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Notre Dame Football

USC Bounced Back in Recruiting (Slightly)

February 8, 2021

It was a weird season for USC football and Pac-12 football in general. The Trojans finished 5-1 and made it to the Pac-12 Championship game where they lost to Oregon (who only qualified because Washington was unable to play). It has to be viewed as a bounce back season and was good enough for Clay Helton to keep his job.

It was a bit of a bounce back recruiting cycle for them too. They finished in the top-10 after dropping to 64th the previous year. For most programs, finishing where they did would be reason to celebrate. For USC fans, it’s not good enough considering they averaged a top-five finish from 2015-2018.

Notre Dame fans are well aware that there is a difference between a top-five class and a top-10 one in recruiting. The quantity of 4-star recruits is impressive with 15 of 22 prospects qualifying as blue-chip prospects. It is noteworthy that they only signed one 5-star, defensive lineman Korey Foreman‍, in addition to only four others in the composite top-100. Two of those are quarterbacks as well so one of those is going to eventually not be a factor for them.

Foreman is one player who should help them right away. He’ll find a way onto the field and has the potential to be their best defensive lineman since Leonard Williams. It would be a surprise if Foreman didn’t emerge as a game wrecker. He’s the only one who made it into the ISD Fab 50 (10th).

Quarterback Miller Moss‍ is a top-100 prospect and the second best at the position from California behind Tyler Buchner‍. The combination of Moss and 4-star Jaxson Dart, who jumped up the rankings after a great senior season, should produce one quality player down the line to compete after Kedon Slovis is gone.

It was big for the Trojans to grab linebacker Raesjon Davis‍ out of Mater Dei and adding former Notre Dame target Ceyair Wright‍ to their secondary was also impactful.

Looking at the rest of the class they signed, there aren’t many prospects that Notre Dame fans are going to be jealous of. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a bunch of good prospects. They just don’t have any on the level of a JuJu Smith-Schuster, Adoree Jackson, or Amon-ra St. Brown.

USC missed out on elite WR Troy Franklin‍ to Oregon and offensive line recruiting remains a problem. They signed three O-linemen in the class, two of whom were not ranked in the top-800 recruits in the country.

In the last four classes USC they’ve signed 12 offensive linemen. Only three of them have been ranked as 4-star prospects.

There is no doubt that Helton and his staff took a step back in the right direction with this latest class. Most of these players aren’t going to help USC right away, though, and Helton might need them if he’s going to get off the hot seat.

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