For as long as anyone can remember, USC has attracted top flight high school recruits to the sunny climes of Southern California.
Even during the lean periods of the late 1980's and 90's, premier prep players still found the attraction of playing for the Trojans difficult to resist.
And now that the NCAA has reduced the amount of scholarships the Trojans can offer for the next three years, top flight players still yearn to don the cardinal and gold.
But why has the allure of USC been so strong for these young players?
What is the source of this magnetic attraction that draws these recruits from all over the nation to play for the men of Troy?
This slide show will look at some of the reasons that USC has been so successful in drawing high school talent to the storied university.
Some of the reasons will be obvious, others perhaps a little less apparent.
But all of these attributes combine to make USC one of the most attractive places for young players to ply their trade on the gridiron.
Let's find out why this is so...
The bright lights, the red carpet, the celebrities...
Hollywood and its associated notoriety has always been a major attraction for tourists and anyone who has flipped on the TV to watch any one of a number of its award shows and featured attractions.
And so it is with wide eyed impressionable young football players.
From the beautiful women to the swanky clubs, any self respecting farm boy from the midwest who can trap block has a hard time getting past the superficial glow that forms the aura of the "Capital of Entertainment."
And to complement that specter, USC has a marvelous cinematic and theater department to groom that young player for inclusion to the world of entertainment.
In fact, Cyrus Hobbi, the big incoming offensive guard from Arizona will be majoring in theater at USC and the universities outstanding reputation as well as its proximity to Hollywood played a big part in his decision to come further west.
Trojan fans are happy that young Hobbi made that decision in just one take.
Some college football uniforms are plain (Penn State), some are ghastly (Oregon), and then some are just plain cool.
The iconic colors of USC's cardinal and gold take a spot front and center when it comes to outstanding uni's, and is there anything more "beast" than the Trojan on the side of the helmet?
In a word...
So when young players wistfully imagine life as a Trojan, they do it in those instantly recognizable colors of the University of Southern California.
And even the most uncool youngster knows that they too will look great on Saturdays as the Trojans run out of the tunnel in the historic Memorial Coliseum.
Speaking of which, generations of Trojans have talked about the electricity of that tunnel run.
The tradition of the site itself, from Olympic games to the hundreds of Trojan victories, provide another allure that can only be matched in a very few places.
Cool uniforms and a legendary place to play.
What more could a young recruit want?
With apologies to the Ball States of the world, how many of their players take the field on Saturdays thinking that the game they play that day may have implications for national title hopes?
With the exception of last year and this one, which are under the auspices of the NCAA sanctions, the Trojans enter each and every year knowing that they have the juice to contend for that mythical title.
Along with that comes the very real possibility that on January 1 or later, that young recruit may find themselves in a BCS bowl game.
And high visibility portends of another major attraction for prep players that goes hand-in-hand with playing on a team that garners national attention on a yearly basis.
What is that attraction?
Check the next slide to find out.
You want television exposure?
Come to Los Angeles and play for the Trojans.
For many programs, its news when they play on television in front of a national audience.
For USC, its just another Saturday.
With the Trojans tradition and its location in America's second largest city, the subject of television only makes news when on those very rare occasions when USC doesn't play in front of the cameras.
Even if they don't play in front of the whole country, USC is almost always guaranteed to play in front of a regional audience.
All of which makes it very enticing for a young player who wants his family and friends to see him play on the small silver screen.
And this is just another reason why young recruits love to play for USC.
Former USC coach Pete Carroll started the tradition and current head man Lane Kiffin has maintained it.
If you are good enough, regardless of your age, you can play for the Trojans.
During Carroll's reign, one of his selling points to young recruits was that he was unafraid to let age act as a hindrance to their seeing the field of play.
Now former Carroll protege, Kiffin, has continued the recent tradition.
Last year wide receiver Robert Woods and cornerback Nickell Robey not only played, but started for the men of Troy.
When recruits are asked what are the some of the main considerations that go into their decision to sign with programs, often they will cite early playing time.
Carroll then, and Kiffin now, make good on those promises.
And prospective Trojans love that about USC.
What many young prospective Trojans only have a cursory knowledge of is how much weight being a Trojan football player carries.
As it is routinely pointed out, it isn't so much a Trojan "nation" as it is a Trojan "family."
And this extended USC family never forgets its own.
The networking, business and social opportunities that come with being a former player (or for that matter, just a graduate) are legendary and these perks often return to Trojans of years gone by just when they need them most.
More times than could possibly mentioned here, when a Trojan finds themselves in need, there are members of his or her Trojan family there to lend a hand.
It is a benefit of being a Trojan that is hard to quantify but nonetheless is tangible and real.
When prospective Trojans hear of this family atmosphere, it is something they want to be a part of.
Who wouldn't love that?
For the haters, nothing Lane Kiffin does will change their minds regarding his coaching ability, or lack thereof.
But for fans of the program, they know that Kiffin possesses an innovative mind and they only have to look back to the salad days of the Pete Carroll era for proof.
As the Trojan offensive coordinator, Kiffin led the most potent offense that had been seen in decades.
And Trojan recruits know this too.
However, if they have any reservations, prospective Trojans can also look to the bevy of quality assistant coaches to get a good feel for how they will be "coached up."
Monte Kiffin, Lane's father, is a legendary former NFL coach.
Ed Orgeron knows the defensive line like nobodies business.
John Baxter is one of the most respected special teams coaches in the nation and Joe Barry had years of professional experience coaching the finest linebackers in the country.
These are only some of the fine coaches that Lane Kiffin has on his staff.
Top to bottom, the USC staff has some of the best coaches in the nation and young players want to play for these men.
Yet another reason why recruits love USC.
Granted, in the minds of USC recruits, the importance of being groomed to play in the NFL may be placed too low on this list.
The priority these young players place on being positioned to play professional football probably ranks first or close to it when it comes to making a decision to play for the Trojans.
But regardless of where this falls on their list, they know that USC has put more players in the NFL than any other program in the country.
And that matters.
If you can excel playing the game at USC, chances are you will be a very high draft choice when it comes time to take your game to the next level.
Its a fact that is not lost on these young players and recruits love this aspect of playing for the Trojans.
Damn right they do.
When a players days on the gridiron is done, that USC diploma on the wall will stay with them for a lifetime.
A degree from the University of Southern California carries prestige that opens doors professionally for as long as they live and for those young players who can see beyond the immediacy of football, this is a huge attraction.
Regardless of their academic pursuits, graduating from USC will provide professional opportunities in their field of study that few other degrees from other programs can offer.
This appeals not only to the young players in question but also to their parents who may be as important to win over as the young man himself.
Being a USC graduate is a major attraction and recruits love that about the Trojans.
When everything is said and done, the bottom line for these young recruits is that they have received a scholarship offer from USC.
Along with that offer comes the prestige of having the possibility of playing football at one of the finest universities in the nation.
And a large part of the package is the tradition and pride of playing for a program that has been on the forefront of football excellence for over a 120 years.
The opportunity to play in front of adoring fans in the cardinal and gold of USC is simply too attractive for many of these premier players to pass up.
When young players think of those Trojans who have come before them, icons such as Marcus Allen, Troy Polamalu, Mark Sanchez, Carson Palmer, and so many more it would be impossible to mention them all here, they are entranced by the possibility that they may join them in the annals of Trojan lore.
At the end of the day, its USC.
And that is the No. 1 reason why recruits love USC and want to play for them.
Make no mistake about it.
When taken in its entirety, there are many, many reasons for a recruit to love the notion of playing for the USC Trojans.
The weather, the beautiful women (ahh, the USC song girls), the fine dining, beaches, mountains, entertainment, and so many more things that it would take a separate slide show just to mention them all, those are also reasons for recruits to come play for the cardinal and gold.
For wide eyed young prep football players, a scholarship offer to play for the Trojans represents an opportunity that for many of them, is just too good to pass up.
And so multitudes can't resist the offer.
Because of that, the Trojans often find themselves with some of the best recruiting classes in the nation.
Despite the best efforts of the NCAA and their suspect sanctions of the USC football program, this will not change.
Though the Trojans will be shackled with smaller recruiting classes for the next three years, those who do come west will represent some of the finest prep athletes in the nation.
Why will this be so?
Because the recruits who do make the commitment know that playing for USC is an opportunity like no other.
And because they simply love the idea of playing for the Trojans.