USC Football Recruiting: Is Talamaivao the 1st Domino to Fall in Stretch Run?

Rick McMahan@@RickMcMahanSenior Writer INovember 21, 2013

Damien Mama
Damien Mamaphoto from

Interim head coach Ed Orgeron and his Trojans received a very nice, post-Stanford win present when 4-star offensive guard Viane Talamaivao switched his verbal commitment from Alabama and instead pledged to the men of Troy.

In Talamaivao, the Trojans get a dominant 6'3", 325-pound beast who can pretty much do it all in the trenches.

And while that is enough in and of itself, the verbal from big Talamaivao may only be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to recruiting for the Cardinal and Gold.

In a fortuitous turn of events, the Trojans hosted a large number of recruits for the Stanford game, and they all witnessed the delirium of USC's upset of the Cardinal.

When thousands of Trojan fans stormed the field after the game, they were there.

As the players and the coaches of USC reveled in the joy of the moment, the recruits were there, too.

They saw—and more importantly—felt the new vibe with the Trojans as the team continues to shake the doldrums of the Lane Kiffin era.

And it had to leave a positive impression on the minds of these 17- and 18-year-old prep gridiron stars.

Now, USC has flipped a big-time player from mighty Alabama, and the primary question on the minds of those who follow these things is whether Talamaivao is only the first of many to follow for the Trojans' class of 2014?

One of those high-profile recruits to take in the game was 5-star cornerback Adoree' Jackson, who tweeted following:

Trojan Swag ! #FightOn

— SWEET PEA (@AdoreeKnows) November 17, 2013

Jackson would be a huge "get" for USC, but he isn't the only high-profile recruit keeping an eye on USC.

Jaleel Wadood is a 4-star cornerback, who just decommitted (subscription required) from Cal, and will now focus on USC or UCLA as his final destination to play college ball.

One of the things Wadood is apparently looking at is the love being shown to Coach Orgeron:

That Coach O chant is hard at SC.

— JALEEL WADOOD (@OGLeel_2) November 19, 2013

In fact, the status of Orgeron in terms of him being offered the permanent gig at USC will continue to be something recruits will monitor closely as national signing day draws closer.

Another player at the game who has USC high on his list is 5-star offensive tackle Damien Mama, who just released a list that includes the Trojans in his top four. (subscription required)

John JuJu Smith
John JuJu Smithphoto from

John "JuJu" Smith,'s No. 1 rated safety, also attended the Stanford game and has USC high on his list.

Smith grew up a USC fan and will likely keep a very close eye on what transpires with Orgeron and the head coach search for the Trojans.

Bryce Dixon, a 4-star tight end, ranked No. 3 nationally at his position, also attended the game and is aware of USC's needs at his position.

There were a bevy of 2015 recruits also at the game, and given the atmosphere of the win, they will all have something to think about over the next year.

However, this is not about 2015. It's about this year and how the Trojans will finish up with their 2014 recruiting class.

Certainly, much depends on the job status of Orgeron and how USC finishes up on the field of play.

Still, if things continue as they have been recently, it wouldn't take too much of an imagination to figure the Trojans will end the recruiting year strong.

If this is the case, look for USC to return to the elite status it enjoyed not so long ago.

It's amazing what one well-timed win can do for a program, isn't it?


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