National signing day is just a week away, and for new head coach Steve Sarkisian and the USC Trojans, closing strong down the stretch is critically important for this class of 2014.
Sarkisian has fared well so far in his first month on the job for USC, landing commitments from top-rated players like 4-star tight end Bryce Dixon, and keeping the commitment of others, like 4-star offensive guard Viane Talamaivao, who gave his verbal to USC back when Ed Orgeron was the interim head coach.
Unlike in 2012, Sarkisian has done an excellent job keeping and building USC's class of 2014, though much of that probably has to do with USC's 10-4 record and dominant performance in the Las Vegas Bowl. A year ago, former head coach Lane Kiffin and his staff were reeling from an abysmal 7-6 season and really scrambled to keep recruits from abandoning ship.
Sarkisian has five guys already enrolled and 10 others considered "hard commits" by recruiting experts at 247Sports.com (defensive end Malik Dorton visited USC over the weekend and has reportedly shut down his recruitment and told ESPN's Blair Angulo, posting on the WeAreSC.com message board, he is fully committed to the Trojans), which bodes well for how well Feb. 5 will go.
That said, Sarkisian still has some major ambitions for national signing day. There are a handful of players up for grabs whom the Trojans would love to have in the ranks. Let's take a look at who they are and what they could bring to the table. Athletes will be listed from most questionable to those who are surer bets.
All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports.com unless otherwise noted.