Outclassed: Sanctioned Trojans reach for the stars

WR Nelson Agholor | Tampa, FL

USC entered National Signing Day burdened with the task of assembling a top flight class with ten fewer scholarships. It was the first year of NCAA mandated reduction, first challenge for Lane Kiffin and his staff, and the first time since 2002 that the Trojans stared at the possibility of finishing outside of the top 10 in recruiting.

As Signing Day came and went, we received a lesson in diligence.  USC would not kneel and lower its head before a cracking NCAA whip. It would not surrender to sanctions and move to the backseat of the class. It met the challenge head-on, tactfully leveling the playing field with a campaign of quality over quantity.

USC signed 15 players to the 2012 class, with only Wisconsin receiving fewer commitments (12) among BCS conference programs. 13 of 15 prospects were ranked 4-star or higher, which enabled the program to extend its streak of top-10 recruiting finishes to ten consecutive years*.

Two of the day’s biggest announcements came from Florida, where a pair of the state’s top recruits pledged USC.  The signing of Nelson Agholor brings another 5-star pass catcher to Southern California, which adds another stitch to a recruiting pattern established years ago. 4-star Leonard Williams bolsters the future of a defensive line that is now absent Nick Perry and DaJohn Harris.

OL Jordan Simmons | Encino, CA

The acquisition of both players solidifies USC’s presence in the south, as it continues to pluck top rate players from that region of the country. The Trojan arm also extended north to Washington, where it pried 5-star tackle Zach Banner from the local clutch.

This is achieved without ignoring or neglecting local talent, as USC continued to reel in highly rated recruits from its own backyard. It secured linebackers Scott Starr and Jabari Ruffin early, as well as Santa Margarita’s Max Tuerk.  And despite reports that Jordan Simmons and Darreus Rodgers were wavering in the final hours, each would sign on the dotted line and add to the growth of the Trojan family.

At the end of the day, with a limit of only 15 scholarships, the Trojan class of 2012 received an average star rating of 4.07, the highest in the nation. And despite the NCAA imposed handicap, it is a class ranked seventh overall, and second only to Stanford in conference.

The Southern California class of 2012

scholarship distribution chart–USCfootball.com

*ranking source: Rivals.com

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~ by Anthony on February 2, 2012.

One Response to “Outclassed: Sanctioned Trojans reach for the stars”

  1. […] Home › NCAA Football › Outclassed: Sanctioned Trojans reach for the stars […]

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