As the Trojans prepare for the juggernaut known as the Oregon Ducks, the recruiting brain trust still has an eye on the future, both immediate (next year) and beyond.
In conjunction with last week's flurry of offers to prospective future Trojans, USC has offered scholarships to another group of prep players, some of which address specific needs and others who simply are just too good to pass up.
In addition, another player the Trojans have offered and who would fit a real position of need has included USC in his final cut of teams he is considering.
Lamar Dawson, an athletic linebacker who is rated a four-star prospect by Scout.com, has the Trojans, among four or five others, as the team he is considering playing for at the next level.
In an recent article by Scout.com, Dawson is quoted as saying, “They’ve got a great combination of academics and athletics and I really just like the way they play defense.”
Hmmm, he must have only viewed the Cal game this year, eh?
Nonetheless, Dawson would look very good in cardinal and gold, and the Trojans hope he still holds that view on letter of intent signing day.
Meanwhile, USC continues to attempt to bolster depth at specific positions and, thus, were motivated to offer an undersized, but athletic offensive guard form West Branch, MI.
Anthony Zettel, who only weighs 255 lbs. but has the body (6'4") to add weight, recently received an offer from the Trojans.
Zettel, whose athleticism manifests in tremendous explosion off the ball, needs only to pack on that bulk to become dominant at the next level.
However, Zettel only has "low" interest at this point in the Trojans, who join a multitude of other programs in soliciting his services.
On the other end of the spectrum is a defensive end from Palmdale, CA who is very much interested in playing for the Trojans.
Listing his interest in USC as "high," Steve Dillon uses his 6'3", 260 lb. frame to simply overpower his hapless opponents.
Dillon, who had nine sacks as a junior in 2009, is having a banner year in 2010 and holds over a dozen offers, but the Trojans are the only program that he has shown an affinity for.
Now, for the future.
2012 is shaping up as a bumper crop for prep football players, and the Trojans are wasting no time getting a head start on next year's seniors.
To that end, USC recently offered a running back whose measurables are simply eye-popping.
Hailing from Raleigh, NC, Keith Marshall—who goes 5'11", 180 lbs.—is a burner.
With a 4.32 forty yard dash time, Marshall has gone to the top of many recruiting services' 2012 list and for good reason.
A five-star prospect according to Scout.com, Marshall uses all that speed to complement surprising shiftiness to complete a running back package that has over a dozen major programs drooling for his services.
At this point, Marshall isn't tipping his hand on favorites, listing them all as "medium" in terms of his interest.
One of the 2012 prospects who has caught the Trojans' eyes and motivated an offer is at a position that USC is well stocked in.
Quarterback is a position where the Trojans are blessed with a lot of talent already and despite having even more coming in with the verbals of Max Wittek and Cody Kessler in 2010, there is another signal caller who is simply too talented to pass up.
Zeke Pike, who is already 6'5" and 223 lbs, also possesses a cannon for an arm and has attracted scholarship offers from almost every major program in the country.
Pike, who calls Ft. Mitchell, KY home, lists more than a dozen programs who have offered, as "medium" on his dance card.
As the Trojans prepare for Oregon, whose demolition of UCLA casts an ominous pall for the immediate Trojan future, the coaching staff will split its attention between the Ducks and recruiting.
Lane Kiffin has already said that recruiting will be a major focus during the bye week and due to this, expect more offers to be shortly forthcoming.
Despite a dearth of scholarships to give, the Trojans are still major players for prep talent.
And these erstwhile high school players are still listening with rapt attention.
For 2011 and beyond.