New head coach Steve Sarkisian came, he saw and he conquered USC's national signing day 2014.
In a year mired by struggles and instability, Sarkisian managed to come to Troy in December and do what former head coach Lane Kiffin could not do just a year ago: Sarksian closed, and he closed strong.
USC began national signing day with the 26th best class, and ended up just outside the top 10, at No. 11, when all the action came to a halt. USC not only signed the 10 commits it had lined up (and had five already enrolled), but the Trojans also knocked it out of the park by getting the big three: 5-star CB Adoree' Jackson, 5-star ATH JuJu Smith and 4-star OG Damien Mama.
Thanks to a top-notch effort down the stretch on the recruiting trail, Sarkisian is off to a blazing start in his first season at the helm in Troy. Fabled recruiter and wide receivers coach Tee Martin also had much to do with the signing day fanfare. His efforts went a long way for USC, as he had a hand in bringing in some of the biggest names to Troy this year. According to Scout.com's Greg Biggins':
And USCFootball.com's Gerard Martinez had this to say about Martin's role in the recruiting process:
Sarkisian made it clear in his introductory press conference that he intended to addresses USC's positions of the greatest need, and he certainly delivered on that promise. The Trojans welcomed five offensive linemen to Troy on Wednesday, three of which are ranked in the top 10 of their position group. Then there's the six defensive backs USC also signed, including studs like Smith and Jackson.
Started playing football because of a man who wore #5 by the name of Reggie Bush .. And Now I'm Up Next 🙌 God Is Good @ReggieBush— SWEET PEA (@AdoreeKnows) February 5, 2014
More importantly, USC signed skill position guys that can play on either side of the ball, or both, depending on what the Trojans needs are next season.
A year ago, USC's recruiting class was decimated by an abysmal season. This year, the Trojans used that adversity to power themselves to a 10-win season, and despite all the instability the coaching carousel brought, it seems USC has landed on solid ground once again.
Per Ryan Abraham of USCFootball.com, Wednesday went exactly as Sarkisian and USC wanted it to go:
Said this morning any #USC surprises today would have been bad. None came, clean sweep for Sark.— Ryan Abraham (@insidetroy) February 5, 2014
With just 19 scholarships to give out, Sarkisian and his staff certainly got their money's worth. The next step is for them to arrive at USC in the fall, and get to work developing on the future of Trojan football.
Follow me on Twitter: @TreniseFerreira