Positive news keeps rolling in for USC's recruiting department this spring. In-state linebacker Cameron Smith, a coveted 4-star prospect, is the latest addition to a growing collection of standout future Trojans.
The 6'3", 225-pound playmaker from Granite Bay, California, announced his commitment Wednesday afternoon on Twitter. Smith issued an emphatic statement about the program that is sure to resonate well in Los Angeles.
"USC is back," he wrote.
The Trojans still have plenty of work to do to revitalize a roster ravaged by scholarship sanctions in recent years. First-year head coach Steve Sarkisian, who served on Pete Carroll's staff during an immensely successful era last decade, is doing his best to fill those holes in a hurry.
A return to national prominence—bringing USC "back"—depends on it.
Sarkisian solidified a strong 2014 class with crucial commitments during the final stretch toward signing day, landing the nation's 11th-ranked recruiting haul in 247Sports' composite team ratings.
So far, his efforts have been equally encouraging throughout the 2015 recruiting cycle. The Trojans currently boast the Pac-12's No. 1 class, a group that ranks 12th nationally more than eight months shy of national signing day.
Smith, who chose USC over the likes of Oregon, Wisconsin, Arizona State and UCLA, is the program's fifth pledge since April 21. Among those commitments, three are rated as top-eight players at their position in 247Sports' composite rankings.
Quarterback Ricky Town (Ventura, California), a 5-star quarterback, helped Sarkisian's staff gain steam on the recruiting trail in late January when he flipped his commitment from Alabama. With an elite passer serving as a catalyst, USC has assembled an impressive group around him.
Smith, rated No. 3 nationally among inside linebackers, earned All-State honors as a sophomore. He followed with an outstanding 2013 campaign, collecting 113 tackles and three interceptions.
His commitment to the Trojans appeared imminent since the team extended an offer in February:
USC adds a ferocious run-stuffer who handles himself well in pass coverage. He has the physical tools to take on a substantial role early in his collegiate career.
Smith gives the Trojans another outstanding defensive prospect to work with in 2015. USC gained commitments from 4-star defensive tackle Jacob Daniel (Clovis, California) and 3-star defensive end Noah Jefferson (Las Vegas, Nevada) last week.
The team is also in good shape to keep its quarterback of the future upright for years to come.
Chuma Edoga (Powder Springs, Georgia), a 5-star prospect, and Roy Hemsley (Los Angeles, California), a 4-star recruit, rank among the country's premier offensive tackles. USC will be thrilled if both live up to expectations and provide Town with plenty of time to deliver darts out of the pocket.
The Trojans now carry eight total commitments, still eyeing up several key targets who could pull the trigger on a pledge early this summer. Smith's decision represents the latest small but pivotal step in Sarkisian's rebuilding process, which is suddenly on the fast track with a successful spring.
Recruit ratings and information via 247Sports unless otherwise noted.