USC Football Recruiting: Position-by-Position Preview for the Class of 2015
USC's 2015 recruiting cycle is off to a strong start. Head coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff have eight verbal commitments at six different positions, including two 247Sports composite 5-star prospects.
All told, the Trojans top 247Sports' Pac-12 rankings and check in at No. 13 nationally.
The current corps of commits provides USC a strong foundation for national signing day 2015.
USC scored arguably the biggest coup of the 2015 recruiting cycle when it added 5-star pro-style quarterback Ricky Town, a former Alabama commit.
Town withdrew his verbal pledge to the Crimson Tide in January, shortly after former USC head coach Lane Kiffin was hired to replace Doug Nussmeier as Alabama's offensive coordinator. The timing prompted speculation, including from Dan Wolken of USA Today via Twitter.
But because Town never explained why he changed his commitment, Cecil Hurt of TideSports.com (subscription required) notes there is more speculation than substance:
Town hasn't said anything on the issue but a lot of people think he passed on USC because Kiffin was there, and will now bypass Alabama and end up a Trojan. Others say it isn't Kiffin's presence so much as it is Doug Nussmeier's departure. Others, perhaps wiser, realize it could have been any of a hundred things that cross the mind of a 17-year old, a part of the growing trend of de-commitments around the country.
Rather, Greg Biggins of Scout.com credited USC assistant coach Marques Tuiasosopo for a job well done in pursuing Town's commitment.
Town is a Southern California product, playing his prep football at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura. He is the nation's No. 3 pro-style quarterback, according to 247Sports, and the prototype of the highly touted prospects that the Trojans brought in throughout the Pete Carroll era.
He visited a number of schools in the spring, including USC, as well as Eastern universities such as West Virginia, Boston College and Maryland.
As USC's class of 2015 comes up through the program together, its 5-star quarterback could very well have a 5-star offensive tackle protecting him.
Chuma Edoga is the second of the Trojans' 247Sports composite 5-star prospects. He gave his pledge in April, just a few weeks after visiting.
He scores a perfect 10-of-10 on 247Sports' rankings for his feet and athleticism and earned scores of nine for his pass blocking and body quickness.
He is teammates with Oregon-committed running back Taj Griffin at McEachern High School in Powder Springs, Georgia.
USC did not have to search quite as far for its other 2015 offensive line recruit. Roy Hemsley, a 4-star recruit, is a product of Windward School in Los Angeles. At 6'6" and 280 pounds, he earned high marks for his frame and size from 247Sports.
Assistant coaches Clay Helton and Chris Wilson notched a big recruiting victory in California's Central Valley—literally.
Defensive tackle Jacob Daniel stands 6'4" and weighs in at 310 pounds, already boasting the size necessary to make an impact at the collegiate level. And with highly rated athleticism, engagement at the point of attack and a quick first step, this composite 4-star prospect should make a splash for the Trojans.
247Sports is so high on Daniel that the site grades him as a 5-star recruit in its own ratings.
He received offers from a variety of programs, including several in the Pac-12 like Oregon and Washington. But he told Austin Kemp of The Fresno Bee that the complete package of what USC had to offer made it the right fit.
"The fact that it's a great education and close to home set them apart from other programs," he said.
"It was really cool...because they are my No. 1 school," Jefferson said.
It would appear then that his primary recruiters, Marques Tuiasosopo and Peter Sirmon, have the defensive end locked up. And according to Jefferson's high school coach Rich Muraco, USC is getting a great talent. The coach told the Las Vegas Sun:
He’s got everything you would want in an offensive or defensive lineman. He is 6'6", 280 [pounds] but lean. It’s hard to find those type of kids who are also athletes and can move around. Every big-time (college) program has been in and is interested.
Cameron Smith of Granite Bay High School in Granite Bay, California, told Wescott Eberts of SB Nation he would release a top-five list of schools in mid-June.
I'll bring a top five out in June, but I still love USC, UCLA, Wisconsin, Tennessee," he said. "They're all high on my charts and such."
That was May 20. On May 21 the four-star inside linebacker made his commitment to the Trojans.
Should USC keep Smith in the fold, it will gain the nation's third-ranked inside linebacker for the class of 2015.
Taeon Mason told Bleacher Report he "grew up loving USC."
"I was going into [USC] Junior Day hoping they'd offer me," he said.
The 3-star cornerback and wide receiver from John Muir High School in Pasadena, California, quickly accepted his scholarship offer. He committed to the Trojans on Feb. 1.
Other suitors have emerged, most recently USC rival Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish extended Mason an offer on April 22.
Recruiting rankings and information culled from 247Sports.com composite scores unless otherwise noted.