USC Football: What the Chris Brown and Don Hill Verbals Mean to the Trojans

Rick McMahanSenior Writer IDecember 17, 2013

Don Hill
Don Hillphoto from

One thing Trojan fans knew they were getting when Steve Sarkisian was hired as the USC head coach was a guy who was a relentless recruiter, and Coach Sark has wasted no time proving that is the case.

Following on the heels of USC landing a pair of 4-star prospects—Jonathan Lockett and Claude Pelon—last week, Sark is back this week with a couple more verbals from highly sought-after prospects.

On Sunday, Timberline High School (Boise, Idaho) defensive end Don Hill gave the Trojans his verbal pledge, and while Hill may not be a household name, getting his commitment was a huge coup for Sarkisian and USC.

At 6'4", 225 pounds, Hill is a 3-star prospect who would probably be rated much higher if he wasn't coming off of an Achilles heel injury that has sidelined him for most of his senior prep season.

Extremely athletic and with a good frame which will easily pack on more weight, Hill is expected to play a hybrid position where he will alternate putting a hand on the ground and standing up at an outside linebacker position.

Chris Brown
Chris Brownphoto from

But if you look a bit closer, you will also see value in Hill that might not be readily apparent.

With four early enrollment scholarships available and only three players ready to accept them, Sarkisian was desperate to find a quality player to take that last early entrant "schollie," and in Hill, he found a good one.

Hill is expected to use his early time at USC to rehab his foot injury and should be ready to go by fall when things really heat up as the season draws near.

Now with those early enrollment scholarships claimed, Sark and staff can focus on the rest of the 2014 class, and when they do, they will be pleased to see that 4-star offensive tackle Chris Brown is among those who have already pledged to the Trojans.

Brown is a huge (6'6", 290 lbs) offensive lineman who has really seen his stock rise over his senior season.

Possessing great feet and relentless in holding his blocks, Brown went from having only a couple of Division I offers to a prospect who had programs such as Texas A&M, Oregon, Nebraska and others vying for his services.

But the Brown verbal also brings up an interesting quandary for Sark and his staff.

Now in possession of five offensive lineman pledges, the recruiting staff may have a decision to make if 5-star offensive tackle Damien Mama decides to don the Cardinal and Gold as well.

Mama is a special talent who has USC on his short list, and some might say that he has the Trojans at the very top.

So what does Sark do if Mama pulls the trigger for USC? Can he afford to take six offensive linemen with a small recruiting class and a roster that needs replenishing all around?

Or does he pull a scholarship from a guy like Jordan Poland, a 3-star offensive guard who gave USC his verbal pledge but obviously isn't as highly regarded as Mama.

Regardless of what happens from here, Sark has now bolstered the offensive line—a unit that desperately needed help—with a group that should be solid for years to come.

Now he needs to work his magic elsewhere on a roster that needs a whole bunch of it.

But if the last two weeks are any indication, he will do just fine.