USC Football Recruiting: Profiling the 2014 Wide Receiver Offers, Pt. 1
It wasn't so long ago when USC was up to its eyeballs in quality wide receivers but due to graduation and injuries, those days are long gone.
Now the Trojans find themselves with five scholarship receivers and all of a sudden, this unit has become a priority in the 2014 recruiting class.
Fortunately, they picked a good year for prep talent at the position and this is reflected in the myriad of scholarship offers USC has extended to a dozen prospects from all around the nation.
This slideshow will look at six high-profile recruits and offer some analysis on both the player and the likelihood of their donning the Cardinal and Gold.
In a class that is likely to see as many as three players taken at this position, here are the top wide receivers the Trojans have in their crosshairs.
USC needs versatility as it continues to deal with scholarship reductions which have depleted the roster and, as such, a guy like Michiah Quick would sure come in handy for the Trojans to sign.
Listed as a wide receiver and athlete by 247 Sports who lists him as a 4-star prospect, the Central High East (Fresno, Calif.) product would likely play in the slot at the next level.
Extremely quick (no pun intended), Quick is electric with the ball in his hands and his ability to create space in the open field makes him dangerous at all times.
Quick holds offers from most of the major programs including Alabama, Notre Dame and Oregon and though he lists his interest in all as even; it is believed that USC may have a slight lead for his services.
John "JuJu" Smith
Another extremely versatile athlete, Poly High School (Long Beach, Calif.) wide receiver/safety John "JuJu" Smith is one of the best prospects in the west.
Rated a 5-star prospect at safety by Scout.com and a 5-star at wide receiver/safety/athlete by 247sports.com, Smith is a 6'1", 200-pound stud who has tremendous quickness and hands.
Smith currently has over two dozen offers including those from Alabama, Notre Dame, Oregon and Ohio State but the good news is that it appears USC is the team to beat for his services.
Hailing from perennial prep powerhouse Glenville High School (Cleveland, Ohio), 6'0", 175-pound Marshon Lattimore is yet another versatile athlete who is listed as both a cornerback and wide receiver.
Lattimore is an extremely quick athlete who creates space both with elusiveness and body control.
Possessing very good hands, Lattimore needs to work on his routes, but he has both the motivation and talent to become very good at the next level.
Holding more than 20 offers, Ohio State is definitely the team to beat, but USC has had Glenville commits before (Aundrey Walker) so anything is possible.
Could Homestead High School (Homestead, Fla) wide receiver Ermon Lane be the next recruit USC pulls out of Florida?
Lane is a 6'3", 200-pound beast who combines great size with very good quickness and body control to form a dominating pass-snaring package.
Excellent at developing space between the ball defender, Lane is athletic enough to win the jump balls and while his route running skills need honing, this guy has all of the ability to be successful at the Division I level.
Lane holds offers from all of the national powers and says they are all even on his dance card.
Still another long receiver the Trojans are very interested in is Mountain Pointe High School (Phoenix, Ariz.) pass catcher, Jalen Brown.
At 6'2", 170 pounds, Brown will have to put on some weight for the program he signs with but make no mistake about it, this guy is a player.
Rated a 4-star prospect by both Scout.com and 247sports.com, Brown combines good size and quickness with a soft pair of hands to form a complete receiving package.
Although he holds well over three dozen offers, Brown has recently cut his list to nine and the good news for Trojan fans is that USC made the cut along with other programs such as Oregon, Ohio State and others.
The last receiver in this first part of two slideshows featuring Trojan wide receiver prospects takes a look at another tall and talented pass catcher, this time an athlete from Ouachita Parish High School in Monroe, La.
Cameron Sims is a 6'4", 200-pound wideout whose potential is off the charts. Sporting a great pair of hands and good speed (4.6-40-yard dash), Sims will only get better as he matures.
With over 20 offers in his pocket, Sims has now cut his list of possible destinations to eight and USC is among them but they will have to fight programs such as Alabama and Notre Dame for his signature.
As stated before, USC is definitely in the market for wide receivers in this class and if the Trojans could secure the signature of a couple of the previously profiled pass catchers, they would certainly be happy.
As it is, USC is in the mix for most, if not all, of these high-profile prospects.
Much will depend on the success USC hopes to experience in 2013 but if it does well, look for the Trojans to go down to the wire for the services for these players.
But what if they don't get any of these players? Well, come back for Part 2 and take a look at "plan B" for the next batch of prospective Trojans at this position.