Trojans sign nation’s top recruits

first_imgHead Coach Steve Sarkisian and the USC football program picked up one of their most successful recuiting classes in recent history on National Signing Day.USC’s 2015 class not only dethroned Alabama’s four-year run with the top recruiting class on Rivals.com, but it was also ranked No. 1 by Scout.com,  was slated No. 2 by both               247Sports.com and Prep Star as well as No. 3 by ESPN.com.  While this is huge for the Trojans, Sarkisian pointed out that it’s “only a piece of the puzzle” to the team’s success.If USC will return to the national powerhouse that it was  a decade ago, this is a step in the right direction in its  first  year back with fully-instated scholarship numbers following the NCAA sanctions that derived from the Reggie Bush scandal.Focusing on size, speed and physicality, the Trojans pulled in four five-star, 14 four-star and eight three-star recruits. Fulfilling the drive for five and picking up the “Fab Five” — linebacker and tight end Osa Masina, linebackers Porter Gustin and John Houston Jr., defensive lineman Rasheem Green and cornerback Iman Marshall.Sarkisian shared that Gustin “is going to be a great leader;” that Marshall is “unique” with his physicality and mentality; and that both Masina and Gustin will see some time on offense.One  of the most memorable events was Marshall’s announcement video on BleacherReport.com. About 20 minutes before his scheduled announcement, the video, titled “The Commitment,” revealed that Marshall would be attending USC. Sarkisian thought Marshall’s approach was “really cool and very well done.”The rest of the 2015 class is filled out with one junior college transfer, wide receiver De’Quan Hampton and 13 freshmen: defensive lineman Jacob Daniel, quarterback Sam Darnold, running back and wide receiver Dominic Davis, defensive lineman Noah Jefferson, running back Ronald Jones II, defensive back and wide receiver Isaiah Langley, tight end Tyler Petite, defensive lineman Christian Rector, defensive back and wide receiver Ykili Ross, defensive lineman Kevin Scott, offensive lineman Cole Smith, defensive back Marvel Tell III and running back Aca’Cedric Ware.Of the players who joined USC this January, there is one junior, wide receiver Isaac Whitney, and four freshmen, offensive lineman Chuma Edoga, offensive lineman Roy Hemsley, line backer Cameron Smith, and quarterback Ricky Town.Sarkisian pointed out that he couldn’t be happier with this year’s class. The coaching staff took a different approach to the recruiting process as compared to last year, and it definitely paid off.“This year around, we were a lot more calculated,” Sarkisian said. “It turned out exactly how we wanted it to.”The best part about the class of 2015 is the depth they provide to the team. There are multiple guys who can work both sides of the ball and guys that add depth to previously limited positions (thanks to sanctions).Sarkisian spoke about how the defensive players of this class will be key considering the amount of seniors that will be leaving on the defense at the end of next season. He’s looking at them to create a more “physical secondary.”Sarkisian also emphasized that their “first goal” was getting recruits from California. Of the 24 recruits in the Class of 2015, 17 of them are from California. He shared that it’s more than just a numbers game; it’s about the “individuals.”A huge emphasis on recruiting was placed on the defense. With Williams and Pullard leaving, USC needs players who can step up and fill in their positions, and there are guys in this class that can do just that.In Sarkisian’s view, it is more than just getting the right guys to fill in positions: it’s about developing an unstoppable, dominant team.“We need to build a football team that has the potential to be a bully,” Sarkisian explained. “To be a really good defense, you need to be a bully.”On the two quarterbacks, Ricky Town and Sam Darnold, Sarkisian shared that he just loves them. Town, who is already enrolled at USC, “has been a rock” for USC and Darnold just “blew [the coaching staff] away.”According to Sarkisian, one of the most compelling factors that entices recruits to USC is the “amazing brand” that is USC. Not only does the football program boast tradition and championships, the university provides countless academic opportunities.“This place in unbelievable,” Sarkisian stated. “The power of the degree and life after football is just as important.”Looking forward to the season, Sarkisian emphasized getting the recruits to work over summer to prep for their first game against Arkansas State.“We want to be a really complete football team,” Sarkisian commented. “Ultimately, this class is going to win a lot of games.”Based on the unbelievably successful day for the Trojans, there are plenty of expectations for the upcoming season. If everything pans out the way that it’s currently set out, then the Trojans should expect to feel like the same birthday-esque feelings from National Signing Day and find the long-awaited success that has been missing from the program since Pete Carroll’s era.The Trojans return to football officially when Spring Practice kicks off on March 3.last_img

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