Other Pac-10 coaches have to look at Pete Carroll’s recruiting classes and just shake their heads. Or open a bottle of scotch. Because they know it is going to be tough to beat the Trojans for the next four years.
At the end of national signing day — when high school seniors can officially send in the papers that commit them to a college — Rivals.com had the USC class ranked fourth in the nation. ESPN said third. Soout.com said seventh.
Or, look at it this way — USC has eight players committed who were ranked in ESPN’s top 150 players in the nation. The entire rest of the Pac-10 has nine.
The challenge at USC remains finding playing time for all the big-time talent that comes in. Playing time was the reason Harbor City Narbonne defensive back Byron Moore Jr. had given a couple weeks ago to re-open his recruiting. But on Wednesday he put on an SC hat and re-committed to the Trojans.
He is joined by some of the most sought-after high school players from around the nation — some recruited right out from under other national powers. Linebacker Jarvis Jones is leaving the state of Georgia to come to USC. Another linebacker, Frankie Telfort, played his high school ball at Miami Gulliver Prep but spurned The U for USC. And defensive back Jawanza Starling played right under the nose of Bobby Bowden in Tallahassee (Fla.), but he will come west as well.
That’s not to say USC didn’t have a few disappointments on the day. They lost the guy many consider the best defensive prospect in the nation in Manti Te'o, who is leaving Honolulu Punahou to go to Notre Dame. Where he will learn the real meaning of heavy winter clothes. Receiver Alshon Jeffrey had committed to the Trojans but changed his mind recently and Tuesday formally committed to South Carolina (the other USC).
But when was the last time Carroll focused on the negative? He knows that this class means USC’s string of BCS bowls and Pac-10 titles should continue well into the next decade.
And for Trojan fans, that might be a reason to enjoy a scotch.