By Johnny Curren
With signing day now less than a week away, and USC head coach Clay Helton and his staff with a ton of momentum, the Trojans will host one final set of official visitors this weekend.
At this point in time only two recruiting targets are expected to make it on campus, but they just so happen to be two of the most highly regarded prospects in the country. Hailing from nearby Los Angeles (Calif.) Hawkins, Greg Johnson and Joseph Lewis could be key pieces of the puzzle in a Trojans recruiting class that is starting to look like it will wind up being extremely special.
Here’s a closer look at both prospects.
ATH Greg Johnson (Los Angeles, Calif./Hawkins)
5-foot-11, 183 pounds
A dynamic athlete, Johnson is being targeted primarily as a cornerback by the staff at USC, but in a sign of his versatility, they’ve also discussed the possibility of him lining up at safety, nickelback and even slot receiver. He’s one of a number of high-profile prospects who showed renewed interest in the Trojans following their strong performance on the field this past season. It also can’t hurt that his brother, Class of 2018 cornerback Marcus Johnson, pledged to USC in December, although he says that will not be a factor as he goes through the decision-making process. In either case, the Trojans are in a much better place today here than they were just a couple of months ago, but Nebraska and Oregon are still in the race as well. He just visited the Ducks last weekend, in fact, and new Oregon head coach Willie Taggart and his staff have made it clear to him that he’s a major priority. Johnson also took a trip to Nebraska back in October, and he holds a solid relationship with Huskers assistant coach Donte Williams. He plans to announce his decision on signing day.
WR Joseph Lewis (Los Angeles, Calif./Hawkins)
Arguably the top wide receiver prospect in the nation, Lewis is the total package at the position, possessing fantastic size to go along with unique big-play ability. For most of the recruiting process it appeared to be an almost forgone conclusion that he would be heading out-of-state, but like Johnson, the Trojans’ dramatic turnaround on the field had a strong impact on him. That coupled with a strong recruiting effort by Offensive Coordinator Tee Martin and Co. has helped propel the Trojans into a major player for his signature down the stretch. It’s primarily a USC-Nebraska battle heading into this final weekend, with Oregon also still trying to get in the discussion, although there are murmurs that the Trojans are the team to beat. The fact that both he and Johnson have been spotted on campus at USC on at least two occasions this month would certainly appear to add credence to those rumors. Lewis is also scheduled to announce on signing day.