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USC Football: Analyzing Trojans' Top 5 2015 Recruiting Targets

Kyle KensingContributor IDecember 5, 2016

USC Football: Analyzing Trojans' Top 5 2015 Recruiting Targets

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    USC's first full recruiting class since the NCAA levied severe sanctions against the Trojans is coming together quite nicely.

    The Trojans have verbal commitments from eight prospects, including two 5-star and three 4-star recruits, per 247Sports' composite rankings. 

    But head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff are on the trail for more highly touted prep prospects to bring into the USC fold. The Trojans are in play for several top-tier players who have yet to give commitments to any program. 

    By landing a few more of this crop, USC can truly make a splash in its full-strength return to the national recruiting scene. 

Wide Receiver Cordell Broadus

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    Cordell Broadus
    Cordell BroadusCredit: 247Sports.com

    Although 4-star wide receiver Cordell Broadus is playing prep football and getting his education at Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman, his roots are planted deep in Los Angeles.

    Broadus' father, Calvin Broadus, is better known by his stage name, Snoop Dogg. And in the mid-2000s, at the height of the USC dynasty, this institution of the Los Angeles music scene was a fixture on the Trojans sidelines.

    Of course, his dad's musical credentials are hardly responsible for the lofty praise and many recruiting offers coming Broadus' way.

    Broadus can thank his diverse skill set, which earned scores from seven to nine across the board of 247Sports' evaluation. His highest-rated attributes are his hands, ball skills, agility and route running. 

    In his Hudl.com highlight video, Broadus also shows a knack for using his length to make plays over the top of smaller defensive backs. 

Defensive Tackle Rasheem Green

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    Rasheem Green
    Rasheem GreenCredit: 247Sports.com

    Junipero Serra High School in Gardena, California, has been good to USC. Notable Trojans to come from this California Interscholastic Federation power in recent years include Robert Woods, Marqise Lee and 2014 signee Adoree' Jackson.

    Tee Martin and Chris Wilson are recruiting 5-star defensive tackle Rasheem Green to be the next Trojan from the JSerra pipeline. Green is the nation's No. 3 tackle per 247Sports' composite rankings and the No. 7 tackle per the site's individual metrics.

    At 6'4" and 290 pounds, Green already has the size to jump onto a Pac-12 defensive line. And gauging from his highlight package at Hudl.com, Green knows how to use that size.

    He's able to overpower offensive linemen with ease and deliver punishing tackles. Green's ability to read and anticipate plays makes him a terror in the backfield.

    There's a quality to Green's game reminiscent of current USC defensive line star Leonard Williams.

     

Linebacker John Houston

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    John Houston
    John HoustonCredit: 247Sports.com

    Green's JSerra teammate John Houston is one of the premier outside linebackers in the recruiting class of 2015.

    The 5-star Houston is the nation's composite No. 3 at outside linebacker—No. 2 per 247Sports' individual rating system. Houston's athleticism and playmaking ability in space are key qualities in his high rating.

    Scout.com's assessment points to Houston's continued growth:

    At 6-3, 210 pounds, Houston has the kind of frame you dream about and isn't even close to filling out. He has the athleticism to make plays sideline to sideline, is very tough and physical and does a great job taking on blocks and making a play.

    While Houston is a highly coveted outside linebacker, his agility is worthy of comparison to the style that allowed Dion Bailey to flourish in the hybrid safety/linebacker role.

Running Back Malik Lovette

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    Malik Lovette
    Malik LovetteCredit: 247Sports.com

    Malik Lovette, a 4-star all-purpose back from Redlands East Valley in Redlands, California, received an offer from USC in early March. It didn't take long for the Trojans to be heavy favorites, according to 247Sports' crystal ball projections.

    Lovette doubles as a ball-carrier and receiver for his prep team and brings the same big-play ability to both positions. His highlight reel, via Hudl.com, demonstrates an uncanny explosiveness that allows Lovette to both break off long runs and break past coverage on wheel routes as well as when lined up in the slot.

    Lovette can also find and break through holes to extend plays. His dual-threat skill set shares similarities with that of current Trojans running back Javorius "Buck" Allen, who caught 22 passes in 2013 while also rushing for 785 yards. 

Cornerback Iman Marshall

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    Iman Marshall
    Iman MarshallCredit: 247Sports.com

    Five-star cornerback prospect Iman Marshall could follow former Long Beach Poly teammate John "JuJu" Smith, the 2014 5-star recruit from the Southern California prep juggernaut.

    USC is the favorite per the 247Sports' crystal ball projections, and what a talent Sarkisian and staff would welcome in with Marshall's signing. 

    Marshall is the nation's second-ranked cornerback per 247Sports' composite rankings (No. 1 per the site's individual scoring), and his Hudl.com highlights demonstrate why. 

    Marshall is versatile, doubling as a return specialist in addition to his duties on defense. He can turn the course of a game on special teams as quickly as he can in the secondary. And Marshall is indeed capable of making a momentum-shifting interception at cornerback. 

    At 6'1", he's rangier than typical cornerback recruits. Combined with his instincts, which 247Sports scores at nine points out of 10, Marshall is able to make plays on the ball other defensive backs might not.  

     

    Recruiting rankings and information culled from 247Sports.com's composite scores unless otherwise noted. 

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