Lane Kiffin the Recruiting Magician: Kyle Prater and Dillon Baxter Are Trojans

Jon SarverCorrespondent IJanuary 21, 2010

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 13:  Lane Kiffin (L) new college football coach of University of Southern  California greets quarterback Matt Barkley after arriving at Heritage Hall on the campus of USC for a news conference on January 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Kyle Prater & Dillon Baxter Vow to Return Trojans to Glory


This just in, Pete Carroll Jr. aka Lane Kiffin seems to be settling in just fine, thank you!  In what has to rank as a huge upset to those who are praying for the Trojans to return to the middle of the pack, USC has seen two great stars firm up their commitments in the last 24 hours.

Dillon Baxter, who comes with Reggie Bush like credentials if not the family baggage, spurned hometown San Diego State (OK, he didn't!) to sign with USC and enroll next week.  This announcement came as a devastating blow to the Pac-10 that has been praying for the Trojan demise for years now!  

Baxter took an unofficial visit to USC Monday and met with Lane Kiffin in person.  That conversation ended with Baxter reaffirming his pledge to USC.

Baxter, National Player of the Year, has canceled any further visits, and will suit up in cardinal and gold this spring giving him a huge leg up (similar to Matt Barkley last year) as he prepares for the 2010 season.

On KUSI TV in San Diego, Baxter said, "After talking about it with my family, I decided to go to the University of Southern California. Pete Carroll leaving - that's his choice. I can understand it was a big deal and an offer he couldn't pass up. It's all business, and I had to learn. Coach Lane (Kiffin) kept coming in and talking to me. He said all of the right things."

Baxter joins a backfield that consists of Marc Tyler, a bruising back who is coming off a lost season but was recruited with the same fanfare as Joe McKnight several years ago.  Allen Bradford, C.J. Gable (a Kiffin favorite), and Curtis McNeal pose the competition for Baxter in the Trojan backfield so it should be fun.

If coach Kiffin "competes" like Pete Carroll and we believe he will, then Baxter should have plenty of opportunity to showcase his considerable talents.  Needless to say, the Trojans are stacked again so the rest of college football had better beware.

That brings us to the next five-star save by the Kiffin gang.  Enter Kyle Prater who couldn't have picked a better time of year to leave his home in Hillside, Illinois, Notre Dame, and the Big Ten.  He arrived in abnormally wet Southern California this week to prepare to play catch with Matt Barkley in the fall. 

This kid is athletic, quick, acrobatic, and just an amazing talent.  He has a phenomenal burst of speed, which can make the short gainer into a magical play.  He is ranked No. 1 at his position and No. 3 in the nation so look for him to start in 2010 with an eye on the NFL.  He is a Mike Williams like 6'5" with a 4.56 40. 

It is just this kind of receiver that Lane Kiffin and his staff must develop to compensate for the huge loss of Damien Williams.  However Williams, though great, was more of a possession receiver and could not lengthen the field, which was imperative last year for the Trojans to utilize their numerous offensive weapons. 

Too often USC was forced into turnover-making decisions because of their inability to stretch the defense.  In part, they suffered for it greatly as the offense went three and out too many times leaving a tired and undermanned defense to spring several leaks.

Kiffin in his first week has moved quickly to secure two of Pete Carroll's best.  It should help an offense that looked to be much stronger anyway.  It could very well be that this new class will continue the great Trojan tradition well into this decade.


Hey Trojan fans are you tired of the BS of the BCS?  Demand a college football playoff now!