The Top 10 2014 Recruiting Targets for USC

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IAugust 22, 2013

The Top 10 2014 Recruiting Targets for USC

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    While USC still does not know who its starting quarterback is, the Trojans have cast a wide net to bring in their top recruiting targets. USC is no longer feared on the recruiting trail, but a strong 2014 class would re-establish Troy as a great place for elite recruits.

    Head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff are working hard, but much of their 2014 recruiting success will be based on the kind of season USC has in 2013. A great showing on the field would seal the deal with several great prospects, while another subpar year would bring wholesale changes in Los Angeles.

    The Trojans would love to keep several highly-touted local prospects home. However, they will also try to beat out a few SEC teams for a receiver, along with reeling back in a former offensive line commitment.

    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals247Sports and ESPNU.

Bryce Dixon, TE

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    The Trojans have a great tight end depth chart with players such as Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer and Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick on their roster.

    However, Grimble and Telfer will be in the NFL soon so more depth is needed. Bryce Dixon, who is 6'4" and 220 pounds, would be a great fit for USC.

    Dixon, a 4-star southern California prospect, has terrific speed to fire up the seams. He can dart away from linebackers and has great hands. He will need to improve his blocking skills, but Dixon will be a fantastic weapon in the passing game.

    USC is a major player in his recruitment, per 247Sports

Nathan Starks, RB

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    A 4-star recruit, Nathan Starks is a running back who can attack defenses with power, strength and solid quickness. He is a straight-line athlete, but flashes good speed to rumble upfield.

    Starks, who is 5'11" and 200 pounds, also shows solid hands and receiving skills on third down. He has the skills to play safety/rover in college, as he quickly recognizes plays and can make a big hit when coming straight downhill.

    Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC are his main schools, says 247Sports

Adarius Pickett, CB

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    Adarius Pickett is a good cornerback prospect from California who has a high ceiling. He can play tight man coverage, or back off and make plays in zone schemes.

    Pickett, who is 5'11" and 175 pounds, has loose hips and good short-area quickness. He does not waste many steps when coming out of transition and can quickly close on underneath plays. 

    The 4-star recruit is expected to sign with USC, according to the experts at 247Sports

Casey Tucker, OT

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    Once committed to USC, Casey Tucker is now back on the market. However, the Trojans remain in the picture based on his profile at 247Sports

    The Trojans have some major competition, but they have pulled out bigger recruiting coups in the past. Tucker, who is 6'6" and 270 pounds, is a 4-star offensive tackle from Arizona.

    He has good strength at the point of attack, can be a mauler in the running game and plays with mean streak. Tucker has the potential to be an All-Pac-12 right tackle in a few seasons.


Joe Mixon, RB

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    From northern California, Joe Mixon is one of the top offensive players in the country. He's a 6'2", 195-pound running back who has tremendous receiving skills.

    Mixon, a 5-star prospect, has great straight-line speed. He flashes just enough wiggle to elude a defender or two and can run with good strength. 

    Not to be perceived as strictly a runner, Mixon can flex to the perimeter, run routes and haul in passes to menace a secondary several times a game. USC is in the mix, but so are many other prominent programs, per 247Sports

Damien Mama, OG

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    Damien Mama is a physically imposing 6'4", 370-pound guard from southern California. He has excellent strength and power, can be a classic mauler on running plays and easily sustains his blocks.

    Mama, a 5-star recruit, has heavy hands and plays big at the point of attack. He is an adequate short-area blocker on passing plays and will bury a rusher when given the opportunity.

    Mama is expected to sign with USC or Alabama, according to 247Sports

Michiah Quick, WR/ATH

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    Although some schools may prefer him as a defensive back, Michiah Quick is too dangerous with the ball to not play receiver in college.

    Quick, who is 6'0" and 170 pounds, is a 4-star prospect from Fresno with outstanding speed, quickness and elusiveness. He shows good release quickness, can be sharp out of his cuts and has solid ball skills.

    USC, UCLA and Notre Dame are in the hunt, reports 247Sports

Speedy Noil, WR/ATH

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    It could be tough for the Trojans to pry Speedy Noil away from LSU, Texas A&M or Florida, but they are still under consideration, according 247Sports

    Noil, a 5-star recruit from New Orleans, is an exceptional athlete with fabulous speed and elusiveness. He can stop and start in a flash, explode upfield after the catch and displays natural vision as an open field runner.

    The 5'10.5", 176-pound speedster can play receiver, running back and return on special teams. Wherever he signs, he will make an instant impact.

John Smith, WR/S/ATH

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    An explosive player at 6'1" and 200 pounds, John Smith has a bright future. He has a great burst off of the line, speed and separation quickness to become a No. 1 receiver in college.

    However, Smith also has excellent transition quickness, loose hips, ball skills and field vision to be a dynamic safety. The 5-star recruit attends Long Beach Poly in southern California, which is a pipeline to USC.

    Yet, Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State, Notre Dame, UCLA and Ole Miss are trying to lure Smith to their campus, according to 247Sports

Adoree' Jackson, CB

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    Adoree' Jackson, a 5-star recruit who plays in Los Angeles, is a world-class athlete who could be an Olympic long jumper in a few years.

    Jackson, who is 5'9.5" and 182 pounds, has terrific speed, explosive quickness and wiry strength to match up with bigger receivers on the perimeter. He possesses great instincts, has a knack for making big plays and can be dangerous when returning interceptions.

    Jackson has the Trojans high on his list, but many other programs are also in the race, says 247Sports

2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map

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    The Trojans are aiming high on the recruiting trail, as several of their top targets appear on the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map!

    Check out this feature to get more information on the top recruits in the nation.

    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.