USC received tremendous—and timely—news Wednesday when El Cerritos (El Cerritos, CA) High School linebacker Derik (D.J.) Calhoun announced at The Opening that he gave the Trojans his verbal commitment to play ball with the Cardinal and Gold, as reported by Scout.com.
Calhoun, a 6'1", 210-pound Scout.com 4-star prospect, is a great "get" for the Trojans at a position of need who blends spectacular lateral quickness with a tremendous nose for the ball, and he should pay dividends sooner rather than later for the men of Troy.
But the payoff for USC could come even sooner with Calhoun's pledge.
You see, young D.J. has friends who play the game as well, and as a group, they are very close. So close that Calhoun's verbal might only be the start of a flood of good news for USC.
One of Calhoun's closest friends is his teammate, cornerback Adarius Pickett, and anyone who knows anything about the Trojans knows that this position is probably the single greatest need for USC.
Pickett is a very highly regarded corner whose good size (5'11", 175 pounds) and solid technique would make him an immediate asset for a Trojan secondary that has a bevy of issues in that unit.
But Pickett isn't the only buddy of Calhoun who may be swayed by his friend's decision to play for the Trojans.
One of the most sought after running backs in the nation is Freedom High School (Oakley, CA) stud Joe Mixon.
Will USC wind up signing both Pickett and Mixon?
Holding over 45 offers, the Scout.com 5-star prospect has already cut that list to a top 10 (subscription required) and while USC was one of those who made the grade for Mixon's services, you can bet that they are now in the driver's seat for the 6'2", 195-pound speedster.
Another thing you can bet on is that D.J. Calhoun will be leaning on his two friends to join him at USC.
Speaking to Scout.com's Brandon Huffman, Calhoun said, "Joe and Adarius, you have to know I’m going USC 24/7 on them. I’m already telling Joe and Adarius, 'meet me there.' I know we all want to go to school there. I’m telling everyone too.”
As for Calhoun's decision, the die has been cast for the Trojans, and he seems pretty solid with USC, saying, "It’s a giant weight off my shoulders, it's big, and I’m not going to take any other visits."
So USC receives a fantastic Fourth of July present in getting a great talent at a true position of need in D.J. Calhoun.
And better still, it may be a gift that just keeps on giving.