'backers, here are the guys most likely to don the Cardinal and Gold.
Clifton Garrett (Middle Linebacker)
Depending on which recruiting service you subscribe to, Plainfield, IL linebacker Clifton Garrett is either a 4-star or 5-star prospect and he plays either middle or outside linebacker.
Whatever he is, Garrett is a helluva player.
At 6'2", 228 pounds, Garrett uses his great football instincts to complement his outstanding physical capabilities and form a complete linebacker package.
At this point, LSU appears to be the team to beat for Garrett's services, but USC did make his initial cut of 10 college programs he is interested in.
Nyles Morgan (Inside Linebacker)
Illinois is a hotbed for prep linebackers in 2013, and that is where you will find Nyles Morgan, who hails from Crete, IL.
Morgan is a very mobile 6'2", 228-pound 'backer who is strong enough to play the middle but fast enough (4.53 40-yard dash) to play anywhere in the unit.
Designated an inside linebacker for now, Morgan's growth at the next level will likely determine where he winds up.
With well over two dozen offers in his pocket, Morgan will choose from programs such as Oklahoma, Alabama, Ohio State in addition to the Trojans, and he calls them all "medium" in terms of his interest.
Ronnie Clark (Outside Linebacker)
At 6'3", 213 pounds, Ronnie Clark, who hails from Calera, AL, may be the most athletic of all of the linebackers profiled in this slideshow.
Rated a 4-star prospect by both Scout.com and 247sports.com, Clark has the frame to add much more weight at the next level, which makes him all the more attractive to the myriad of college programs courting him.
While the Trojans have made Clark's initial cut, USC will have to work a minor miracle to pry him from either Alabama or Auburn, two in-state programs that have offered him and ones he has identified as having "high" interest in.
Raekwon McMillan (Inside Linebacker)
For a guy who is 6'2", 242 pounds, Raekwon McMillan belies that bulk with excellent (4.62 40-yard dash) speed. That complete package is what separates him from most prep linebackers.
Calling Hinesville, GA home, McMillan is versatile enough to play fullback for his Liberty County High School team when his isn't creating havoc on defense.
Holding more than two dozen offers, including from powerhouses such as Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia, McMillan claims his interest is "medium" in those who have offered.
D.J. Calhoun (Outside Linebacker)
One of the first California linebackers USC offered comes from El Cerrito and his name is D.J. Calhoun.
Rated a 4-star prospect by Scout.com, Calhoun is a 6'1", 205-pound blur whose athleticism is definitely his calling card.
Though a bit undersized right now, Calhoun is a highly motivated athlete who will easily put on another 20 pounds at the next level.
The good news for Trojan fans is that among his nearly 20 offers, USC is rated "high" in terms of his interest. The bad news? So is UCLA.
Richard Yeargin III (Outside Linebacker)
Historically, USC has had very good results when recruiting in Florida, and that is where you will find outside linebacker Richard Yeargin III, who calls Ft. Lauderdale home.
Yeargin is a 4-star Scout.com prospect who has all of the measurables one looks for in a dominant linebacker.
At 6'4", 225 pounds, Yeargin already possesses a college body, and he will put on more weight in a program at the next level.
Yeargin holds over 30 offers and at this point, all are even on his dance card.
One name noticeably missing from this list is Serra High School (Gardena, CA) linebacker Dwight Williams.
Williams is a 6'1", 212-pound Scout.com 4-star prospect who has made it no secret that he would love an offer from the Trojans.
Why that offer hasn't been extended is a mystery, although the smart money has USC offering sooner rather than later.
Both of these guys are studs, and offers from USC will be arriving for those two post-haste.
That is it for this unit, but check the live blog regularly for all of the news on the recruiting front for USC.