USC Football Recruiting: Recapping Trojans' Huge Official Visit Weekend

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USC Football Recruiting: Recapping Trojans' Huge Official Visit Weekend
USA TODAY Sports
USC hosted 11 targets and commits over the weekend, and it went exactly as planned for Coach Steve Sarkisian

USC hosted 11 commits and targets over the Jan. 25 weekend, and it went as well as Steve Sarkisian and his coaching staff could have hoped.

A couple of commits shut down their recruitment, meaning that they are 100-percent sold on USC and will be signing with the Trojans come Feb. 5. As for the uncommitted, a handful of players seem destined for Troy, though the coaches will likely continue to court them until it's official.

According to ESPN's Blair Angulo, Bryce Dixon and Malik Dorton are fully committed to USC, and this weekend's official visit sealed the deal.

 

Bryce Dixon

Angulo wrote on WeAreSC.com that Dixon spent the weekend with tight ends coach Marques Tuiasosopo, who broke down the plan for Dixon as a player as well as the position group as a whole. The 4-star tight end was "blown away" by Tuiasosopo's pitch, and Dixon told Angulo that Tuiasosopo coming to USC played a large part in the Trojans ultimately earning his verbal:

It made me comfortable. Coach Tui was recruiting me at UCLA and I was going to go there. We’ve had a great connection even before he went to Washington. We had a great connection there too, but the thing is it’s too cold in Washington. Him coming to USC was big. I like him as my position coach. All the coaches are fired up about being at USC and I like that. You can tell when a coach is being fake or real and I know these guys are real over here.

Dixon had originally planned to take a final official visit to UCLA over the Jan. 31 weekend, but after his official to USC, he has officially shut down his recruitment: 

It was perfect and everything I wanted the visit to be. I’m 100 percent on my commitment after this weekend, for sure. I’m not going to take that visit to UCLA at the end of the month. I was pretty sure before arriving on campus, but on the visit the coaches showed me how they are going to use me in their offense. I was a bit skeptical on that at first, but I’m real comfortable after getting reassurance. I’m not going to UCLA and I’m not trying to lead them on. I’m a Trojan.

Another exciting thing happened while the Trojans were hosting their targets, and though it had nothing to do with the class of 2014, it still has an impact on at least one member of this class.

Ricky Town, a 5-star quarterback and top-rated prospect for 2015 committed to USC, and his high school teammate Dixon looked forward to him arriving on campus:

He’s going to come in and we’re going to have a connection. He’s going to do his thing. He’s a great quarterback. You can’t ask for a better quarterback in college. We’re going to be attacking the same plays and it’s going to be an easier transition for Ricky.

 

Malik Dorton

As for Dorton, Angulo reported that the 3-star defensive end greatly enjoyed his official visit and is also fully committed to being a Trojan. After the coaching change, Dorton was one of the players who was unsure of his place in Sarkisian's class of 2014, and it had been speculated that a decommitment was coming from him shortly after the one from his St. John Bosco teammate, Shay Fields.

However, Dorton told Angulo that before he spent the weekend at USC, he had talked to the coaches and they reaffirmed his place in the class.

While at USC, he spent time with the coaches hammering out how they plan to use himas a stand-up end, coming off the edge for the pass rush and additionally, dropping back into coverage. 

Dorton also told Angulo that he "got a great vibe" from highly touted targets Damien Mama and JuJu Smith, which is exactly what USC wanted to achieve this weekend.

 

Viane Talamaivao

Talamaivao was the other Trojan commit that USC hosted this weekend, and unlike Dixon and Dorton, he has been completely locked into the program for some time now. For him, the weekend was about working as a recruiter himself and helping to convince his buddies Mama and Smith to become Trojans.

The 4-star offensive guard was supposed to take his official visit over the Jan. 17 weekend, but when Mama and Smith rescheduled, so did he. 

Angulo spoke with Talamaivao's father, Chris Talamaivao, who spoke favorably of their weekend experience:

The best part for Viane was just hanging with the guys. Even Toa Lobendahn and J.R. Tavai came over and met with them. It was great. USC rolled out the red carpet for us. It's for sure that Viane is going to USC. He's completely solid.

Chris even tweeted a picture of his son, Mama and Smith from the weekend, while the group visited LA Live:

The recruits also spent time learning about their chosen fields of study if they attend USC.

“My major at USC is ranked No. 1 in the nation: Biokinesiology,” Dixon told Angulo. “That really set the bar high, too. School-wise, I liked everything.”

Talamaivao want's to study business, and his father spoke glowingly about what he learned that the Marshall School of business provides:

Viane is going to study Business. It’s awesome. Of course, we know how well connected USC’s alums are. We met with the Dean of the Business School and hearing him talk and giving examples of kids making one phone call and getting their foot in the door was great. You start hearing a sales pitch and once you’re hearing it from everyone, you know it’s real.

Dorton is looking at criminal justice:

I want to study Criminal Justice and USC showed me they have a lot of connections with the Secret Service, CIA and FBI. I sat down with the head of the department and he told me about the different programs USC has. That was great.

It appears that both on and off the field, USC really pulled out all the stops to appeal to the desires of its most coveted recruits and targets.

For the headliners of USC's big official visit weekend, all signs suggest that Sarkisian and his staff will get everything they want come national signing day. This is a vast improvement from 2012, where the Trojans saw nearly half of their class of 2013 abandon ship in the final month of recruiting.

 

Follow me on Twitter: @TreniseFerreira.

All information provided by Blair Angulo of ESPN, and WeAreSC.com.

 

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