Signing Day mirrors the seasons of USC, UCLA
FEB 06, 2013 6:48p ET
The recruiting season paralleled their 7-6 season on the field. The Trojans got off to a good start but fell apart down the stretch.
Of USC's decommits, receiving the most attention was Redlands East Valley defensive end Kylie Fitts. Scheduled to be an early enrollee, Fitts was out shopping for “dorm stuff” with his mother when he received a phone call from his dad saying that the opportunity to enroll early at USC was no longer an option.
Fitts was crushed.
“My heart dropped,” he recalls. “Coming in early was really big for me to start spring ball and earn my respect right away.”
As a result, there was plenty of negative press directed at USC. Fitts decided to sign with UCLA, joining another former USC commit who was supposed to be an early enrollee, wide receiver Eldridge Massington.
Joining those two as USC decommits were Mission Viejo defensive back Max Redfield ( Notre Dame), Santa Monica wide receiver Sebastian LaRue ( Texas A&M), defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes (Notre Dame), and linebacker Jason Hatcher ( Kentucky).
Cornerback Jalen Ramsey ( Florida State) decided to ditch the Trojans at the last minute and defensive end Torrodney Prevot ( Oregon) decided to go in a different direction.
With seven players already enrolled, six players signed with USC on Wednesday. It’s a class that has 13 players (including 2012 signee Darreus Rogers) and is ranked No. 18 in the nation by Scout.com.
The 6-foot-2, 220-pound five-star running back Ty Isaac is a big back USC head coach Lane Kiffin says he’s excited to have in the program.
Already on campus is Max Browne, Scout’s No. 1 quarterback in the country, and Vista Murrieta safety Su’a Cravens, who Scout lists as the top player in the country at his position.
The class is low in numbers but high on skill. Five five-star recruits and seven four-star recruits give the Trojans a 4.42 average per player. The only other school in the top-25 with at least a 4.0 average is Ohio State, which is Scout’s No. 1 class in the country.
“This is certainly a class of quality over quantity,” Kiffin said. “We could only sign a limited number of players because of our sanctions, so we went after the best of the best.
“The talent in this class is second to none and so is their character.”
Meanwhile, across town Jim Mora and UCLA cleaned up with the No. 5 class in the country, according to Scout.com. Included in that mix are 18 four-star recruits.
The Bruins reloaded their secondary with Fresno Central East cornerback Johnny Johnson, Rancho Cucamonga safety Tahaan Goodman, and Crespi safety Tyler Foreman.
Priest Willis, a five-star cornerback from Arizona, is supposed to be included in that mix but has yet to sign his National Letter of Intent.
One sour note on the day was another player not signing, Redlands running back Craig Lee. He’s a four-star prospect but has academic issues that he has to take care of before he can sign. If Lee is not able to sign that will be a huge blow to this class, considering he’s the only running back.
After rumors that he may be headed to Georgia, four-star linebacker from Washington, Myles Jack, reaffirmed his commitment and faxed in his National Letter of Intent to UCLA.
Mora says this class fills his team’s needs. Seven offensive linemen were signed, led by Rancho Verde offensive tackle Poasi Moala. Asiantii Woulard, a four-star quarterback from Florida, is thought to be the heir apparent to Brett Hundley. Also, Mora is thrilled about Mater Dei tight end Thomas Duarte who has the chance to fill a void left behind by Joseph Fauria. Mora called Duarte “one of the best tight ends in America.”
Perhaps, that was an indirect pat on the back from the Bruins head coach for him and his staff for turning in one of the finest jobs in America.
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