football

Pac-10 Blitz: No denying USC

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Don't ever doubt the national recruiting power that the Southern California Trojans have become. Not only do they usually land the top talent from the West, USC has risen to a position where if you're a blue-chip national recruit, you most likely you have the Trojans high on your list.
Just ask the stars at Cleveland's Glenville High School.
While USC might not eventually land either Raymond Small or Robert Rose, the Trojans definitely left a lasting impression that had both talking about their time in Los Angles last week at one of Glenville's practices.
"You're the only game in town in Los Angeles," Small, a four-star athlete/cornerback, said. "There is no NFL team out there, so when you take a visit out there, it's like you're a movie star. It's all about Hollywood, great weather, incredible women and USC football out there."
Rose, a four-star strongside defensive end, had similar positive statements about his time with the Trojans.
"How could you not like California?" he asked. "I liked the city. I liked the school. The team is the No. 1 program in the nation. They win all the time and the people are great. I know it's a long way from home in Ohio, but USC is right up there at the top."
As with most Ohio prospects, Ohio State is definitely in the mix for both prospects and most at Glenville's practice believed that it was a Trojan-Buckeye battle for the two Rivals250 prospects. Even though conventional wisdom is that Ohio State might be their eventual destination, the Trojans have won plenty of these type of battles since Pete Carroll arrived in Los Angeles. Just last season, his staff plucked defensive end Kyle Moore out of Georgia and wide receiver Patrick Turner out of Tennessee. These were two players the Bulldogs and Vols wanted.
"Coach Carroll is the type of coach you want to play for," Small said. "He's a players' coach, and he knows how to win and get you ready for the next level. That's a really powerful recruiting pitch."
And it's one that USC will use to score blue-chip recruit after blue-chip recruit this season. Could a third trip to the top of the Rivals.com recruiting rankings be in order? Time will tell, but odds are you can count on USC being there toward the top in the end.
The wait won't last long
Speaking of the Trojans reeling in blue-chip prospects, USC fans won't have to wait too much longer to know the eventual destination of standout four-star safety Antwine Perez.
Perez, called the nation's hardest hitter by some college coaches, is scheduled to make his announcement between the Trojans and Michigan some time Wednesday at his school.
"Michigan is a great program and I really like coach (Ron) English," he said. "They put defensive backs in the NFL and will always be a top 10 program even if they're down a little bit this year. They also have great tradition and a need for defensive backs so I could play early. The coaching staff overall is great there and the fan support is impressive. Playing in front of that many people would be amazing."
And the Trojans?
"Southern (California) seems like they'll be No. 1 for a long time, so that's a plus because I don't like to lose. The weather is great out there and I've talked to Dwayne Jarrett and Brian Cushing and they love it. Even though it's so far away, there is a Jersey connection there with players and coaches. My recruiting coach, Todd McNair, I've know forever and he's a South Jersey guy. I think I could also play early out there, they play freshmen."
Perez said he should know the final decision some time Tuesday night and if it's USC then it continues to prove that USC is on top of the college football world – both on and off the field.
Oregon impresses visitors
While Oregon wasn't able to maintain a 13-0 lead over USC on the field and eventually lost 45-13 to the Trojans last Saturday, the Ducks did make a lasting impression on quite a few recruits on hand for the big game.
Denver Mullen four-star offensive guard Chris Guarnero was one of the top recruits on hand and he liked his time in Eugene.
"It was so loud," he said. "I couldn't even hear the person next to me talking when we were on the field before the game. My ears were ringing it was so loud. It was a crazy atmosphere."
Several other recruits that were on hand echoed Guarnero's comments. Most of the recruits there at the game commented about the loud stadium, rapid fans and young competitive team.
Ducks game big for Cats' recruiting
It appears that Mike Stoops has Arizona's game on Oct. 22 against Oregon in Tucson circled as a big one, because the Cats look to be bringing in quite the crew of talented recruits for official visits, highlighted by a threesome from the Bay Area.
While the list will change here and there since the game is still three weeks out, Arizona appears to be bringing in four-star defensive tackle Derrick Hill, four-star defensive end A.J. Simmons and four-star tight end NaDerris Ward. Hill and Ward are teammates from Oakland McClymonds and Simmons is from Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd.
The weekend of Dec. 9th also will be big for Arizona as receiver Tyquan Knox and junior college stud offensive lineman Fenuki Tupou are slated to be in.
Showing why He's No. 1
If there is any doubt that Phoenix Maryvale defensive end Jermaine Williams is the top player in Arizona, just look at the job he and his teammates have done this season. Maryvale is off to a 3-1 star including two games where his team allowed only six and nine points. He's also showcasing his talent on offense at running back. Against Mountain Pointe a few weeks back, Williams scored two touchdowns and finished the game with 60 yards rushing on 11 carries.
Making an impression
The last thing on most coaches' minds before a big match-up on national television is calling recruits. However, UCLA coach Karl Dorrell knew that the Bruins' game against Oklahoma would be an opportune time to showcase itself against one of the nation's top programs.
So what did Dorrell do?
He picked up the phone and called several of the Bruins' top targets.
"Coach Dorrell called me Saturday right before the game, but I missed it," Rome, Ga., three-star linebacker Toryan Smith said. "He told me they were thinking about me and let me know they want me. They had a big game this weekend and he thought about me, so I'm real intrigued. That really impressed me."
You can bet that Smith wasn't the only talented player that got a call from the Bruins head coach.
Dawgs get some good news
While things haven't gone like they wanted on the field, Washington Husky fans have to feel better when their talented four-star running back recruit James Montgomery said in published reports in Seattle that he was solid on Washington. UCLA and several other Pac-10 programs were really beginning to move in on him and with Washington's struggles this season, there was some talk about him taking other visits.
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Oregon State received good news late last week when College of the Desert defensive end Dorian Smith said he was ready to commit to the Beavers. He is expected to make the decision official when he visits for OSU's game against Stanford… The Cardinal is trying to recover in the recruiting wars after losing a stunning game against Division I-AA UC-Davis. The good news is that Stanford can sell kids on early playing time even more now… Cal quarterback commit Kevin Riley did all he could, but couldn't keep his team from losing this past week against Portland Jesuit. He threw for two scores in the 21-14 loss.
More Recruiting Blitzes:
Big Ten: Spartans rise
SEC: Forget Paris?
Coming Wednesday: ACC, Big 12, Big East
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