football

Smallwood sees need at USC

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Tashon Smallwood has been courted by many other programs across the country but his recent visit to USC helped firm up his commitment even more.
The main reason?
Because the Fresno (Calif.) Central East defensive tackle was afforded the chance to see that he could be used early in the Trojans' defense if he stuck with his pledge and signed with USC next February.
"(Assistant coach Ed Orgeron) wanted me to come see the defensive line," Smallwood said. "He wanted me to come see the spring game mainly because he wanted me to see why he needed me.
"That was a huge thing. Just knowing that I have a chance coming in and I can play early. Not that it's going to be given to me but it is an opportunity."
The 6-foot-1, 285-pound defensive tackle has been enamored with USC for a while and he committed soon after its junior day in February.
Smallwood has not been shy about taking other visits to Cal and UCLA among other schools and both programs have not backed off one inch from recruiting him since his commitment but the Fresno Central East star has stuck firm to his pledge.
Other unofficial visits could occur as well but they're usually surprises when other Central East standouts take trips, Smallwood goes along as well.
That was one reason why Smallwood recently visited UCLA because teammate Michiah Quick wanted to check out the school. No other trips are scheduled but they usually pop up quickly.
His most recent trip to USC went well. Smallwood got to see he could be used early on the defensive line, he got a better feel for the coaching staff and even though the spring game was a little like a glorified practice, Smallwood said it was good to be in that atmosphere again.
"We got there about 10 o'clock and went to the team meeting," Smallwood said. "After that we went to an event on campus and after that I sat down and talked to coach (Orgeron). We walked around, went to see the campus again and then 75 minutes before the game started we went to the stadium and we were right down on the field.
"Because of some injuries they weren't really tackling too hard. They were keeping it mellow so it was kind of like watching a practice but it was still cool."
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