The recruiting trail is getting active for the USC Trojans once again, who have their sights set on 4-star Tyler Petite, the 6'5", 225-pound tight end out of Moraga, California.
He is a smooth route-runner with reliable hands and has room on his frame to bulk up once he gets to college.
As far as recruiting is concerned, he has narrowed his options down to USC and Duke and recently told Greg Biggins of Scout.com that he is close to making a decision.
Petite discussed what he has on the agenda in the coming weeks with Biggins:
I'm going to visit USC next Wednesday. They have their Rising Stars Camp so I'm going to come down for it and meet the coaching staff. I'm not going to work out, I just want to meet the coaches and the guys on the team.
I'm still trying to figure out how much time I'll be there. I'll for sure be there all Wednesday but I might try and get over there Tuesday night too. My plan is to take this last visit and then I should be ready to commit pretty shortly after.
While that last sentence could imply Petite will be ready to commit to USC shortly thereafter, he has yet to indicate that either school has an advantage over the other. He's already visited Duke, and the Blue Devils are recruiting him aggressively:
I love Duke, they definitely have a chance, no matter how the USC visit goes. It's super close between the two, very tight and it's going to be a very hard decision.
I have a great relationship with the coaches and I'm very close with the players. The biggest thing with Duke is I'm comfortable there. That's what I'm looking to see at USC. Both are great very good academically and I like the football program so it comes down to where I think I'll fit in the best.
The Trojans will spend next week trying to convince Petite that Troy is the best fit for him.
Objectively speaking, USC has the clear advantage over Duke due to the program's clout and esteem in college football. Beyond that, there's space on the roster for him, and Steve Sarkisian and his staff are desperate to get their hands on some more quality prospects at tight end.
Veteran Randall Telfer is entering his last season at USC, leaving just Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick and Bryce Dixon behind him. The Trojans' tight end corps is frail and decimated by a lack of depth. Being that the new offense installed in Troy is much more tight end-friendly than was the case with Lane Kiffin, Sarkisian needs as many able bodies as he can get at this position to enhance the passing game.
Petite wouldn't have to wait long to see playing time at USC, and he can expect a fair amount of passes thrown his way. The recent success of Austin Seferian-Jenkins at Washington (146 receptions, 1,840 yards and 21 touchdowns on his career)—where Sarkisian previously coached—could be encouraging to Petite and influence him to sign with USC.
Offensive coordinator Clay Helton is in charge of the Northern California recruiting region, and he will be heavily pitching to Petite how he would fit into USC's scheme.
Should the Trojans land him next week, it would be yet another recruiting win for Sarkisian and keep USC ahead of the other Pac-12 schools at this stage in the recruiting cycle.
Note: Recruiting info courtesy of 247Sports.com.