If USC has a primary weakness in 2014, it is in its secondary. More specifically, it is at the two cornerback spots.
If the recently completed spring practice session is any indication, this is a unit that could be the Trojan's Achilles Heel on defense in the upcoming season.
Thus it is with increased focus that USC's recruiting department turns its attention to the prep talent available in this class at this position.
This slide show will look at some of the players that are being offered scholarships by Lane Kiffin and his staff to play cornerback in 2014.
With a glaring need going forward, who are the Cardinal and Gold looking at?
Let's find out...
Perhaps the finest player overall in the west, Serra High School (Gardena, CA) cornerback Adoree' Jackson isn't just a great secondary player, but is also a world class athlete as evidenced by his likely inclusion on the United States Olympic team as a long jumper.
However, despite Jackson's track aspirations, it is his pass coverage abilities that has the Trojan's staff excited.
Though not particularly big at 5'11", 185 pounds, Jackson is absolutely "glue" when it comes to covering opposing receivers.
Fluid coming in and out his breaks and blessed with "swivel hips," Jackson would immediately solve pass coverage issues on one side of the field should he sign with USC.
Better still, if odds were placed on such things, USC would likely be the odds on favorite to land his services although he recently pared his log list down and while the Trojans obviously made the cut, Jackson says his interest is even in all of the teams he listed.
Although Adoree' Jackson may be the best player in the west, he probably isn't even the best player at his position.
That distinction instead goes to Ozen High School (Beaumont, TX) cornerback, Tony Brown.
If one were to design a prototypical corner, they would likely craft a player like Brown whose excellent size (6'0", 185 pounds) is complemented by his even more tremendous speed (4.37-forty).
More importantly, Brown knows how to play the position and his fundamentals are exceptional.
At this point, Brown holds offers from almost all of the top programs in the nation and his interest is "medium" in each of them.
In what can only be described as a banner year for prep cornerbacks, another stellar prospect is Hoover High School's Marlon Humphrey who hails from Birmingham, AL.
Humphrey is a consensus 5-star player who uses his long frame (6'1", 175 pounds) to blanket opposing receivers and also provides good run support from his corner position.
Although he will need to pack on some more bulk at the next level, he certainly has the body and motivation to do so.
Holding many offers, Humphrey recently trimmed his list to a top five and unfortunately, USC did not make the cut.
Another very good cornerback comes from Martin Luther King Jr. High School (Lithonia, GA) and his name is Wesley Green.
Green is a 5'11", 170-pound athlete who is extremely quick and has very good technique, especially in man coverage.
Though he will have to get much stronger at the next level, Green has a good work ethic and there is no reason to believe he won't make the effort to do just that.
Though Tennessee is in the driver's seat for Green's services, USC is still in the mix for the talented young defensive back, along with four or five other major programs.
Returning to California, USC has focused on 247sports.com 4-star cornerback Adarius Pickett, a talented prospect from El Cerrito High School in El Cerrito, CA.
Pickett has been moving up many recruiting services lists and that is because he combines good size (6'0", 185 pounds) with excellent quickness to form a formidable deterrent to opposing receivers.
Pickett holds more than 20 offers and it is widely thought that USC will receive a long look from Pickett when all is said and done.
Given the tremendous need at this position, you would think that USC would have extended more offers to prep cornerbacks both locally and throughout the nation.
Well, the fact of the matter is that it's still early in the process and there are a variety of corners, especially local players, who will receive offers in the near future.
Included in that group is John Plattenburg (Centennial High School, Corona, CA), a fast rising 5'11" 185-pound Scout.com 4-star prospect and Naijiel Hale, another Scout.com 4-star prospect who goes 5'11", 170 pounds.
USC has their eyes on other corners too and for up to the minute news on those prospects and all breaking news on the recruiting front, don't forget to check the live blog regularly.