As the February 5 national signing day draws near, a nervous USC Trojans fanbase turns a wary eye to the day when a program's future is either secured or crushed.
For USC—a program with few scholarships open thanks to NCAA sanctions—it is critical that the Trojans secure the few blue-chip recruits left on the board.
With the men of Troy still in play for some very talented prep athletes, new head coach Steve Sarkisian will hone his efforts to bring these premier players into the Cardinal and Gold fold.
But exactly who are these players USC is targeting to finish its 2014 class?
This slideshow will take an updated look at these players that the Trojans would love to land.
For those that follow USC recruiting, many of the names will be familiar, but perhaps their status as of today is not, so let's find out where these targeted players now stand...
Trojan fans who follow recruiting are very familiar with Adoree' Jackson, a Scout.com 5-star cornerback.
Jackson is a supremely talented athlete who can make a difference in all three (cornerback, wide receiver and kick returner) facets of the game, and there is no doubt that the Trojans would love nothing more than to see Jackson in Cardinal and Gold.
And if you listen to ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree, it sounds like USC has moved into the lead for Jackson.
Great news for Trojan fans if this is the way it winds up to be sure.
Another very familiar name to Trojan fans is that of Scout.com 5-star offensive lineman, Damien Mama.
Though long considered a possible Trojan, Mama is playing it very close to the vest. But something that has been revealed recently may surprise those who follow the men of Troy.
You see, Damien Mama is a devoutly religious young man, and as a member of the Church of Latter Day Saints. In an article by Scout.com's Talo Steves (subscription required), Mama revealed that he intends to serve his mission after only a year in the college game.
"Yeah, I want to serve a mission now and I’m looking forward to that,” said Mama. “I want to give back to my Heavenly Father because of everything he’s given me. I have to pay him back with two years of my life. That’s what I want to do.”
Can USC afford to give up a precious scholarship to a player who intends to play for only a year before serving a two-year mission?
When it comes to a player of Mama's ability, the answer is probably yes, but if his serving his mission is this important to him, watch out for BYU, a program that Mama currently has in his top four.
Not much in the way of news to report on the Scout.com 5-star prospect whose uncle, Johnny Nansen, coaches for the Trojans.
Because Juju Smith grew up a Trojan fan and due to the familial ties, Smith is considered leaning toward the Trojans, but as anyone who follows recruiting knows, there is no such thing as a lock when it comes to the actions of an 18-year-old kid.
There have been some rumblings that Smith was enamored with Ohio State, but a deeper inspection to verify those rumors has produced nothing in the way of confirmation on this end.
Scout.com 4-star wide receiver Michiah Quick will be visiting USC this week, and he has them as one of six finalists for his services.
While a visit is encouraging for the Trojans, they still have to be considered a long shot for Quick's signature, and it should be noted that crosstown rival UCLA will get the last visit from the speedster the week before the February 5 signing day.
Also, a scan of Quick's Twitter account reveals absolutely nothing in the way of a tip-off as to where he might wind up, so USC, like everyone else, will play the waiting game with Quick.
Fred Warner will also be a visitor this week to USC, and the Trojans hope that the BYU "soft verbal" will change his mind and sign with the men of Troy.
USC needs another linebacker in this class, and Warner has a ton of upside as an extremely athletic and physical player with a nose for the ball.
If the Trojans can't sway Warner, USC also has Scout.com 3-star linebacker Ismael Murphy-Richardson visiting this week also.
With few scholarships to give, USC will head into national signing day with a limited list of prospects it has its eye on.
In fact, the names contained in this slideshow are pretty much the same players that USC has targeted for months.
Though there is a possibility for a surprise or two, the Trojans will happily settle for a majority of these prospects, and if they get guys like Jackson, Mama and Smith, this year would have to be considered a major success.
In the meantime, both Sark and a nervous fanbase will have to wait to see if their wishes come true in 2014.