USC Football Recruiting: Top out of State Prospects Trojans Are After
USC fired head coach Lane Kiffin over the weekend, so much speculation will begin about who will be the next leader in Troy. However, another important part of Kiffin's dismissal is how it will impact recruiting.
USC currently has seven commitments, and all are from California. The Trojans have always had a exceptional presence on their state's recruiting trail, but what separates USC from many other powerhouse programs is its ability to land out-of-state prospects at a rare rate.
Whoever the next coach is, he and his staff will have to possess the ability to consistently land prospects from outside the Golden State. A receiver from Louisiana could ignite USC's sputtering offense, while an offensive tackle from Arizona is wanted back in the fold. Plus a defensive end in Illinois could be a great fit for the Trojans' scheme.
Qualen Cunningham, DE
A 4-star defensive end from Arizona, Qualen Cunningham would be a welcomed addition to the Trojans' program. He has adequate athleticism on the edges, solid first-step quickness to beat blockers and flashes some strength.
Cunningham, who is 6'4" and 220 pounds, could be a solid rush-end/outside linebacker in USC's 3-4/5-2 defensive alignment. He uses his hands a little better than the average defensive end recruit, plus he hustles in pursuit.
Texas A&M is USC's biggest competition for him, per 247Sports.
Dewayne Hendrix, DE
Dewayne Hendrix is a 4-star defensive end who would be a good fit as an interior end/tackle for USC. Hendrix, who is from Illinois, has the traits of a 3-4 defensive end, that makes him a potential seamless fit.
At 6'5" and 255 pounds, Hendrix is more of a stout, run-stuffing defensive end than a speedy pass-rusher. He has the strength to stack blocks, anchor down to hold his ground and set the edge to stop the run. Hendrix can keep linebackers clean by occupying offensive linemen, and could weigh over 290 pounds before he leaves school.
Tennessee and Florida are his top schools, along with USC, according to 247Sports.
Casey Tucker, OT
A former USC commitment, 4-star offensive tackle Casey Tucker is a wanted man by many schools. The Arizona native is a 6'6", 270-pounder who has great toughness and nastiness.
Tucker works best in when he short-sets in the passing game, as he quickly gets out of his stance and immediately punches a rusher to stymie their progress. He has good strength, can anchor and re-anchor versus bull-rushers and has the versatility to play across the line.
His power also comes in handy in the running game, as Tucker can clear holes to spring running backs loose.
Schools such Texas A&M, Arizona State and Notre Dame are in the mix, along with USC and Stanford, says 247Sports.
Josh Frazier, DT
Although it's unlikely he signs with the Trojans, Josh Frazier remains a target. The 4-star defensive tackle is a load in the trenches at nearly 6'3" and 324 pounds.
Frazier is physical at the point of attack, as he has adequate quickness at the snap. He can be left responsible for both A-gaps, menace a center as a nose tackle and push the pocket to pressure the passer.
The Arkansas native could be a good 0/1-technique defender in Los Angeles. However, Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and Texas A&M are also being considered, according to 247Sports.
Nathan Starks, RB
Nathan Starks is a 4-star running back who is originally from Las Vegas. He is a power-runner with good straight-line speed, and could even get a look as a safety.
Starks, who is 5'11" and 200 pounds, doesn't get knocked off his track by arm-tackles, attempts to be elusive and has solid instincts with the ball. He will help in the passing game, makes good decisions and can rumble for big gains.
USC will have to beat out notable Notre Dame and Oklahoma, per 247Sports.
Speedy Noil, ATH/WR
A 5-star prospect, Speedy Noil has terrorized defenses mostly as dual-threat quarterback in New Orleans. Yet, he will become a receiver in college, as his exceptional speed, agility, explosiveness and elusiveness are better suited for the perimeter.
Noil is nearly 5'11", weighs 176 pounds and can blow by defenders. He's a fantastic athlete who can dazzle observers with the ball in his hands. He needs to learn how to run better routes, but his skills and upside will pay big dividends.
Noil could see time at receiver, running back, quarterback in wildcat formations and as a returner. USC hopes he'll play those spots in Troy, but Texas A&M, Florida and LSU all will have something to say about that, according to 247Sports.
2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map
Don't forget to check out the 2014 Bleacher Report College Football Recruiting Heat Map. This mobile-ready tool is a neat and interactive way to track the top recruits in the country!